Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the Devil — and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. Hebrews 2:14
Jesus accepted our limitations when He came to earth. He lived in the flesh and blood shell of a man and though He could have allowed the likeness to stop there, He took on all that went with it. He was willing to be hungry and thirsty. He was willing live in a body that succumbed to injury. He was willing to be weary, lonely, get His feelings hurt, and yearn for deep relationships. Just because He decided to live in human form didn’t mean He had to partake of the rest of it ~ but He did.
I am not sure I can appreciate what it was like for a perfect God, who lived in a perfect heaven, who shared perfect relationships within the Trinity, who enjoyed perfect worship from angels, to enter into the Fall and experience all the brokenness of mankind. The Creator who made the Garden a perfect paradise for His creation, the One who grieved as He outlined the specifics of what ‘paradise lost’ would mean, proceeded to live here. I can’t understand the shock, physically and emotionally, for Jesus to live in a sinful world.
Though He was like me in every way, there was one difference. He wasn’t a sinner. He was perfect, and as One perfect, I contend that He felt the imperfections all the more. Once you’ve tasted glory, anything that falls short is so much more jarring.
The older I get and the closer I get to Jesus, the more the images of this earth hurt my eyes, the more imperfect relationships feel, the more painful the contrast between the world and the kingdom. There’s a reason Jesus said to fix our eyes on Him. He is ‘home on the horizon’. Without Him as my focal point, life would swallow me up. Old age would hold nothing but disillusionment.
Instead, God is gracious to give me tastes of perfection now, glimpses of what is to come. There are moments when fellowship is the heaven-kind, moments when a friend lays down her life for me and I know it is driven by her prayer life, and so many moments when marriage and family provide a safe sanctuary that can only be explained by our faith. Jesus makes it all possible because He came, tasted the worst of it, and then died to free me from the slavery of sin and death. The shroud of hopelessness that plagues this world is not mine to wear. Though my body and soul groan for life in God’s presence, my spirit is already there. It is one with Christ, seated in heavenly places. How much of that I experience depends on how much I feed my spirit. Jesus survived this earth through His connection with His Father. My way through the wilderness depends on how much, and how often, I feed the same connection.
You once said, “Look to me and live.” In every way today holds imperfection, I will look to You, get my bearings, and step in kingdom life. Amen