Hebrews 4:15 (Day 8)
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
~ Hebrews 4:15
He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
~ Isaiah 53:3
In June of 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. As he stepped from the land of his space capsule onto the surface of the moon, he declared “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” It was an historical moment.
Around 2022 years later, Jesus Christ took a much bigger and greater step than that of Neil Armstrong. Just south of Jerusalem in the town of Bethlehem, the Son of God was stepping out of heaven to planet earth. Jesus Christ was born as baby to Mary and Joseph and over the next 33 years, Jesus would grow through all the stages of development from childhood unto becoming an adult man.
This truth is astounding and should speak volumes to us. Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, knows what it is like to walk in our shoes. The manger means that God fully understands what it is like to enter the human plight. Jesus can fully understand our limitations and our needs as human beings because He became one of us. How many times in life have you felt those around you were just out of touch with you and your circumstances? They just hadn’t walked a mile in your shoes. Well, we can’t say that about our Savior. Though He was the King of
Heaven and over all of creation, Jesus humbled himself – literally lowered himself – becoming wrapped in human flesh. The Infinite Creator embraced the finite condition of becoming a man.
The manger reminds us that we have a God who can fully relate and identify with us. He knows what it is like to live an earthly life of existence as a real person. He experienced the full range of human emotions while on the earth – love, joy, disappointment, betrayal, rejection, and physical pain as well. There is nothing we can go through that he does not understand. The prophet Isaiah foreseeing the coming of Jesus 750 years before his arrival, called him “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” Jesus would be despised and rejected. I find it hard to grasp that Jesus would embrace human pain and suffering to the extent that He did. And yet many, including myself, find great comfort and a level of healing knowing Jesus entered into the plight of human pain and suffering. Abandoned by his friends upon his arrest, denied by his good friend Peter, and tortured and mocked by Roman soldiers, Jesus truly became a man of sorrows. The Son of God entered into the hell of human existence at its worst.
So now when we pray and call to Him, we are not praying to a God who is far off. We do not lift our voice in moments of desperation and need to a God who is distant and out of touch. We can pray to a God that has come near. The book of Hebrews says, “Because He himself suffered when he was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb. 2:18). Our Savior was a suffering servant who He gets us. He fully understands the hurt and pains of life, the frustrations of life, and the deep rejections and betrayals in life. There is no hell you will walk through that Jesus has not already travelled that path ahead of you. Take comfort for the Savior is near, and knows what you are going through. And His heart is touched with compassion for you.