During his earthly life, [Jesus] offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was the Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. After he was perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, and he was declared by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:7-10)
At several points in the letter to the Hebrews, we get a close-up glimpse of Jesus’ human nature. (Remember, he is one person with two natures: divine and human.) As his arrest, crucifixion, and bearing of the sins of his people drew near, Jesus revealed that he felt the weight of his calling. At the time of his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was under deep emotional distress. He told his apostles he was full of great sorrow, deeply grieved to the point of death. He even asked his Father to let the cup of his wrath pass from him. But—Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will. (See Mark 14:33-36 and John 12:27.) And from the cross Jesus screamed with the psalmist, My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Psalm 22:1, quoted by Jesus in Matt. 27:46 and Mark 15:34).
Friends, Jesus knows our weaknesses and fears. He experienced them in his own pure and undefiled body and soul. He really does know. The Good Shepherd himself walked through the valley of deep darkness (Jn. 10:11, 14; Ps. 23:4). We must remember this during times of tragedy and sorrow, of confusion and grief. When he was troubled, Jesus prayed. He appealed to his Father and ours. He cried out and he wept. Real tears streamed down his face (Cf. Jn. 11). Our only hope is the man of sorrows, the one acquainted with grief. He will never leave us. He will never forsake us. Nothing can separate his people from his love.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for letting us know that you really do know. Please continue your ministry of taking bruised reeds and putting them back together. Please continue to hold the flickering wicks in the calm hollow of your hand where they are safe and secure. In Jesus’ name, Amen.