Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Humanity of Jesus

One has to be careful when discussing this subject. We cannot get so caught up in the fact that Jesus was a human, that we fail to remember that Jesus was the Messiah- the Anointed Son of God, and equal to God the Father. But He also was and is human. His birth and earthly life was quite a humbling experience as we read in Phil. 2:5-8.

I want to look at one incident which shows us so clearly His humanity and is also a part of Him that we should try to pattern ourselves after. Don't forget that Jesus is not only our blessed Redeemer, but also should be an example for us so that we may accurately walk in His steps, as Peter mentions in his first epistle (2:21).
The incident I am referring to is the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35,'Jesus wept.' It is just a simple statement of fact and for so many years I would read that, and heard many sermons preached about it, but until recently, it never hit home to me personally. Why did the Holy Spirit inspire John to pen these two words? What was so special about the fact that Jesus wept?

This is during the miracle when Jesus delays His coming to heal His sick friend Lazarus, who dies because of the delay. When Jesus comes to Bethany, He is met by Martha, Lazarus' sister, and later by Mary. As they journey to the gravesite, Jesus weeps. He knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, so why would He cry over His dead friend? Until I lost my father to cancer a couple years ago, it puzzled me. So why do we weep when loved ones we know are no longer suffering, but are in Heaven? I was rejoicing over the fact that my father, who served His Savior for 60 years, was now in His presence and receiving his reward and commendation. But I also wept. Why? Because I am human, and as humans we grieve when someone we love deeply dies. And that is why Jesus wept. He really loved His friend, Lazarus, loved him more than we ever could. Yes, He knew that very soon His friend would stumble from the grave alive and well. But for now Lazarus was dead and Jesus cried with Mary and Martha.

What a wonderful picture of a loving man and merciful God! This is so comforting. To think that Jesus, the Creator of the world not only knows our cares and grief, but also can and does grieve with us. A couple weeks ago a young Christian client lost his wife and 15 month-old son in a car accident. He is only 26 years old and has been married for only three years. What a tragic loss, to go to work on a bright Tuesday morning and come home to an empty house. What had he done to deserve such a blow? I spoke with Clint's boss, who reminded me that Job didn't know why God allowed him to suffer like he did. We may not understand why God allows things to happen - but we must trust that God does not inflict pain frivolously, and because He loves us, let us also remember that Jesus not only is grieving with Clint, but on his spiritual journey, this is one of those times that Jesus is not walking with him, but in His strong, loving arms, Jesus is carrying a grieving, sorrowful man, who has lost so much.

Yes, it is good to rejoice with those who rejoice. But as we weep with those who weep, may we remember our Savior weeps as well. When we go through the valleys of life, Jesus is there, caring for us more deeply than we can imagine. Although we may not understand why bad things happen to good people, we can trust that God knows, and He is good, all the time.