This summer the ladies of Grace Baptist Church went through a study by Elyse Fitzpatrick called Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ. The study was very beneficial for me as I have had to dig deep into the truths of the incarnation and the believer's Union with Christ. My desire and hope is that the ladies of our church don’t just leave this class with big theological heads, but to truly understand what these major doctrines mean personally for them and give hope as they live out their Christian life.
The incarnation and life of Christ while he lived on this earth for 33 years can bring so much encouragement to our weary souls and to those of the women we help. There is a place for this doctrine in counseling and here is why: The Hebrew author says in 2:14 that the purpose of incarnation was to destroy the works of Satan and to make a propitiation for the sins of the people (vs. 17) but also, another reason the Word became flesh and dwelt among us was so Jesus could help us in our time of need as our merciful and faithful High Priest. When you and I are knee deep in suffering or a woman comes to you that has been encountering temptation, the truths of the incarnation and life of our suffering Savior can speak into an aching heart and bring much hope and joy that we are not alone.
17 “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
What stirs me about this text is that Jesus had to be made like His brothers in every respect. We may be tempted to think that Jesus is just like us, sin and all, but He was tempted in all things as we are, without sin. Just because Jesus was without sin shouldn’t cause us to disregard this truth. He was 100% God, but He was also 100% human with emotions and physical needs. The Hebrew writer says in Hebrews 5:7 that “In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears...” Can you relate? Do you find yourself on your knees during suffering and trials with loud cries and tears? Christ understands you when you have been sinned against with abuse or abandonment. He knows what it’s like to lose a loved one and to face temptation. Knowing this about our Savior should cause us to draw closer to Him in our time of need and receive grace and mercy.
Take heart beloved! You are never alone! Jesus is not just some man sitting in heaven that is distant and cold. No, He is personal and desires that you would draw near to Him with confidence. If you are in Christ, you are His beloved daughter and He loves you. He loves you so much that he learned obedience (for you!) through what He suffered (for you!) to become the source of eternal salvation (for you!) and for all who obey Him (Heb. 5:8). Christ can identify with you, and that is why He is not ashamed to call you His sister.