I have been studying Hebrews the last week, and I am in that part of the letter that deals heavily with Jesus' humanity.
One of the things that the author of Hebrews (my money is on Apollos for those who care about such technical things as identifying the author of what is in any event an anonymous letter) stresses is that Jesus is not just ttruly human, but a true human. Its like (if you'll pardon me a moment of platonic philosophical reflection) Jesus is the archetypal human being, the ideal human. The implications of that are kind of neat.
I think it means that we are not, as of right now, truly human. We are lacking something. Or maybe more correctly we have something we shouldn't if we want to be true humans. We have not only fallen short of the glory of God then, but we have also fallen short of being human. We have fallen, through that Fall, away from humanness as well as godliness.
It also means that as much as Jesus reveals the Father to us, he also reveals, in some sense, Adam (in his pre-fall state) to us. As we see Jesus act and react as a human being, we know how we are to act and react as human beings.
Maybe that isn't a revelation for some folks, but I think the angle I am approaching it from is a bit different. Most people would easily affirm that Jesus came to teach us how to live as people, but its almost like we think of that in terms of Jesus' deity only. We look at Jesus and see God teaching us how to be human. But ought we not to also see the man Jesus Christ also teaching us how to be human? I am not trying to deny that Jesus is God, but this seems to be one fo those areas where we just ignore the human aspect of Jesus a bit.
Maybe what I am trying to say is that Jesus teaches how to be godly people as people, not as God made flesh (though he is). I think the author of Hebrews has that in mind when he refers to Jesus being able to relate to our sufferings.
In fact, as much as the author of Hebrews has an exalted view of Jesus, I think he spends at least as much time on Jesus' humanity. I think its beause he thinks there is practical for our daily lives significance to both aspects of Jesus' being.
How? Well, I don't want to say too much. I am supposed to be preaching a series out of Hebrews in the new year; I don't want to give it all away.
Hey if you're interested, check out the church:
Just so ya know I am not the guy in the picture. I have ( a bit) more hair.