by Rex Rouis
Jesus was God’s gift of perfect humanity to an imperfect humanity. He was God’s gift of Himself wrapped in human form. This gift of the Baby Jesus is called the Incarnation. It is the other side of Christmas. Paul describes it this way:
…who, though he existed in the form of God, (He) did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. Philippians 2:6-7
The writer of Hebrews describes it this way:
Therefore, he had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18
For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
Jesus, as a human, apparently had some things He could no longer grasp or have access to. Also, in His humanity, He emptied Himself of something. The Bible goes on to say that He was like us ‘in every respect yet without sin.’
It is the mystery of the ages. How could Christmas be so profound? How could a person be both God and a Baby simultaneously? This Baby was not part God and part man but fully God, and at the same time, fully man.
A person fully connected to God, without separation of sin. A person fully endowed, guided, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.I want to focus on one part of this mystery, that of Jesus being human, fully human, really really human – human like you and me. What does a perfectly sinless person look like? A person fully connected to God, without separation of sin. A person fully endowed, guided, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. That Person looked like Jesus of Nazareth, born as a normal baby in Bethlehem.
Why was He born like this? All of this was so that Jesus could fully and legally come to our aid and save us. As a High Priest, He can now sympathize with our weaknesses and temptations, go to God the Father on our behalf, and help us when we need Him. Let’s look at Hebrews again:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then, with confidence, draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15, 16
For that which He did not identify, He could not atone.Jesus knows what we are going through. You could say, “He has been there and done that – except for the sin part.” He was able to go through all that the world could throw at Him, yet He always stayed above it all without sinning. Amazing! But that does not mean He did not have human feelings or emotions. Let us look at just a few things that might help us relate to the earthly Jesus and see how He relates to us.
Jesus grew up in a blended family. He had four brothers and several sisters. Their father was Joseph. His Father was God. They all may not have looked like Jesus. Matthew 13:55, 56
Even Jesus was a teenager once. Enough said. Luke 2:41 – 50
His own family did not believe He was God until after the resurrection. They could not understand what was going on inside of Him. Mark 3:21, John 7:3 – 5
Jesus was so tired once that He fell asleep right after a meeting ended. He worked Himself to the bone and had to be carried to the boat. Mark 4:36, 38
Jesus was sad. Mark 8:12, 14:33, 34, Matthew 14:13
Jesus cried. John 11:33 – 35
Jesus was intense with passionate zeal. John 2:14 – 17
Jesus did not know everything. He knew Lazarus had died, but He had to ask where he was laid. John 11:14, 34
Jesus needed friends. Luke 22:28, John 15:14, 15
Jesus was frustrated with the Schyrophoenician woman. He and His group were tired and wanted to be left alone. Mark 7:24 – 27
Jesus was angry at His disciples. Mark 9:18, 19
His humanity recoiled at the thought of going to the Cross. He pleaded not to go. But He was, of course, submitted and willing to only do His Father’s will. Mark 14:34 – 36
Go to Him. Pour your heart out as He poured His heart out to His Father. He will listen, and He will understand. Moreover, He now can do something about it. He is our faithful and powerful high priest. Take advantage of His love, His empathy, and His mercy.
What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? Romans 8:31-32