This past Sunday we explored the high priesthood of Jesus and the radical ways His incarnation has affected His ability to relate to us. As we explored what it means that Jesus has been tempted in every respect as we are and yet without sin, I offered a broad description of Christ’s experiences by which He has drawn so utterly near to us in our trials. For those wondering if Christ can relate to you in your suffering, consider the following:

      1. Christ knows what it’s like to be called out of rest, joy and comfort…and enter into a pain-filled…broken…and sin-cursed world.
      2. Christ was born into poverty and the suspicion of an illegitimate birth.
      3. There were tremendous expectations placed upon him from his youth
      4. Jesus knows what it’s like to live in the reality that something may not have been your fault but horrible things happened because of you. He lived with the fact that a king killed a bunch of other children, in an effort to kill him.
      5. Jesus’ family heard his words and thoughts and they thought he had lost his mind.
      6. Jesus saw people he loved, relatives and friends…die and he wept over them.
      7. The people of his hometown, his friends and neighbors, rejected him and his message, and tried to shove him off a cliff.
      8. During the course of his ministry, he found it almost impossible to get time alone to pray or even to grieve the death of his cousin.
      9. Jesus was homeless…most of us have no concept for how nerve wracking it is to try and fall asleep when you are exposed and unprotected. When there is no door between you and someone who might want to harm you or steal from you. There is only the hope that GOd will wake you up before something terrible happens. 
      10. Jesus was single, and had to deal with all of the normal bodily temptations that accompany singleness
      11. Jesus was pressured by crowds to do things he didn’t want to do. You don’t think Jesus can sympathize with your temptations? Jesus lived these things…yet without sin.
      12. Jesus wept with sorrow over the sinfulness of the people he loved. Jesus watched the people he cared about make choices that broke his heart…Jerusalem Jerusalem…how I have longed to gather you like a chick under my wings. Jesus understands…
      13. Jesus understood that his words and actions were going to introduce irreparable divisions into some households. I”ve not come to bring peace but a sword…to divide father from mother and sister from brother. 
      14. As the Lord went about trying to do good, a lot of people he served…didn’t care about Jesus, only what they could get from him.
      15. Jesus spent all of his earthly life, misunderstood. NO one really understood until he rose from death…even sweet precious faithful, Mary, expected to find a crucified corpse in Jesus’ tomb
      16. He was constantly dealing with people who didn’t understand the Scripture or how it applied, and were unwilling to humble themselves to be taught by them.
      17. Jesus went hungry and thirsty
      18. Jesus was tempted by the devil, in the most alluring possible ways.
      19. Jesus was mocked
      20. Jesus was laughed at
      21. Jesus was betrayed by a close friend…you don’t think Jesus can sympathize with your weaknesses?
      22. Jesus was criticized for the things he did
      23. Jesus was marginalized by those with power
      24. Some people hated Jesus for trying to obey His God.
      25. Jesus was called a false teacher, a blasphemer and a liar
      26. Jesus was accused of being empowered by the devil
      27. Jesus saw his Father’s sacred house…one of the most precious things to Him… desecrated, by those who saw the appearance of godliness as a means for personal gain.
      28. His friends forgot to pray for Him
      29. His friends fell asleep on the night he was betrayed
      30. Jesus was called by God to obey in the face of unbelievable pain and sacrifice
      31. Jesus was falsely accused, and wrongly condemned for a crime he didn’t commit.
      32. Jesus was physically tortured and physically abused, and publicly humiliated.
      33. Jesus heard one of his closest friends deny that he even knew him as he was being pounded into the dirt.
      34. Jesus was stripped naked and made a spectacle for the crowds. 
      35. Christ was nailed to a cross for other peoples sins.
      36. Christ did not sin…but entered into the full experience of the shame of our sin…the weight of the guilt of our sin…and the wrath and forsakenness due to us for our sins because He desired to redeem us from our sins.

Brothers and sisters, you do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with your weaknesses. Draw near therefore with confidence to His throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in your times of need.