A Holy Angst
In this Holy Week, we see Jesus set His face resolutely to finish the work He came to do. Jesus knew He would die a horrible death, yet He did not shrink back, but He did experience a holy angst.
Sometimes I think I forget how difficult facing the cruel death on a cross must have been – that somehow, even though human, the Son of God would not experience the angst, horror, or fear of knowing how He would die. Then we see Jesus in the Garden –
They came at length to a garden called Gethsemane.Mark 14:32 – 36 VOICE
Jesus: Stay here. I’m going a little farther to pray and to think.
He took Peter, James, and John with Him; and as they left the larger group behind, He became distressed and filled with sorrow.
Jesus: My heart is so heavy; I feel as if I could die. Wait here for Me, and stay awake to keep watch.
He walked on a little farther. Then He threw Himself on the ground and prayed for deliverance from what was about to come.
Jesus: Abba, Father, I know that anything is possible for You. Please take this cup away so I don’t have to drink from it. But whatever happens, let Your will be done—not Mine.
Made Like Us, Fully Human
As the author of Hebrews reiterates, Jesus had to be made like us, fully human in every way, so that He could become our merciful and faithful high priest, making atonement for the sins of the people, our sins!
When we read the gospels, we get a sense of Jesus’ humanity.
- Hunger, Mark 11:12
- Grief, sorrow, tears, John 11:35
- Anger, Mark 3:5
- Exhaustion, John 4:6
- Compassion, Matthew 9:36
- Frustration, Matthew 16:8
Max Lucado expresses Jesus’ humanity poetically –
Jesus was angry enough to purge the temple,On Calvary’s Hill, pg 41
distraught enough to weep in public,
fun-loving enough to be called a drunkard,
winsome enough to attract kids,
weary enough to sleep in a storm-bounced boat,
poor enough to sleep on dirt,
radical enough to get kicked out of town,
responsible enough to care for his mother,
tempted enough to know the smell of Satan, and
fearful enough to sweat blood.
Our Response to Jesus’ Humanity
Rereading the Gospels this week reminds me that Jesus came to earth to experience the same human feelings, same emotions, same temptations as I do. He did that so that He could take my place – to be the perfect sacrifice for my sin. Today I weep for my callousness, lack of gratitude, and praise for the amazing work of sacrifice and grace given on my behalf.
We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.Hebrews 4:15 MSG
Dear Jesus, we humbly bow before you in gratitude for your mercy and grace towards us. That you would suffer horribly for us undoes me. And that not only did you suffer for me, but that you now invite me boldly into your throne room as your child – what a gift!
Thank you that you chose me to be your child, that you still run to me when I need you, and never leave me to my own devices. Draw me close to you, Lord Jesus. May I ever live in your presence, seeking your help, choosing your way. Amen.
While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do. Then, having arrived at the full stature of his maturity … he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him.Hebrews 5:7-10 MSG