Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Because this small section of scripture offers so much to us, we’ll take it in two parts. First, Jesus who was fully God, out of His love for us, lowered Himself to take on humanity through the incarnation. Jesus did this so that He could be our perfect substitute, taking our place at the Cross of Calvary. We have to remember that God is a perfect and holy God, therefore, His laws are just and perfect. This means that God cannot look the other way when we sin and rebel against Him. God cannot pretend our sin did not occur and give us a free pass. In other words, the price for sin has to be paid, and that’s where Jesus comes in. The punishment for sin is eternal separation from God. Moreover, there are no works or deeds we can do to earn our way out of sin’s penalty and into heaven. Good deeds do not erase past sin, what we consider good deeds are God’s standard for our day to day behavior. Moreover, it’s critical we understand that in order for Jesus to take the place of mankind, to receive the punishment that we deserved, He had to experience humanity, except without our sin nature. This means the living God of Heaven, had to step out of eternity and take on humanity, in order to take upon Himself the judgment due us.
Jesus took upon Himself, the penalty for our iniquity, because of our sins, in order that we could spend eternity with Him. Jesus through His incarnation experienced everything that we experienced and by His humanity, made Himself a substitute for us. Jesus grew weary, needed sleep, became hungry and was tempted in every way. However, He did not sin. Jesus did nothing deserving of punishment or death. Despite this He took on death for one reason and one reason alone, and that reason was us. Jesus, knowing we could not pay the price, paid it for us with His death on the Cross of Calvary. And it’s this concept of Jesus becoming the perfect substitute for us that we get the word propitiation. The word carries the meaning that Jesus didn’t just pay the price for our sins, but He paid it in full once and for all time, past, present and future. Jesus paid it completely, perfectly fulfilling the righteous requirements of God the Father. And His resurrection is our proof, as well as our guarantee that He is who He claims to be, God in the flesh. Jesus accomplished our freedom from the penalty of sin and in its place gave us the gift of eternity in His presence. The proof and guarantee of our salvation are His resurrection along with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which is given freely to all who follow Him.