Perfect God, Perfect Man - 16 April 2020
By Louise Gevers
- Hebrews 12:2-3
2Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right-hand side of God's throne.
3Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3
“Consider him … so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” urges the writer of Hebrews. Focusing on Jesus and the events of His last week on earth as He approaches the cross gives us a sense of the struggle He endured, as man and God, which can encourage us. When times are hard we can trust Jesus to understand us and intercede for us with God, our Father, because He is able “to sympathise with our weaknesses” because He “has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
We’re confronted by two things: His awareness of the sin that separates a human being from a Holy God, and His humanity that identifies Him as one of us and brings us closer to Him because He understands our situation. In the week leading up to His death He showed the seriousness of the effects of sin when He cursed the fig tree, symbolic of Israel, for not having fruit. He also cleansed the temple of merchants and money-changers and He spoke parables of judgment against those who had rejected the prophets God had sent and who were about to kill His Son.
As God, Perfect in His love for creation, He became the only acceptable sacrifice to save the world from sin and He opened the way to salvation for all, making the cleansed temple “a house of prayer for all nations”. (Mark 11:17)
As a man, He experienced the struggle against the power of temptation and evil in all its deception and pain; He, too, knew the frustration of being misunderstood and opposed by unjust, unrighteous people and the agony and humiliation of the cross. When we consider Jesus, we are inspired by His single-minded purpose of redemption, never allowing suffering to deter Him or take away His will to endure.
When our focus is on Jesus and on what He can do through us at this crucial time, wherever we may be in our lives, and not on ourselves and the obstacles in our way, we will find inspiration, faith and strength to persevere no matter how difficult our conditions. The perfect man who completed His mission on earth is now with God in heaven.
Will you turn to Him in your time of need?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are perfect in every way. Thank You for coming to earth as a man to identify with us and understand our condition. Help me to focus on You at this time, to be encouraged by Your love and grace and remain unwavering in my purpose. Amen