By Collin Ross
Many years ago, a mentor of mine told me that he believed that the most beautiful phrase in all the English language was the phrase, “Me too.” In difficult seasons of life, is anything more comforting than knowing that someone else has been where you are? There is a glad weightiness in hearing that someone can identify with your station in life.
The truly remarkable message of the Bible is that the God of the universe has chosen to identify with people like you and me. He came alongside us, shared in our human nature, choosing to live and die as one of us. Hebrews 2:11 speaks a breathtaking reality: Jesus, the Son of the living God, calls us brothers and sisters. As a result, Jesus became like us in every way. He didn’t take on an idealized humanity, but our humanity that is characterized by brokenness and suffering.
And He did so to represent us before God perfectly. By definition, a priest had to be a part of the group he intended to represent and serve. The text says: “Therefore, he had to be like his brothers and sisters in every way, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in matters pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).
What does it mean for us that Jesus shares our humanity in every way? It means the One to whom we pray knows what it’s like to have a body that ages and decays. He knows what it feels like to lose a loved one. He knows how difficult it is to tame your tongue, much less your thought life. Jesus knows the struggle of life in a broken world—and not because He’s seen it from afar, but because He has lived it Himself. So when we cry out to Him in prayer, our God can relate to our pain with that beautiful sentiment of, “Me too.”
But it is more than sentimental comfort that Jesus provides. The Son of God taking on flesh served a crucial redemptive purpose. Jesus shared in our suffering and death “so that through His death he might destroy the one holding the power of death…and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death” (vv.14–15). The “me too” that Jesus utters is comforting, yes, but also overflowing with redemptive power. As the old communion liturgy goes, “In His death, He has destroyed death, and in His rising to life again, He has won for us everlasting life.”
Remember that Jesus is no stranger to your struggle. He is the pioneer of your salvation because He first walked the road of human suffering. When you call out to Him, remember that by His own initiative, He has called Himself your brother.