Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Like us in all ways except sin

When you think of Jesus being like us in all ways except sin (Heb 4:15), what exactly goes through your mind? I used to think that Jesus, being God, knew all. He knew the past. He knew the future. He could just about wave his arm, and dismiss temptation. After all, he was God, and God is all powerful and knows all. Right?

One of our parish priests recently explained explained and clarified this statement. Yes, Jesus is God. But, my understanding is that he was NOT all seeing and all knowing. When he was 12 years old, he did not know that he would gather 12 apostles. He did not know specifically that Judas Iscariot would betray him. He did not know that he would die a painful death on the cross. After all, when we were 12, did we know if we would marry? Or who? Or when? Do we know how and when we will die? In that respect, Jesus was exactly like us.

Whoa! That explanation was one of those things that really struck me. I did not realize the extent of 'like us in all ways but sin' meant as applied to his every day life. He fully accepted not only our mortality, but our humanity along with all of its joys and sorrows. He wept when he heard of the death of Lazarus, indicating he truly felt pain at the passing of his friend. He felt for the hunger of the people that heard him give the Sermon on the Mount. He sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane - he truly feared for his life and, in fact, he did not really want to die especially by crucifixion. He was tempted by the devil when he went into the desert to pray.

His life was no walk in the proverbial park. He did not control things around him, to make his life easy. Sorry, no air conditioning. No cold drinks by the pool. No servants to wait on him hand and foot. He led the life of a carpenter, the son of a carpenter. I'm guessing he got more than his share of cuts and splinters. And, they probably hurt.

Let that sink in a few minutes. Like us in ALL things except for sin. Not some things. Not most things. All things. The next time you read the Bible and read what Jesus said and did, put yourself in his position. Would you have the inner strength (where he was truly God) to do what he did?

Image source: Jesus