Ever since I’ve become a dad I’ve learned so many new things. I have learned how little men have to do with the birth of their children, how awesome sleep really is (because I no longer get any), and how to deal with atomic bombs (a.k.a diapers). Jokes aside, being a dad has taught me a great deal. It has also helped spur on moments of time travel. Now we all know that such a thing is really impossible, however there have been moments in parenting where my interactions with my boys have acted as a flashback to moments I had with my dad (specifically moments where I would be dealing with hurt, rejection, and fear). My dad would notice something amiss and ask what's wrong and I would say something like, “Don’t worry about it. It doesn't matter, you won't understand!” My dad would just look at me, laugh and say, “try me". Then he would go on to say “Son, I’ve been there, I’ve done that. I had to go through the same thing ... I UNDERSTAND!” At that moment it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I instantly had a greater appreciation for my dad’s concerns for me because I knew I was talking to someone who had dealt with the issue with which I was dealing. My dad was someone who experienced the same thoughts and feelings I had been experiencing.
I’m also reminded of this when I read the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 17 says, “For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people". When I read this I remember how Jesus gets it. Just like my dad, Jesus understands. He was a human in the exact same way you and I are, meaning he had to go through the exact same things we do. It wasn’t easy for Jesus just because he was God’s son; it may have actually been much harder. He was rejected, he experienced hurt, and he was tempted just like us. He understands what it’s like to be in our shoes. I hope we are able to gain a greater appreciation for Jesus’ sacrifice for us. I hope we are able to gain a greater appreciation for Jesus’ concerns for each of us as we spend time talking to him, realizing that he has been there and done that. Realizing this may make it easier for you to open up to Him. Open up to Him more today as you realize that he is there for you in whatever mess you are dealing with. In fact, He’s been there. Done that.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being willing to be that perfect sacrifice, for being the only option for us to know freedom from sin. Thank you for the chance to experience a life in heaven with you and your Father. Thank you for not just snapping your fingers and fixing everything, but instead humbling yourself by coming to this filthy place and walking the same path that we have to walk. Thank you for being willing to experience the hurt, the pain, and the suffering for all of us. Thank you for being holy at the same time. Thank you for being able to overcome all the sin and temptations we aren’t always able to overcome. Help us as we face temptations to remember you are there for us and we can overcome in your power. Help us not to forget that you know what it’s like to be in our shoes. We pray these things in your Son’s name, amen.
“To me this is like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.
So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
never to rebuke you again.
Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises.”
“I will put my trust in him.”
And again he says,
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.