Lesson 4 -- third quarter 2004
June 27, 2004
© Copyright 2004, Christian Light Publications
Hope and grace from our divine High Priest
Did Jesus have to give up some of His deity to humanize Himself? Not at all! However, He did willingly restrict the expression of some aspects of His deity in order that He might inhabit a normal human body. For example, though God neither slumbers nor sleeps, Jesus in the flesh slept. That does not disprove His deity, but rather, it illustrates one way in which He limited Himself that He might be fully human.
Now, get this: Jesus was as human as you! Even the devil recognized that; otherwise, he would not have bothered tempting the Lord. Jesus willingly clothed Himself with a body so human the devil could appeal to His senses. Imagine! Never before in eternity or in time had the devil had an opportunity of this magnitude: he could appeal to God through His own flesh. That to me constitutes just one proof of Jesus' love for me. Jesus deliberately took a weak human body so that He might experience fully the temptations the devil metes out to me. But not just that, Jesus set about to prove the possibility of defeating Satan in his own territory. That is what these verses mean to me:
"Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted" (Heb. 2:17-18).
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:15-16).
Jesus won! That means we can win also! Jesus was victorious over the devil; therefore, we can obtain His mercy and grace to do the same!
And understanding too
Until Jesus came in the flesh, both His comforts and His commands to His people could have been rejected as disconnected and idealistic. Until Jesus felt the power of the devil personally, His promises of victory could have been dismissed as hollow. But He came as a bonafide man! He CAN be "touched with the feeling of our infirmities...[and] was in all points tempted like as we" (Hebrews 4:15). The temptings He suffered make Him better "able to succour them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:18). We serve the only God "Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way..." (Hebrews 5:2). Furthermore, I infer from Hebrews 2:17 that His incarnation makes Him the "merciful and faithful high priest" we could not have had otherwise.
Jesus understands (me as well as my problems) because He is Creator. He also understands because He was once human. So . . . HE REALLY DOES UNDERSTAND!
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