The word “therefore” references verses 14-16, reminding us that we are human beings in need of rescue from the power of death and that Jesus died to defeat the devil freeing us from the fear of death.
Now, or “therefore,” the author of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus was fully human. He is our High Priest, offering himself on the cross to take away the sins of all (fully human and fully divine). Further, Jesus’ journey was filled with suffering and testing, and He is present with us during testing. He is not a stranger, but a friend, a Savior, and the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
In the literal sense, a crucible is used in metallurgy, the science of working with and refining metals. Figuratively, a crucible is a severe test or trial or an extremely challenging experience. You will face many crucibles in your life. Jesus did. My friend, please know with utmost certainty and confidence that He is with you. And—don’t walk through the crucibles of life alone. We need God, and we need each other.
I’ve learned to walk with Jesus through crucibles. “Going it alone” inflates our human nature, so I’ve learned to die to myself and ask God to walk with me. This is called a “dying moment,” and as I choose to die to myself, I can experience resurrection in a more profound way. By the way, I don’t always get it right—I’m imperfect. “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).