Son of God. Messiah. Savior and Lord.
We often think of Jesus as divine, special and perfect. Rightly so–He is all of those things.
But today–the Thursday of Holy Week–is the day that we see Jesus’ humanity in full display also.
After all, we know that Jesus knew what was coming. He knew this would be the last day with His disciples, He knew that He would be betrayed by Judas, and He knew that the next day, He would be rejected by His own people and crucified by the Romans. In spite of that knowledge, He continued moving toward His goal–carrying out the divine assignment He’d been given.
At this last supper, He continued teaching–among other things, teaching the ‘New Commandment’ to “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another.” (John 13:34). He spoke of the New Covenant–based on His body and blood now (not based on Old Covenant sacrifice).
All of these things–the relentless drive toward fulfillment of His mission in spite of the knowledge of what was coming–are things we attribute to His divine nature. After all, this is SUPERNATURAL love…not ‘normal‘.
Yet, it was later–after the ‘last supper’ together, that we see Jesus’ humanity coming out.
We read about it in Matthew 26, Mark 14, and Luke 22, and in those passages, we see that Jesus was struggling.
“And He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” 35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might [o]pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:34-36). Jesus is calling out to His Father, asking Him to take it from Him–to do it another way, if possible. Yet even then, He affirmed His willingness to obey God’s will.
In Luke 22, we read that, in response, the Father sent an Angel to minister to Him. “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:43-44)
Then, in Matthew 26, we read, “He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)
Here’s my point: We forget sometimes that Jesus was fully God and fully Man. For Him to go to His own crucifixion was gut-wrenchingly hard–even though He knew it had to be done, and He knew why. Jesus was a human being, and He had a self-preservation instinct as we all do.
YET, in spite of that, He willingly followed His Father’s will and plan.
Why? Because of Love. Love for the Father, and love for us.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
Jesus’ love for all was powerful enough to enable Him to overcome His own anxieties, fears, and desires…and to submit Himself to the Father’s divine, perfect will, so that we could have forgiveness in His name, and eternal life with him.
“And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!” (Philippians 4:8)
What, then, is our correct response toward Jesus:?
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 4:9-11)
Let us praise and thank Jesus even more, because we remember that He overcame his own human struggles–including life-and-death struggles–and willingly died for us on the cross.
Let us praise Him as THE One and Only one who is worthy of our praise.
And let us ‘bow our knees’ and use our tongues to confess and proclaim that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of God the Father!
It is JESUS!
The Name above ALL!