God knows how we feel. Ever hear that and wonder just how God who is so ‘up there’ and seemingly far from us can somehow know or even sense what we are going through? I am not sure how other religions grasp any concept of divine empathy but let me share what I know about Jesus being the one who put it on the divine heart to know you and me so well. Besides God knowing how many hairs on our head or how much more we are worth than all the sparrows. There’s something going on through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
We know that Jesus was tempted, that he suffered, that he was obedient and that he ministered to hurting people. He wept at a friend’s funeral and sorrowed over Jerusalem for not accepting him. And how does all that translate to God?
Been reading a theologian. H.R. Mackintosh, a Scottish Theologian around 1900.
He suggests that since God and humanity are one in Jesus Christ (the incarnation) through the Word becoming flesh something wonderfully unique happens. Jesus through his experiences on this earth ‘are received into the eternal memory of the Godhead.’ Through the experience, the death and resurrection of Christ the human experiences are part of the Eternal memory. See, what Jesus went through, although ‘foreknown’ by God is made real in time and kept as part of the experiential memory of God, the Trinity. There is a person within the Trinity who has actually experienced pain, sorrow, death and resurrection. So within the Trinity there is an incredible awareness of what you and I go through because Jesus went through it all including being tempted sorely.
Mackintosh concludes this by writing, “The heart of man and the heart of God beat in the risen Lord.” (p. 371 of his book on the doctrine of the person of Christ)
So as we continue this Lenten time let us remember that God remembers, through Jesus, just what we are going through right now, in this moment that will be etched in the eternal memory forever. And so as the song suggests:
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer (WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS)