,

HE KNOWS

As I read my Bible this new, January morning, I came across a passage that speaks of much suffering: Matthew 26, the days (and nights) leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion.

I read of how Jesus’ death was foretold by Himself, and it dawned on me: Jesus lived life knowing He was going to suffer greatly, and die.

Now, I understand: No one wants to read a post about Christ’s death and suffering on New Years Day, a day chalk full of new life, new beginnings, and new hope. Yet, it is Jesus who said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels–a plentiful harvest of new lives(John 12:24, NLT). It is in Christ’s death, and resurrection, that we as humankind can have any sort of Hope for a truly new life, at all.

At the same time, as people are celebrating the New Year, they are also plagued with the realities of living another day on planet Earth: Boko Haram has ravaged tens of thousands of people’s lives, including the parents of the 113 captive remaining Chibok schoolgirls. A news report from last night even read that 5,247 Muslims have been killed by Boko Haram in the past four years, alone (source)

It’s with these things in mind, that I wanted to share what Christ had me read, today.

Jesus was hated, and He knew it more than anyone else on the planet.

Jesus knew how it felt to be completely misunderstood, and surrounded by fake love. 

Jesus had much conflict in His life, and knew how it felt to have to face it head on.

More than any other human, Jesus knew how it felt to have friends that go back on their word.

Jesus felt the heavy sorrow of being alone, even amidst a crowd of friends.

Jesus knew how it felt to grapple with the Father’s will for His Life, more than any other person on Earth.

He knew how it felt to be surrounded by fallen, sinful mankind.

Jesus knows how it feels to be marginalized, de-humanized, abused, and humiliated.

Jesus knows how it feels to be wrongly murdered– having family and loved ones to grieve in His absence (Mark 16).

 

Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest (Jesus Christ) who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin” (“Jesus Christ” in parentheses, mine). This list of Jesus’ life could go on and on. In fact, I encourage you to take some time today, and read of Jesus’ Life with this goal in mind: To focus on what He went through, and how He understands where you are in life. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, and whatever you’re going through, God not only knows from watching you go through it; He, Jesus Christ, knows because He lived it, personally. Jesus does not only know what you are going through; He, the God of All Comfort, wants to comfort, love, guide, and help you through it (Psalm 68:19).

Jesus knows you. He Loves you. And, from the smallest hurt or pain to death itself, He completely understands what you are going through. He wants to help you through it.

As Muslims and Christians alike are being murdered by Boko Haram, let us pray that those who are Muslim realize who Jesus truly is: That He is truly God, perfect in Holiness, and truly man, entering into their world. And that, most of all, His death and resurrection are not just proof of His deity, but proof of His Love for them. It is in His death alone that they can have new, eternal life (John 12:24).

(1) http://www1.cbn.com/medical-view-of-the-crucifixion-of-jesus-christ



Do you know Jesus?

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels–a plentiful harvest of new lives.”
(John 12:24, NLT)

In Matthew 26, as Jesus is kissed by Judas and arrested, His disciple Simon Peter takes out a sword, and lops the ear off of one of the soldiers arresting Jesus.
Instead of applauding Simon Peter for trying to protect Him, Jesus rebukes Simon Peter.

“‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?’”
(Matthew 26:52-53, NIV)

The Truth is, Jesus did not have to suffer these things. At any moment, He could have stopped His suffering, forsaking God the Father’s plan for human redemption. But He didn’t.

Jesus suffered, and died, willingly— that you and I might be able to know Him personally, and be saved from eternal damnation (2 Thessalonians 1), all because He Loves You.

Learn more about this God, who chose to suffer and die for you and I, here.


Please pray for…

Thank you for your prayers!

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