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A Suffering Savior

"For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted" (Hebrews 2:18).

The opening chapters of the book of Hebrews provide a special insight into the nature of God the Son. He is not a created being, subject to the slow decay of time that all mortals must suffer. Nor is He some superior angel, favored by God and elevated to a higher status. He is God Himself, the Creator of the world, the one who rules over all things.

But He has also borne human flesh. God the Son came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, bringing with Him the exact nature of God. All humans bear the image of God, but only Jesus is God. While He lived on earth, He surrendered many of His divine rights for a time, but that made Him no less God. He was begotten, not created. Though He looked like any other man, He was in truth God Himself come to earth.

Being a human meant that He was subject to human weaknesses. This is one of the most beautiful truths of Christianity: that our God understands exactly what it is like to suffer. Jesus knew what it was to be hungry, to be exhausted, to be in pain, to be rejected, to be humiliated, to be killed. He knew what it was to be temped to sin. He experienced everything that we do.

But the difference between us is that Jesus never did anything wrong.

This is where the beauty lies! We cannot do what is right. We are hardwired to do wrong, craving wickedness down to our rotten cores. Even when we try to resist temptation, we usually fail. We are weak, and we suffer for our weakness.

But God the Son took on human flesh to live a perfect life and die a sinless death so that, when He came back to life, He could do in us what we could never achieve on our own. He does not despise our weakness, for He knows exactly what it is to be weak. No, He gives us His own strength to overcome those weaknesses.

He who bears the wounds of the world stands ready to strengthen us in our weakness.

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