Reflecting on Hebrews 4: 14-16
The 1983 movie Without a Trace is a terrifying tale of a missing child. Reporters gather around the hysterical mother, saying, “We know how you feel, but try to be coherent.” Her reply is perfect: “If you felt what I feel you’d be screaming right now.”
I think of that moment when this section of the letter to the Hebrews comes around: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way” (4:15).
We have a God who knows everything we experience. Imagine the terror Jesus felt when the Romans came to lay hold of him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Imagine being betrayed with a kiss. (That’s not hard, I’ll bet, for people whose spouses have had affairs.)
Imagine being held, in chains, by those who seek your harm. (Again, this is an easy step for those who serve in militaries, or those captured by terrorist groups like ISIS.)
Imagine being unable to get away from someone who is hurting you. (The huge numbers of women and men whose stories are surfacing at this moment in the culture is enough proof that there are millions who can identify.)
Imagine being thirsty (as they surely are today in the Florida Panhandle).
Imagine watching your mother weep as you die (as must surely happen everywhere prisoners are executed).
The crucifixion was a scandal to the Greco-Roman world, whose untouchable gods reigned forever over the skies and seas, and even Hades. That these odd Jews worshiped a God who had been mercilessly nailed to a tree was incomprehensible.
Who needs a God like that?
What suffering in your life is similar to the suffering of Jesus?
Kathy McGovern ©2018