Who, being in the 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. –
Did you ever get in pinching matches as a child or am I the only odd man out? When we were kids we’d begin playing a game of some sort and when someone would cheat or make another kid mad, they would get pinched. That person would in turn “pinch back” and then the battle to hurt each other began. The challenge was who could last the longest. My sibling neighbors used to end up in slapping matches. Okay, I know this sounds odd, but it beat fist fighting!
The point is, if someone hurt you, you had to retaliate. Thank goodness, I was a child in a calmer period of time when handguns and car bombs were virtually non-existent – us kids, just pinched each other. Even toddlers play the retaliation game.
I can remember my being told, “How do you think Jesus would feel?” As a kid, my response was, “He doesn’t know how it feels to be pinched really hard.”
The fact of the matter is, He does know how it feels. Jesus may not have gone through a pinching match with his best friend but He certainly knows the agony of brutal pain. I am often amazed to think that God sent His Son in human form and allowed Him to undertake one of the most horrible things a human could go through. Oh, Jesus – of all people – knew what it was like.
What amazes me more about Jesus is, He could have used His holy power and did not. In fact, it wasn’t an option for Him. He never came close to considering holy intervention. Even as He suffered the pain of torture and the hopelessness of the cross, Jesus never looked for an easy way out. Better than any of us, Jesus understands what it feels like to be human, to be hurt, frustrated, and yes, even betrayed.
So many times, we feel as though we suffer our battles alone and that no one could possibly understand our pain. We’re wrong. Christ understands the pain and He longs to offer us comfort. Our problem seems to be one of retaliation rather than exoneration. We prefer to think of ways to get even instead of finding ways to forgive. God never once told us forgiveness was an easy thing. He only told us it was the right thing to do. The process is a true learning experience.
Jesus certainly understood what it felt like to be hurt and sad. Because of His human experience He stands even more willing to offer us peace. We only have to ask. Next time the urge to pinch hits, pray instead. Ask God to help with issues that you face. Miracles happen.
Prayer: Father, we try to manage everything on our own. Forgive us when we fail to come to You for healing.