I have been reading the book of Matthew for the past couple of weeks, and today I finished. I read from halfway through chapter 26 to the end of the book, and Jesus’ humanness more than anything else stood out to me.
When he enters the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus knew what was about to happen to him. He knew that Judas was only a few hours away from bringing the mob that was going to spit on him, and beat him. He knew, and because of that he became sorrowful even unto death.
I have read this passage several times so I don’t know why I found myself identifying with Jesus so much today. It all seemed more real for me. I identified with that sinking feeling he must have had when he realized everything was about hit the fan. I felt his loneliness as he went to pray in isolation and came back to find those closest to him a sleep, and seemingly unconcerned.
Jesus humanness was evident in his prayer with the Father too. Jesus knew the whole purpose of his life on earth. He had just gotten done telling the disciples what was about to go down, and how they would all flee. He had just had the last supper with them, and spoke of how his body was about to be broken and his blood shed.
He knew all this but he is still sorrowful and asking for there to be another way. Maybe it is just all of the upheaval that has been going on in my own life that I find myself identifying much more with his struggle here.
My identification with him didn’t stop there. I became very emotionally involved in the trial and crucification that followed. In as much as I saw his humanness through his suffering in the garden, I also noticed how unlike sinful man he was, and how brutal we were to him. How much he put his own words into practice.
Those who should have loved him, the teachers of the law, spit on him and punched him. They tore hairs out of his beard, and mocked him. His disciples deserted him, and those who followed at a safe distances denied knowing him.
The Romans were then completely brutal to him. They mocked him, and beat him after they flogged him. And he remained silent as a sheep before the shearers. I can still feel that sinking isolation as I write this.
Then to top all this off he is then crucified. They wouldn’t even let him die in peace. They mocked him there too. Made fun of him. In the end Jesus cried out “My Father, My Father why have your forsaken me?” The total aloneness Jesus must have felt absolutely struck me. Reading the crucifixion passage from Matthew today really made me sad.
And it made me love my Saviour more all at the same time. Because for one of first times in my life I realize that he was like me. He wasn’t just a divine mystery man. He took on all the pain of being human, and then some(Heb. 4:15-16). Jesus the Son of Man. Jesus the Son of God.