By Viola Larson, Naming His Grace blog.
There is a great deal to applaud in the sixth lesson of the Presbyterian Women’s Bible study Who is Jesus? What a Difference a Lens Makes.The author Judy Yates Siker, in this lesson, “According to Hebrews,” at the end, answers the question about Jesus’s identity in this manner:
“The writer of Hebrews goes to great lengths to demonstrate the majesty, the grandeur, and the perfection of Jesus. Yet, this Jesus is one who can relate to us in our earthly circumstances. Truly, there is in every generation the need to carry the message of the good news forward, in spite of trials and frustrations of the day. The writer of Hebrews tells readers then and now to be strong, to give thanks for the unshakeable kingdom in which Christ reigns. Through the lens of this first-century writer, we are called to be strong in the faith, and through this lens, we are able to see the person and work of Jesus, the one who makes that faith possible.”
Siker understands that Jesus is both priest and sacrifice, and that he is both human and divine. She comforts her readers with the biblical truth that Jesus “can sympathize and empathize with people.”
And yet, still, there is the continued push to de-emphasize the wholeness and completeness of the biblical witness to Jesus Christ as fully God and fully human, as both Lord and the ransom for sin. Furthermore, there is the continued apology and concern about the witness to Jesus of the early church and how that affected their relationship to the Jewish people as a whole.