17 Therefore, he had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every way. This was so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, in order to wipe away the sins of the people. 18 He’s able to help those who are being tempted, since he himself experienced suffering when he was tempted.
I have often wondered if the story of Jesus’ life and death to non-Christians sounds something quite peculiar. I wonder if they think, “Your God could have saved himself but chose to die instead…. That makes no sense! Why would the God of the universe do that?”
In short, Jesus, our God incarnate, chose to live a humble life of service and sacrifice for our salvation. As such, God chose suffering at human hands so that the world might believe and be redeemed back to God’s self, Our Creator.
Perhaps it is the Trinity that trips people up — it certainly can!
Because to know the truth of Jesus’ life is to believe that through Jesus, God knew, and continues to know, our suffering on an intimate level. Jesus experienced human days full of life and laughter, but also of heartache and temptation. Jesus knew human pain, hurts and even the earthly sorrows of life and death, intimately.
Through the example of Jesus, God knows our human suffering, personally. Furthermore, through the example of Jesus, we know there is one to which we have kinship. He is our brother. Here is our brother, Jesus, who walked and talked, ate and slept, just as we do. Here is the Human One, who lived with daily troubles, fears and temptations just like we live with each and every day. Jesus is not only worshipped because of his sacrifice for us, he is worshipped because he understands our challenges in the most personal of ways. Jesus is our brother in life and love and resurrection. What hurts do you share with your brother, Jesus?
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Since Jesus is our brother, how do you talk to him like he knows you personally? How do you describe Jesus’ habits and ways? How is Jesus your sibling with whom you share details, love, and laughter, as well as moments of heartache and need? Pause and “phone” Jesus and tell him what you are thinking. Also, consider calling on an earthly “brother” or “sister” today.
Prayer: Brother Jesus, I love you and want to share my life with you. You are my family. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for knowing me in all the ways I need your loving care and friendship. I am sorry for not always trusting and leaning on you. Help me to learn to love as you love. Help me to trust and to walk in your truth today and always. Amen.