5 May 2021
We have seen that we are justified not only by the death of Christ but also by the life of Christ. Jesus fulfilled all the demands of the Law and His active obedience to the Father was unblemished and perfect. His righteousness is communicated to us believers by imputation and we are then deemed righteous before God.
We need however to remember that Jesus, when He was on earth, was fully man. As a man, Jesus was noted to know hunger (Matt. 4:2); He was thirsty (John 4:7); He was tired (Luke 8:P23) and He expressed emotional pain (John 11:35). As fully man, He encountered all that human beings encountered on earth, including going through difficulties and pain in meeting temptations, misunderstanding from others as well as physical trials. Yet throughout all these and throughout all His years on earth, He was sinless, without sin. Jesus, incarnated as a man, chose not to exercise His divine power and attributes in order to live within the limitations of being truly human. He was truly God and truly man; yet as a man, He did not use His divine power to live as the ‘perfect man’, but depended wholly on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to obey His Father consistently, flawlessly, and to fulfil His mission, and to live the life of a man in a manner that truly pleases God.
Jesus opted to experience the world through the limitations He took upon Himself in order to be fully man even though HIs divine attributes were still present in Him but not voluntarily exercised by Him. As such, He experienced time and space events within the confines of a normal human being and became the perfect example of how a man should live before God. He showed us what is possible in a human life, how we may exceed the limitations of our humanness to fulfil God’s desire for us against all odds in life. He demonstrated for us how a human being is intended to live in God’s eyes.
When we reflect on what Jesus did for the sons and daughters of fallen Adam, how wonderful they are! He who is the eternal God – He who made the world and all that it contains – He from whose hands the fruits of the earth, the fish of the sea, the fowls of the air, the beasts of the fields, all had their beginning – He, even He, was pleased to suffer hunger, thirst, pain when He came into the world to save sinners.
When we ponder over these, it should teach us Christ’s power to sympathise and empathise with His believing people on earth. He knows their sorrows by experience; He can be touched with the feeling of their infirmities. He has had experience of a body and its daily wants and needs; He has suffered Himself the severe sufferings that the body of man is liable to; He has tasted pain, weakness, weariness, hunger and thirst. When we tell Him of these things in our prayers, even the ‘struggles’ in the midst of the viral pandemic, the agony or relationship ‘breakdowns’, the misunderstandings of fellow believers, He knows what we mean, and He is no stranger to our troubles. Surely this is just the Saviour and Friend that poor, aching, groaning, human nature requires! Even now, at the right hand of the Father, He is interceding for us, defending us from the accusations of the enemy, vindicating us before the Father in the light of His death and life on our behalf. Never ever doubt that He does not care and that He does not understand – this is the most grievous response a believer can make if he or she appreciates fully what our Saviour, Master and Friend we have in Jesus!
May the Lord enable us to meditate on the breadth, height, length and depth of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father and the love of the Holy Spirit. Remember that the triune God is involved in the plan and execution of our salvation; the Father and Son, with the Holy Spirit, went to the cross together for us, and the triune God, were, and are in unison in reaching out to the fallen human race when nothing else and no one else can undo the damage and tragedy of the sin and sins of men and women before a holy and just God.
Indeed “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life…Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:16,18).
Friends and brethren, how can we escape if we reject and deny so great a salvation?