Tuesday, April 15, 2014

He Gets It

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:15.

Revelation 13:8 and 1 Peter 1:20 refer to Jesus as the Lamb chosen and slain before the foundation of the world. Before God created the angels, He knew Lucifer would rebel. Before He created man, God knew Adam would fall. So, before either of these events occurred God instituted His solution to the problem of sin. At that point as far as God was concerned, it was as good as done. From that moment and moving forward, everything He said and did was based on that future event coming to fruition. Jesus' whole life was centered around the successful completion of this mission. It wasn't a burden or a chore.

Who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, Hebrews 12:2.

Operating here on earth as son of man, and not as the Son of God, Jesus experienced all the limitations and frailties of our humanity. Gethsemane depicts this clearly.

My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, Matthew 26:38.

My Father, if possible may this cup be taken from me, Matthew 26:39.

How many of us have felt so beat down and defeated that we entertained the thought of ending our lives in order to escape the pain? Haven't we at times asked God, “Isn't there another way?” When we've hit that wall, Jesus understands. He gets it. He put Himself through the wringer of the temptations and pressures we'd face to such a degree that an angel had to be sent to strengthen Him and He literally broke out in a sweat – of blood, Luke 22:43-44. He was pressured to quit and call the whole thing off. When we're getting bombarded and feel like throwing in the towel, Jesus knows exactly how we feel. He's been there too. He gets it.

Here's a thought. What would've happened if Jesus capitulated and gave up. What if He'd said "yes" to temptation and not "no"? What if He chucked the whole plan out the proverbial window? I believe there was more at stake than our redemption. EVERYTHING would have changed and not for the better.

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Hebrews 11:3.

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by the power of His word.  Hebrews 1:3.

I the Lord do not change, Malachi 3:6.

All of creation was formed by and exists now because of God's Word which is rock solid and dependable. The one Who spoke it and sustains it can't change. If Jesus, after having committed to the plan of salvation changed His mind, the integrity of what holds the cosmos together would've been endangered. He'd have become the God Who did, and could at some future time again, change. What we call the “Laws of the Universe” would've become mere suggestions. Today gravity works. Tomorrow – who knows? God would've no longer been the unalterable Supreme Being. He'd have become no better or worse than the idols and deities worshiped throughout the ages – capricious, fickle and unable to save themselves let alone anyone else.

As a man, Jesus possessed the same free will we have. The Father wouldn't force Him to do anything. In the garden Jesus told the arresting soldiers that He could, at the very moment, ask His Father to send twelve legions of angels. He'd have been gone and they'd have been toast. Even though to do so would have ruined everything, the Father's love wouldn't permit Him to deny His Son a request for help. That's love.

So much hung in the balance during those hours in the garden. Jesus endured all the temptations thrown at Him without succumbing to them. He can now empathize with us when we come under assault. None of us will face what He did but because of His experience, Jesus knows where we're at. He gets it. If you're facing overwhelming problems and feel as if you can't continue another moment – look to Jesus. He knows what you're going through. He's been there. He gets it AND He's mighty to save. 

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