Guest contributor: Reuben Jones
Sometimes I wonder why did Jesus go through His human passion for us even though He was divine? Sometimes we try to understand the mind of God, which of course is an impossibility; however as a man this is one of those things I have decided to analyze to death; that’s our job as men isn’t it?
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are His judgments and how unsearchable His ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been His counselor?”
A major assumption I will make for this piece is that Jesus may not have known what actual human feelings and emotions felt like until He became human like us.
God is pure Love and all knowing. Jesus is His Holy Son; and the Holy Spirit is the Advocate. Three persons in one God. All three persons are pure love and all knowing before we existed. Jesus, prior to His incarnation, had to know about the human physical feelings of being vulnerable; being fearful, and suffering pain because He created us.
Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
Once Jesus was incarnated by God’s authority and humanly born of the Virgin Mary, He willfully entered into our human experience, both as God and as human. Although He was God, He humbly chose to not use His power to overcome the disappointment, sorrow, abandonment and death into which He was just born. Jesus Christ now was part of our nature with a mission to reconcile the past, present and future sins of the world which provides to us the path for our salvation.
For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin.from Gaudium et Spes #22
Pope Paul VI – December 7, 1965
So how much did Jesus love us? While it it hard for me to imagine that any human life could live in perfect sinless harmony –divinely speaking, Jesus’ life was perfect before being with us. Perfect meaning a life of peace and love.
Scripture reveals many of the human emotions He experienced. Jesus experienced sorrow with the death of His friend Lazarus, (John 11:32-35). Therefore, when Martha came where Jesus was, she saw Him and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus therefore saw her weeping and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled and said “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Sir, come and see.” Jesus wept.
Jesus also experienced human surprise when the hemorrhagic woman touched His cloak and was healed of her illness. He experienced impatience and disappointment when the Apostles weren’t “getting it.” He experienced rage when turning over the money changers tables at the temple of His father. He experienced abandonment when Peter denied him three times and when the disciples scattered after He was arrested to begin His Passion of His Cross.
He freely chose to go through our human experience yet He did not have to. Because He was all-knowing, He knew of His undeserved death and also of His future Resurrection – all items He predicted and proclaimed to His disciples.
An amazing thing for me to ponder regarding His love for us was that despite all that He knew, as His time came to be handed over to be judged, mocked, beaten and crucified, Jesus actually and genuinely expressed His fear of knowing what He was having to go through and still He allowed it to happen! “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
I know of many deceased friends and family that had expressed their fear of their approaching death and I am sure there are many of you who think about that also. However the reality is that we will all face this similar moment, in its time, when the Kingdom of God will be at hand for each of us. Let us pray for the thousands of our brothers and sisters who will experience the Kingdom and Judgment of God today.
No one in human History can understand this love except Christ who came from pure love and perfection. No one in the history of the universe and time was capable of saving us but Jesus the Christ.
Jesus decided to experience human death despite His divinity, despite the mental and physical and painful death, because He loves us and wanted to spiritually fulfill His Father’s will just as His mother fulfilled the Father’s will for His birth. Jesus was uniquely the only one who could do this for humanity.
So is there is an analogy or gauge of how to equate how much physical pain and anguish Jesus felt the when He was scourged, mocked and beaten and crucified on a cross until He took His last suffocating breath? Going back to my assumption I noted earlier that Jesus may not have known what actual human feelings and emotions felt like until He became human… I can only imagine that the experience of His pain was quite intensive for one who came from perfection, peace and love.
To equate this from a human point of view: maybe it is like when a small innocent child, who experiences for the very first time, real physical pain (as a result of a spanking, banging the head on something or getting cut or wounded). Immediately they cry uncontrollably because they had never before experienced any type of pain like that up to that early point in their lives. Jesus’ physical pain was exponentially worse than this and anything we have experienced. He expressed this as He cried out on the Cross: “My God, My God why have you forsaken me”!
And That my brothers and sisters is how much Jesus loved us!
For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,
We thank you Jesus for Your life, Your passion, death and resurrection. We are indebted to the pain and suffering you experienced for us, although you are God. We thank you for the love and mercy you have shown to us and pray that we may repent and reform our lives. We surrender the end of our lives into Your Hands and look beyond any pain and suffering we may experience.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor? Or who has given him anything that he may be repaid?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.