Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil . . . For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Heb. 2:14-18)
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me . . . ‘I have come to do your will, my God.’ ” . . . And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Christ once for all. (Heb. 10:5-10)
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)
It’s still something that’s hard to wrap my mind around: that Jesus, the Son of the living God, became human like me.
He didn’t just look human; He was human. He felt everything I feel, shared every temptation, every challenge, every vulnerability. He knew hunger, thirst, joy, pain, praise and humiliation. He suffered when He was tempted. He never got a free pass; if anything, He was tested more often and more harshly even before He came to the final test of the cross.
Through it all, there was only one way in which Jesus differed from me: He didn’t sin. He shared my humanity so He could take on my sin and its consequences.
It was the most extravagant exchange ever made.
From the beginning, Jesus knew what that exchange would demand of Him, what kind of fullness it would take. In order to be fully human, He would have to be fully tempted, fully vulnerable, fully humiliated, fully suffering the agony of crucifixion. Worst of all, He would be left fully alone on the cross as He paid the full penalty for me.
It was the only way to atone for my sin and make me able to wear the robe of His righteousness: fully bought and paid for. His atonement satisfied every requirement for me. The only thing left is my decision what to do about it; my continuing response to His sacrifice.
My sin for His righteousness.
What an incredible, glorious, extravagant exchange!