A High Priest Who Can Sympathize (Part 2)
In our time together yesterday, we began to take a look at some of the many human weaknesses and frailties that Jesus experienced when He walked as flesh, bone, and blood upon this earth. We noted how Jesus experienced both hunger and thirst. We witnessed Him overcoming fatigue by resting and sleeping. Finally, we ended our study by considering some passages of Holy Writ that describe the love He experienced for others. Let us now continue in our study of those things Christ experienced while on this earth.

Jesus knew sorrow and grieved like you and me. While examining Jesus' abundant love and compassion yesterday, we considered three passages from John 11--the last of which was John 11:36: "Then the Jews said, 'See how He loved him!'" Why did the Jews say this? They said this because of what we find Jesus doing in John 11:35, which simply reads: "Jesus wept." Jesus was experiencing sorrow, and His sorrow manifested itself in tears. It should be pointed out that, just as one's faith is demonstrated by his works, one's love can be demonstrated by his tears (whether shed because of joy or sorrow). Truly, the Messiah wept with those who wept (Rom. 12:15)! Another verse in John 11 that refers to Jesus' sorrow is verse 38: "Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb..." Jesus knows what it means to suffer great sadness and sorrow.

Jesus was tempted like you and me. In Matthew 4:1-11, we read of Jesus being tempted by the devil. Friends, do you realize how significant this is? Some folks want others to do that which they will not or cannot do. However, this is not the case with our Lord! While on this earth, Jesus stared temptation in the face but refused it each time, and He wants us to refuse temptation too! The inspired penman of Hebrews wrote: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). Let us never forget that Jesus triumphed over temptation, and He can help us when we are tempted. "For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted" (Heb. 2:18).

Jesus was troubled and experienced distress and agony like you and me. Perhaps the greatest agony Jesus experienced on this earth was that which He experienced at a place called Gethsemane. Let us note a couple of passages. "And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, 'My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch'" (Mark 14:33,34). "And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44). Jesus knows what it means to be in agony. I believe it is safe to say that no other person has ever experienced or will experience an agony greater than that which Christ suffered at Gethsemane.

And He experienced death for you and me. "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:6-8). Jesus suffered that horrible physical death on the cross so you and I would not have to suffer an even more horrible spiritual death at the judgment--separation from Almighty God. May we therefore live a life of obedience that is pleasing to God and does not take for granted Christ's cruel death on the cross.

Make no mistake friends; Jesus knows what we go through because He went through it Himself. Jesus understands the toils, trials, and the temptations, and He can help us through it all. Let us take comfort in the fact that we are not alone in our earthly struggles, "knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (I Pet. 5:9). Let us therefore cast our cares upon God the Heavenly Father, just as Jesus, our sympathetic High Priest, did in the Garden of Gethsemane.