Today I am in Hebrews 2, verses 14-18 and loving that Jesus’ focus, His ‘concern’ (RSV) is not for the glorious beings in the spiritual realm, but for us, the descendants of Abraham, and those that have been grafted in. He has chosen to help the most imperfect of all created beings! I also love, that in God’s perfect plan, in order for Jesus to accomplish what He desired, to be the perfect substitute for us in total sacrifice, He had to become like us in every respect.
UGH! Who would wish that on anybody? I get so frustrated with my own humanness and fallen qualities. I can’t imagine being totally free of them, in a glorious state, and then taking them on willingly, and yet…He did.
I have read this verse countless times and my usual reaction is just an intellectual acknowledgement and appreciation for this quality of my Savior. No matter how hard I try, I have a difficult time understanding how deeply Jesus took on human nature in order to become the perfect mediator and sacrificial Lamb for me– for all of us. How can He, in all His spiritual glory and special power-so tightly knit to the heart of God- be at the same time, totally human?
This causes me to pause and think deeply…How is He like us? In what ways had he “suffered and been tempted” and been made like us ‘in every respect’? (v. 17 and 18) Oh God, Help me understand this beautiful aspect of your Lord and SavioSon!
In order to wrestle with this idea and grow in my understanding of Christ, I am stopping today to meditate on how Jesus is like us. First I ponder our physical likenesses:
Jesus left the limitless ability of spirituality and entered the confining existence of physical limitations and needs. He needed rest (not just took it, but His body now required it). He no longer could go on endlessly. He now had very long ‘to-do’ lists that could not be accomplished within the boundaries of one earthly day. How do you heal thousands and teach them all the Truth, and counsel them through relationships, and eat and travel and plan, and prepare a team for ministry all in one day? Or even a lifetime? Does that sound like anyone you know ? (and a thousand voices cry ME!) What’s on YOUR daily list? The demands of providing for your family through work? And parenting? And assisting your parents? And encouraging the fainthearted in your church family? And nurturing your spouse? And being a good steward of your possessions? And serving our great God through cooking, teaching, helping and organizing?
Take a peek…
The To-do List: “He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18,19 Okay, so that list sounds a lot bigger than mine…Still, there are definite similarities in the variety and importance of needs.
The need for rest: “And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23 and “the boat was being swamped by the waves; but He was asleep.” Matthew 8:24. The ability to sleep soundly through a storm, in an open boat means Jesus must have been dog-tired! He understands our need to retreat and replenish.
The need for food and drink: “He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterward He was hungry” and also He is found eating with the sinners. Matthew 4:1 and Matthew 9:10ff. I get so irritated sometimes, at my need to stop for food!
What shall I do with these truths? How can they draw me closer into a deeper relationship with the Father and His Son? A relationship is built on ever-increasing mutual understanding. So, for today, I am going to be completely aware of my physical ‘humanness’—how my body restricts my time and abilities by its physical demands. I am also going to concentrate on how many things pull at me. I know the list will be very long. I will try to discern which of them are appointed for me by the Father. I may discover some things to remove and be called to some replacements. In it all, I will remember how perfectly Jesus understands this aspect of who I am. He knows what it’s like to be pulled in many directions and have outside forces trying to distract me. He knows what it’s like to have a physical body that makes demands of my attention and time and sometimes restricts my activities. In that, I will rejoice and appreciate the Truth that I have a Savior who completely understands me. Having lived through it, Jesus offers perfect wisdom and strength to help me live through it.
Next up perhaps…How Jesus is like us emotionally, and therefore understands even our darkest of corners. He really ‘gets’ us. I can’t wait to linger there!