“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
How incredible is this verse? Sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking of God as being very far away and detached, too holy and too perfect and too far separated from us to even have a relationship with. But, in fact, God became a man, just like us, and lived through every temptation and weakness just as we do. He faced it all, and he did it without sin. And even though he never fell into the temptations that we often do, he knows how it feels to face it, and he knows how you’re feeling. Simply put, God can relate to your pain, your temptation, and your hardships.
Often when you’re facing a hard time, people will try to make you feel better by telling you “I know how you feel.” Sometimes that is helpful, but only if they really do understand how you feel. If someone who has never faced the hardship you’re facing were to say that, it wouldn’t be sincere, and it wouldn’t help at all. I think sometimes we forget that God really does know how we feel.
Consider only the last week of Jesus’ life. He experienced betrayal, gossip, false accusations, physical pain of a magnitude most of us will never know, saying goodbye to his friends and his family as he faced his own death, and the temptation to avoid it all, to call down 12,000 angels to stop it all and take him back to heaven. He understands rejection. He understands pain. He understands loss. He understands temptation. He experienced it all, just as you and I have. And he subjected himself to it all willingly so that we could have a relationship with him. So that we could know that our God not only made us, but loves us and understands us and relates to our struggles. Luckily, he did it all without sin, that he would also be a perfect example for us to follow.
Thank you for leaving behind the glory of heaven to walk this earth as a man, to experience life as we experience it, and to live it all without sin. We are grateful that you understand us. We are grateful that you give us the grace that we need in our times of weakness. Most of all, we are thankful for your perfect life and perfect sacrifice that brings us freedom.
In Jesus’ Name,