25 March 2012

Our Empathetic Captain

Everyone has one of those moments every once in a while when something is said that challenges, rebukes, stirs or encourages you in a very unique way. Sometimes its something that is well known that you didn't know, something people would be surprised to find out had a special impression upon you because its so common. Sometimes its something you already knew that comes to you afresh. But that's how God's word works.

The last time this happened to me was when I came across Ezekiel 33. Every Christian should know Ezekiel 33. Verses 1 through 9 struck me like a blow between the eyes. I wrote something about it, click here to read it.

Well, it happened again. This time during tonight's sermon on Hebrews 2:9-13. The preacher, James Williamson, spoke of why Jesus needed to be an empathetic Saviour. He couldn't save us from heaven, He had to come down. He had to walk in our shoes and experience what we experience and so become our 'perfected' Captain of our salvation.

"I can't imagine what you must be going through," is a statement we often hear being said or say ourselves. And when someone says it to us, we often think, "No you can not." But that statement can never escape the lips of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Have you been sick or taken care of a loved one who was? Jesus knows what that is like. Whether or not He ever fell sick, I don't know and doubt, but how many came to Him bringing the sick? Even His disciple's mother (Peter's mother) was once sick. He knew what it meant.

Have you lost a loved one? Jesus knows the most painful, yet physically painless, feeling that death brings, the pain of losing a loved one. Jesus knows what that is like. He lost a beloved friend and even though He knew He would raise him from the dead, He wept.

Have you suffered for following Christ? Jesus knows what that is like. No one can dispute that.

Are you living in poverty? Jesus said, "Foxes have holes, birds have nests but [I] don't even have a place to lay My head." Abject poverty.

Have you been rejected by a young lady or ignored by a young man? Jesus was never rejected or ignored in that particular way, but He understands. He too face rejection and He too was ignored.

Do you feel like no one understands? If anyone felt that way, it was Jesus. He was on a divine mission on earth and even His closest friends could not comprehend what lay ahead of Him. There was no one He could sit down with face to face and have them sympathize with Him.

Are you homeless, broke, lacking food or clothes, a victim of theft, jobless, friendless, betrayed, forsaken, feeling inadequate, poor, sad, lonely or distressed? Jesus knows what that is like. He understands. No wonder He intercedes for us night and day. No wonder no one was better placed to die for us, because He wore human flesh and felt what we feel.

What a blessed thought to think that my Saviour knows. No matter what I go through, He knows. It has been a blessing to me. I hope it blesses you too!