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March 27, 2024

I want to thank my friends who filled in for me on the posts this past week while I was taking a few days off. I was able to get some much-needed rest. 


The Humanness of Christ


Christ actually began experiencing the emotional pressure of the Cross several weeks before it occurred. Many people fail to consider the true human-ness of Jesus, that He possessed real emotions and the ability to feel pain. In His earthly life, Christ experienced grief, sorrow, anger, and disappointment; He enjoyed friendships, knew joy and laughter, felt hunger and thirst, and grew tired and sleepy. Though fully God, Jesus was also fully human, but without the Adamic fallen nature. He had to be human in order to represent us as our legal substitute.


As one who was truly human, Christ didn’t shift over into “God-mode” when things got tough, in order to not feel the pain or trauma. Philippians 2:6-7 tells us that “Although He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Let Christ be human.


As I stated above, weeks before the Cross, Christ began feeling the pressure. When He said, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62), Jesus was thinking of Himself. The passage begins by saying, “Jesus let nothing distract Him from departing for Jerusalem because the time for Him to be lifted up drew near, and He was full of passion to complete His mission there,” ‭‭(Luke‬ ‭9:51‬ ‭TPT‬‬).


Jesus knew that in Jerusalem, He would face arrest, torture, and agonizing death. But He set off firmly and unflinchingly, committed to finishing His mission. There would be no backing out; nothing would deter Him from accomplishing His purpose. Isaiah prophesied about this determination: “The Lord God has opened My ear; I was not disobedient, nor did I turn back. I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting. For the Lord God helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed,” (Isaiah 50:5-7 NASB).


Christ knew this passage was speaking of Him and realized He was entering the season of its fulfillment. So He set His face like flint, put His hand to the plow, and turning toward Jerusalem, began what would become His final trek to that city. Traveling by foot and stopping along the way to minister and rest, the journey would take several weeks.


Luke, in his gospel, reveals the humanness of Christ more than the other Gospel writers. Under Holy Spirit’s guidance, each Gospel writer had a different goal in his version of Christ’s life. This is why each man shared different (not contradictory) accounts of Christ’s works and teachings. Matthew, for example, wrote his Gospel to reveal Christ as the King of God’s Kingdom. Mark presented Him as a man of action, filled with power and under authority. John revealed Christ as truly God. Luke presented the humanness of Christ. As a man, He was qualified to be our substitute at the Cross. 


In revealing Christ’s humanness, Luke wants us to know that Jesus felt the pressure; from this point onward, it was building in the Son of Man. Eleven times after the above verse (9:51), Luke reminds us that Christ was journeying toward Jerusalem and, therefore, the Cross. He was focused on His mission and refused to be deterred. In Chapter 12, Luke quotes Him as saying, “I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished” (verse 50). “Distressed” is the Greek word sunecho,(1) a very strong word meaning “to be held fast, like a prisoner.” It also means “to be confined, constrained, pressed together so as not to be able to move (like a city under siege);” figuratively, sunecho meant “to be in a mental state of anguish.” Kenneth Wuest’s expanded and very literal translation of the New Testament renders this verse: “I have an immersion by which I will be overwhelmed, and I am being hard pressed from every side until it be consummated.”


In other words, though weeks out from the Cross at this point, the strain in Christ was already very intense!


Jesus knew well of the coming suffering and was dreading it. The focus required in order to press onward to Jerusalem was so intense that it could be seen in His demeanor. In Luke 9:53, Christ was rejected by a Samaritan village “because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem.” Although there was great friction between Jews and Samaritans, Christ had earlier been accepted by a village in Samaria after ministering to “the woman at the well” (see John 4). On this occasion, however, the Samaritans would not receive Him. Why? They were offended because He couldn’t seem to take His focus off of Jerusalem.


What did this look like? There must have been many pensive gazes, perhaps even grimaces, as Christ repeatedly turned His face toward Jerusalem…and the Cross. This preoccupation became so obvious that the Samaritans - rejected and looked down upon by the Jews - had finally had enough. Of course, they didn’t understand the reasons for His focus on Jerusalem. No one did. This was something Christ was having to endure alone. And with His face set like flint, He journeyed on - moving toward His destiny. “And He was passing through from one village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem” (Luke 13:22).


For several weeks the journey continued, the pressure building until Jesus rounded the last curve and crested the last hill. When the city at last came into view, He burst into tears. Christ’s emotions were now raw, sensitive, and bottled up. Like a pent-up dam that could take no more pressure, He released His emotions. Jesus loved this city; He loved the people. Yet, He knew Jerusalem would reject Him and be His place of death. In the future, it would also experience great devastation. As this mix of emotions erupted to the surface, Yeshua let it all out. And He did more than just cry. Again, quoting from Wuest’s New Testament, “...having caught sight of the city, He burst into tears, weeping audibly over it” (Luke 19:41). 


What a picture. And what must the disciples and those following Christ have thought as He “burst into tears” and sobbed? How often this man surprised and amazed them. Power, authority, humility, wisdom, intellect, love, and passion were all exhibited by the Son of Man. 


And they would soon see His anger. 


After composing Himself, Christ went directly to the Temple and drove out those who were selling their wares, making His “house of prayer...a robber’s den,” (Luke 19:45-46). This was indeed anger, but it was not a temporary loss of self-control. His actions were prophetic. The Temple was intended by God to picture us humans, created to be the dwelling place/temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16). The defilement Jesus was seeing reminded Him of the defilement in us, which He was about to cleanse at the Cross, just days from then. He was demonstrating what He had come to do: cleanse His temple - US! And Christ was very intense about this.


Spend some time this week reflecting on the passion of Christ. Journey through the week with Him. Thank Him for the price He paid. Worship Him not only as God the Creator, but also as Son of Man, the Redeemer.


And please…let Him be human.


Pray with me:


Father, thank You for Your incredible love and commitment to us. Thank You for the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world. You are amazing. We are deeply moved by being able to call You Abba, Papa.


And Jesus, thank You for the incarnation - being willing to become one of us. Isaiah called You Immanuel, “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14). Daniel called You “son of man” (Daniel 7:13). Thank You for the tears. Thank You for the love. Thank You for the suffering and pain. Thank You for the Cross - thank You for dying.


And, thank You for winning, for conquering death and the grave, for overcoming sin and its evil hold on us. Thank You for making Yahweh our Abba, for bringing us into the family, and for sharing Your throne with us.


Manifest Yourself through us in this era, we pray. May the world see who You truly are, Yeshua, observing Your glory as the church You are building matures into the Ekklesia You envisioned. Continue to mature us into people worthy to bear Your name. Amen.


Our decree:


We declare that we have put our hand to the plow and will never look back.


Click on the link below to watch the full video.


 

  1. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no. 4912.


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