Jesus was a human being.
I remember talking to my boys about the mysterious reality of Jesus being fully God, and fully human. I remember talking to them about how impossibly wonderful it was that Jesus descended to earth - how He willingly gave up His rights as God to become one of us.
How He entered into mortal cells and a dying body.
How He felt everything we feel, went through the same experiences - how He got hungry and had to eat, how He got sad and had to cry, how He felt happy and had to laugh.
I remember those boys letting that sink in.
I'll never forget one time though when one of them asked, "Did Jesus have to go to the bathroom?" (I'm sorry - I had boys...)
My first inclination was to reprimand the question. But then I realized that it wasn't said in sarcasm. My son was sincere - he really wanted to know. Did Jesus really and truly feel EVERYTHING I do?
I remember letting that sink into my thinking.
"Well, yes," I answered. "Jesus went to the bathroom."
I'm pondering that thought anew today. Well, not the *bathroom* part of it - but the real human part of it. The part that I think I've taken for granted - that Jesus really DID feel it all - every aspect of being human.
He was just like you and me.
Well, yes and no.
For one thing, we have never known anything else but corrupted humanity. A humanity that is victimized by sin, and under the curse of death. A body that gets hungry and thirsty, that needs to eat and drink to stay alive. A body that gets sick, feels pain, grows weary, and must sleep.
Jesus entered into that whole mess.
What was it like to be a Person who had always existed to have to suddenly become mortal - subject to all the infirmities of humanity? What was it like to feel pain in a Body that had never before felt anything like it? What was it like to have to do things to stay alive? What did sleeping and eating and being sick feel like?
I've had a lot of physical pain in the last two months, and I am newly appreciating the fact that Jesus felt body pain, too. And it was physical pain - a weary body and aching joints and a headache, a stomachache, sore feet - pain He had never before had to feel. He got cold and hot and shivery and sweaty. Did He have nightmares?
I wonder about these things.
(And for the record, I think about the good stuff too - dancing and running and jumping - petting animals, climbing a tree, giving a hug - stuff like that - what did Jesus think about all that?!).
I guess I've just never really taken the time to really think what it was like for Jesus to come into this world as a human being - to think how much He had to feel for the VERY FIRST TIME.
He could have come as God - (He did, but you know what I mean...) The burning bush seemed pretty effective. And the fireworks on Mt. Sinai got everyone's attention. So, He probably didn't need to take on human form to bring a message to us. But you see, He had to come as a human being because He was the only human being ever born to die.
"Because God's children are human beings - made of flesh and blood - the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying." (Hebrews 2:14-15, emphasis mine)
Boy, let that sink in.
He became a human so He could die.
Now, the other thing that strikes me about Jesus is this - He probably could have just appeared as a human being, all fully grown at about 30 years old. He could have entered humanity as an adult. But He didn't...
In an absolutely incredible act of humility - He became a cell, an embryo, a fetus, a baby who was born. This boggles my mind.
And sometimes I wonder about this - I don't have any memories before the age of about 4. It occurs to me that those early years belong to my mom. They are HER memories of me, apart from the ME that I know. Did Jesus remember His earliest years? Or did those years belong to Mary alone? Perhaps those days were in her thoughts when the Bible says that she pondered things in her heart.
And, being a mother, I wonder this - because no matter how old our children get, they are still our babies, aren't they? Did Mary see her baby up on that cross?
Friends, these are just random ramblings and ponderings that I've been having about the very real humanity of Jesus.
He was born to feel the limitations and pains of being human...for the first time. He had to take care of His body...for the first time. He felt new sensations - some pleasant, some horrible...for the first time.
He was a mother's baby, toddler, child, teenager - someone's older brother, someone's friend.
He was real.
And He can relate to us in every aspect of our humanity because He chose to feel it all. From birth to death. In a strictly human sense, He was also the Alpha and the Omega - He lived from beginning to end.
I am captivated by Jesus.
The One who became like me to understand me...
...the One who became like me to save me.
"The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we're telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us." (From 1 John 1:1-2, MSG)
"[Jesus] had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death..." (From Philippians 2:5-8, MSG)
So, what do you ponder about the humanity of Jesus?
Won't you join me and visit Joan at "SHARING HIS BEAUTY"!!
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"