March 2019

Behold the Man!

          So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” (John 19:5).

          As the Holy Spirit enlightens Christians, we realize that Pilate was partly correct. Jesus is “true Man, born of the Virgin Mary” (SC). However, Christ is also “true God, begotten of the Father from eternity” (SC). In Jesus, we “Behold the God-Man!” He is the eternal God inhabiting a human body.

          This Lenten season the Wednesday evening services will expound on some of Christ’s human characteristics: Ash Wednesday, March 6: “A God Who Hungers”; March 13: “A God Who Prays”; March 20: “A God Beaten”; March 27:  “A God Exposed”; April 3: “A God with a Mother”; April 10: “A God Who Thirsts”; Maundy Thursday, April 18: “A God Who Loves”; and Good Friday Tenebrae Service, April 19: “A God Who Dies.”

          Jesus had a human body that died, and He resides in that body which is now resurrected. For forty days, in His resurrected body, He was seen, touched, and heard. He talked, He ate, and He comforted people. All this He did in the same, recognizable body that had been crucified and pierced. He continues to inhabit that resurrected body. This is beyond human comprehension, a 2000 plus year-old body still inhabited! This is okay, for this is a God thing, and His ways and thoughts are above ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Nevertheless, I find it helpful in thinking to contemplate details of the resurrected body in 1 Corinthians 15:42ff: “Sown” is Christ’s, and the believers’, bodies while going through this existence. “Raised” is Christ’s, and the believers’, resurrected bodies. “Sown perishable…raised imperishable…sown in dishonor…raised in glory…sown in weakness…raised in power…sown natural…raised spiritual” I Corinthians 15:23 tells us, “Each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then, at His coming, those who belong to Him” (1 Corinthians 15:23).

          As we approach the Day of Resurrection (Easter), we focus on Jesus Christ who lived in a human body, like ours, with nose and knees, toes and bones, and the like. He had human sensations of hunger and thirst. He desired fellowship with God the Father and mankind. He had a mother, He drank wine, He ate, and the like. With all this God Almighty confirms that He knows about the human condition. Now, of course, He is and has always been, omniscient, but in His incarnation He verifies for us, so we know that He knows. It is comforting to have it confirmed that God Almighty can have empathy. He has walked for miles in our shoes. Mankind’s compassion is enhanced when we empathize with others. We are delighted to be on either end of compassionate, gentle care as we empathize. We also are enriched, matured, and loved when others have used words and actions that are prodding and demanding passion as we received corrective measures. “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son (or daughter) whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:6). God knows us. He is compassionate and passionate for our good and for His pleasure, in order that He will have us with Him forevermore.

The Lord be with you,

Pastor Sam Wiseman