It has been rightly said that the history of the world hinges on a stable door in Bethlehem. The birth of Jesus in a little stable in Bethlehem forever changed the history of the world. Jesus was God with skin on, walking among us and showing us what God is like. He was not a man who became God, which is impossible, but God who became a man.
Make no mistake about it: though He was God, He also was fully man. Philippians 2:6-7 tells us that Jesus, "being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness" (NIV). He accepted all of the limitations of humanity except sin itself. Jesus experienced the physical emotions that we experience as well as the divine limitations.
Jesus grew tired like any other human being, because He lived in a human body. John 4:6 tells us that when He went to Samaria where He met the woman at the well, He was weary from the journey. He got tired just like we do.
Jesus experienced physical thirst. When He was on the cross, He cried out, "I thirst." He could have simply spoken, and a fountain of water would have gushed out of the earth, yet He experienced the physical limitation of being thirsty. He also knew physical hunger after fasting for 40 days and nights in the wilderness (see Matthew 4:2).
Jesus experienced physical weakness. As He was on His way to Calvary after having His back ripped open with the Roman cat-o'-nine-tails, causing a radical loss of blood, He fell under the weight of the cross. When He hung on the cross and said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit" (Luke 23:46) and died, He experienced death like any human would experience it.
Jesus knew anger, but we might classify it as righteous indignation. It wasn't the same anger we have. God's anger is a righteous anger, which we see demonstrated in the Gospels. We read that on one occasion, Jesus went into the outer area of the temple and started turning over the tables of the moneychangers and vendors. He took out a whip and started driving them out, saying, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves' " (Matthew 21:13 NKJV).
Jesus felt deep sorrow as well. We see Jesus experiencing a broad range of human emotions in the story of the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead (see John 11). Jesus was the friend of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. As He saw them weeping over the death of Lazarus, He wept (:35).
Hebrews 4:15-16 says, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (NKJV). Talk about having friends in high places. The Bible is saying that you are not serving a God who is disinterested in you. You are not serving a God who doesn't know what it is like to literally walk in your shoes. So you can go boldly to the throne of grace and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus Christ, who was God in human form, never lived for a moment outside of the perfect will of God. He never gave in to a temptation. He never had an impure thought. He never did one wrong thing. He never displeased His Father in the smallest matter. He was flawless. He was sinless. He was perfect.
So why did Jesus come to earth as God in human form? Was it to give us the ultimate teachings ever? No. Though they were the greatest teachings ever given, He came here for more than that. Did Jesus come to set the perfect example of how a man or woman should live? He came to do that and much more. Did Jesus walk this earth merely to do miracles and heal people? While He always reached out to people in need, that was not His primary purpose.
C. S. Lewis said it well: "The Son of God became a man that men might become sons of God." God became a man so that you might become God's child. Now that is something worth celebrating.
What does Esther have in common with Rahab? Or Ruth with Tamar? They seem like diametrically opposed personalities. Shannon Bream gives insightful answers to those questions in her new book. We will mail you a copy when you make a donation of any amount to Harvest Ministries today!