Yesterday, Father Michael educated us a bit on Candlemas and encouraged us to be a witness of the Christ light which dispels the darkness of death, because of Christ’s death and resurrection. Jesus shared fully in our humanity, while not diminished at all in his Deity, except that he fully lived on earth as a human, subject to the limitations which humanity brings, except that he did so as only God could and would, being God. Which meant that he never sinned, though tempted in all points as we are. And as I shared later at the nursing home, the fact that Jesus entered fully into our humanity, and in doing so, into our experience, means that he can help us in our experience in a unique way, as one who has fully gone through that himself. Here is the main text from which Father Michael preached (he uses the NRSV, which you can find on the link):
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— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 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.
As Father Michael pointed out, since we share in Jesus’ resurrection, we need not fear death. We certainly don’t look forward to it. But we know it is the passageway into resurrection, into the existence of the eternal life in which all creation will share in the new creation already present and fully to come in and through Jesus. We are witnesses to this faith which gives us a never dying hope in nothing less than the promises of God.