Jesus: He’s Been There and Suffered That…

So I was sharing some of my thoughts (or I guess God’s thoughts…I can’t take credit for them!) from my devotion time with a friend of mine the other day and she suggested that I share them on my blog with all of you.  Which, since I’m now apparently gravely overdue for a ‘real’ post, sounded like a great idea.  The issue was finding a time where I could sit down, collect my thoughts, and attempt to convey them in a semi-coherent fashion. It seems that now is as good of a time as ever…

So, I was reading in Hebrews, which is one of my favorite books of all time by the way!  I mean, it’s so complex and rich and comforting and enlightening and… you get the idea!  I still have a hard time believing I used to shy away from this book in the past because it was too complex (which it is complex, but it’s still so cool and I get something new from it every time!)  Anyway, in Hebrews chapter 4, it says:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

WHOA WHOA WHOA!  Stop, think about what you just read.  Seriously, do. it.  If you aren’t just blown away and crazy excited, re-read it and think again.  If you still aren’t at all moved by your Savior’s logic-defying love, then… wow… let me attempt to, by God’s grace, help you out!

So, not only did Jesus come and live on our little planet and die a horrific death, just for the terrible stuff we do, but He also suffered in all the same ways we do!

Think about it: as God, He could have chosen to just come and die, or come live on the earth and avoid the stuff humans go through, then die.  Instead, He chose to live like we do and subject himself to all our our human suffering so that He could say to us, ‘I’ve been there and I know what you’re going through, I’m not only hurting for you, but I’ve hurt WITH you.’  Wow!  Pretty much, Jesus lived just like we do and suffered just like we do, except He didn’t sin.  Doesn’t that take His already insanely amazing love to a whole new sacrificial level?  Isn’t it twice as comforting to know that Jesus really truly understands what you’re dealing with?

I was then thinking that meant Jesus suffered every pain we experience except guilt, because He never sinned.  BUTTTT, then I realized He endured that too!  When He died on the cross, He ‘bore our sins in His body.’  So, He not only suffered the agony of guilt and separation from His Father, but He endured the guilt of ALL MANKIND.  The physical suffering He experienced must have been nothing compared to the spiritual anguish.

When we sin and are struggling with guilt, Jesus understands how we feel, not because He did anything that would deserve guilt, but because He chose to endure it for us.  Whatever you are suffering from or struggling with, take it straight to Jesus.  He doesn’t ‘just’ care, He understands because He’s BEEN THERE.  He says to approach His throne with CONFIDENCE and we will find mercy and grace when we need it most!

Praise God He doesn’t turn us away when we come crawling to Him with our pathetic sinful selves, begging for mercy and forgiveness.  ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.’ – Ephesians 2:8-9.  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!