Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Jesus knows

This theme may sound like a syrupy hymn or song, but it rings true regardless: Jesus knows; Jesus knows what we're going through. It may seem unreal or unreasonable if others heard it, but not so when the Father hears it from us. And in the person of Jesus, God knows firsthand by experience what we're going through. Even if the precise experience differs, the nature of the experience does not.

Of course in our experience sin is involved. Who can say they have no sin in a given trouble they are encountering? Jesus was the only one on the face of the earth who could always say that, though he was tempted in every way, and suffered in many ways, surely. If we're aware of sin, then we need to confess it to God, and to another, if we've openly sinned against them.

With Jesus' knowledge comes Jesus' help, we read in the book of Hebrews. Since he suffered he is able to help any who are suffering. We can trust God in Christ to see us through. It is a help that goes beyond words and knowledge, as important and helpful as that is from God. It is a help that is alongside us by the Spirit, and a help we can find in fellowship with God's people as those who are members of Christ's Body.

I sometimes especially need this myself when the weight of what I'm going through seems too much to bear. These are times when we especially need to come to God through Christ, looking to God for the help that he alone can give. When all hope seems gone this is when our real hope can be found: not in ourselves, but in God through Jesus.

18 comments:

Michel said...

The only state God cannot experience firsthand, is the state we're in after having sinned, since he has never sinned, and will/can never sin. So we are left alone in this state, with this dreadful feeling of having forsaken God. Might this not be the main reason why the Devil leads us into sin: God can't follow us there and so after having sinned, we're de facto separated from God. Until we come to the precious blood of Jesus, thus restoring our communion with God. So the real depth of sin becomes visible: it's not the 'bad' deeds we do that harm us most, but the following separation from God caused by these deeds.

joe said...

thanks for that ted. i needed to hear that this morning.

and also, while christ may have never sinned, he knows the weight of it. he bore it all. he knows how we feel when we sin, because hebore all the guilt and shame of it on the cross. my 2 cents.

peace.

NaNcY said...

"It is a help that goes beyond words and knowledge"

Ted,
these words...

God is soooo beyond us in our own words and knowledge, more powerful than anything we can even imagine.

He knows all, there is nothing that He does not know or is able to understand. we are nothing in our understanding compared to God.

there is nothing that exist in all that exists that God does not understand. we are nothing of what we think or understand, He made us.

He knows all that we experience because we are His creation.

i am so blessed to be His.

John Frye said...

Ted,
This is a great reminder of the ability of Jesus---our Great High Priest---to identify with us in our sufferings.

In some way Jesus did "become sin for us" and entered the realm that sin requires. That he did so to set us free is GRACE indeed.

L.L. Barkat said...

I have been thinking a lot lately about how we have to bear our sin without Christ, yet when He comes to us, he exchanges this burden for a light burden of grace. He becomes the sin bearer; we become the grace bearers.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Michel, Interesting thought.

I did say that Jesus didn't know the experience of sinning, and I stand by that. But the point made by others here, I hold in some way to be mysteriously true: that Christ became sin (or, a sin offering), in some way sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5).

In a real true sense I don't believe we can escape God, even in sinning (Psa 139). God keeps pursuing us in his grace. But in another real sense you're right: when we sin we do break fellowship with God. Provision is made for us in Jesus Christ to stay in fellowship even though we may sin along the way, as we endeavor to walk in the light of God, which I take to mean his truth and love (1 John 1).

Bad deeds I take to be kind of a confirmation of the badness in our hearts which makes us something less than human. God chastens or disciplines his children when we do these- in love.

Much of what you say I agree with, and when we lose the sense of God's presence and grace it is easier for the devil to get some kind of foothold in our lives.

Thanks for your interesting thought.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Joe, I think you're right. I used to take that as a given, but most certainly Jesus did feel abandoned by God on the cross. He did bear our sins in some way on the tree. He did take our judgment for us.

As to whether he actually felt like a sinner, I rather doubt it. Maybe it's more like he felt what it's like to be out of fellowship with the Father, though I rather doubt that anymore.

But indeed, it was a bleak, dark time for him. I think though he was in fellowship with his Father through it all, and that all he did on the cross was by the Spirit, as he presented himself as a perfect offering to God (Hebrews).

Ted M. Gossard said...

John, I like the way you put it. In some way, indeed, though just how I'm not sure we can know or really understand, at least not as to the depths of it.

But yes, I love the thought that Jesus as our Great High Priest identifies with us in our sufferings. Good way to put that.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., Your thought reminds me of Jesus' invitation at the end of Matthew 11. We're most often weighed down by sin, and certainly Jesus' offer there was to all, not just to disciples weighed down with this and that in the troubles of this world.

I like your thought, because Jesus is our sin-bearer, we end up being grace-bearers. Good thought.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, I don't know how I missed you in the order. I was moving right along, I do know that, and I read and appreciated, as always, your comment earlier today.

Yes, God does know all things. But even so, only through Jesus can God say that he actually became human, one of us, and so experienced what it's like to be fully human in this fallen world. And by that he helps us in a special direct, human to human way, though also not forgetting he is divine, or deity (God as well as human).

Every Square Inch said...

Hebrews offers us a wonderful picture of the Great High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses, yet is without sin.

Thanks for drawing our attention to Christ who not only came to save us but also identified with us in our weakness

NaNcY said...

that is true, God did experience being in a human body and thus became our unblemished sacrifice. He is no longer in a human body. though, since He is in all time, then i assume that He knew what it was like to be in a human body from the beginning. and since God made us...and made us in His image, i would think that He would know all about it. He knows more than we can ever figure out. He as only revieled a portion...not all to us in His word. i know that i am a little big out there in my way of seeing and not too good a conveying that in writing. but, i appreciate being able to have your comments. thanks

Michel said...

Ted,
Letting my thoughts spin some further on this topic, maybe Jesus DID experience what we experience after we have sinned. As I wrote before, the main consequence of sin being our separation from God, Jesus hanging on the cross, bearing all our iniquities also suffered separation from God when he shouted : 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' Being part of the Trinity, this separation from God must have been even more hurtful than anything we can ever comprehend and brings before my eyes in all freshness what an immense sacrifice Jesus has taken upon himself on the cross!

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI, Thanks. That reminds me of the baptism in which surely Jesus' identification with sinful humanity occurred, as well.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, If you mean Jesus is no longer in a human body like ours, yes, that's true. He is glorified and therefore he has a glorified human body. Someday we will have the same glorified human body (Philippians).

Jesus is forever human, as well as forever God.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Of course Jesus' humanity had a beginning, whereas his Deity (God-ness) did not.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Michel, I believe Jesus did indeed suffer the consequence of our sin. That he was actually separated from the Father and out of fellowship with the Father on the cross, I think that is read into his cry on the cross and into other theological paradigms: like, the holy God cannot look on sin, so he did not look on his Son when he became sin for us.

This would have been a separation in the Trinity (and I'm throwing in a theological paradigm now, myself) which is impossible.

Jesus by his death, by dying took our judgment for us. In that he bore our sins, that is by his death. Not by some excruciating experience of being sin and therefore being separated from the Father. And his cry on the cross was in the sense of going through the experience of crucifixion and seeming abandonment, in a very human way, from his Father.

You may be right, Michel, but that's my take. And I really appreciate your thoughts and take, and coming after this again.

Michel said...

Ted, your take is as good as mine. Trinity, atonement and even faith are such profound mysteries, that in our limited nature we are unable to grasp them completely. All I can do is reflect and meditate upon them and hope that in eternity the nearness of God will make everything clear. Until then, I find any thoughts and meditations that draw me closer to God and bring my life in line with Christ's precious.