One of my persistent prayers is that God would reveal to me a greater understanding of Jesus Christ and Him crucified like Paul’s desire in 1 Cor 2:2. I don’t mean a greater academic understanding. I mean to know that I know. I want to understand completely in my innermost man. I truly believe that knowing what Jesus did, really know what it meant to die on a cross for all of us, unlocks a whole world of greater understanding and belief. I believe when we have intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ we walk like Him, we feel like Him, we see like Him, we hear His voice, He becomes our life. In that place we love others as He loves us. We become love. We become the image of God to others. We learn what it means to be absolutely surrendered to our Abba.
I get the idea that we probably can’t know what it means completely. It is beyond our understanding, really. It is “a God thing” in many ways but that doesn’t stop me from pursuing. The way I see it, we have an eternity to learn from God. Still I say we go for it now. I say we step into the realization of Jesus Christ and Him crucified so we can step into our identity. He paid for it. How can I ignore it or just give it some meager penance every now and then. We need to press in and eagerly desire wisdom. I feel like part of my mission on this Earth is to guide others into their own revelation. So I want to share something powerful about Jesus and His “sufferings.”
I have to give credit to Joseph Prince for the nudge. I went to hear Him this week in Long Beach. It was amazing as expected. He said one thing in His message that really impacted my wife and I. Here are the two key verses:
Matthew 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (KJV)
John 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,”and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (ESV)
The nudge from Prince was that the Greek word for “lay” and “bowed” are the same. Without explanation it hit us both. We both had tears in our eyes and didn’t really have an understanding in our minds. That came later. I call that revelation. Let me share the journey.
The Greek word in question is “klino.” It is only used seven times in the New Testament. Two times it is translated “lay” in this parable about foxes and holes. Once it is translated as “bowed” when Jesus bowed His head. The other 4 times it is used, it has to do with safety or escape like when the disciples bowed down in front of the Angles in the tomb. Without sharing all the verses let me just say that this word “klino” includes the idea of resting in safety or escape from something.
When Jesus is challenging the disciples about their resolve to follow Him, His response is this seemingly strange reference to Foxes and holes. After understanding better the meaning of the word “lay” I believe Jesus is saying “I don’t have a place to escape what I have come to do. I don’t have a place to rest my head and be free from the rejection and scorn of men. I am here for a purpose that is all consuming.”
I believe the key to understanding Jesus and His passion is to see Jesus as us. I can actually hear your gasps. Before you toss your computer and come hunting me down, remember that Jesus was fully man and fully God. He emptied Himself to be a man like us (Phil 2:5-8). Look at what the author of Hebrews says:
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. (AMP)
Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in things relating to God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to exercise gentleness and forbearance toward the ignorant and erring, since he himself also is liable to moral weakness and physical infirmity. (AMP)
Can you see that Jesus had to be like us. He had to have our weaknesses to be tempted like us. Jesus is way more like you (completely without sin) than you realize. Check out this verse:
Isaiah 53:3 He was hated [despised] and rejected by people.
He had much pain [man of pain/suffering/sorrows] and suffering [one who knew/was acquainted with pain/grief] People would not even look at [turned their backs on; hid their faces from] him.
He was hated [despised], and we didn’t even notice him [or did not esteem him]. (EXB)
That doesn’t sound like “Superman” does it? Imagine yourself as Jesus. Could you have done what He did? Could you actually go to the cross for people who hated and despised you? Could you love someone with a rock in their hand that is meant for your head? Could you love people who made up lie upon lie about you? Could you give your life for people who said you were from the devil? Come on. All those thoughts and doubts about “how could you do it?” were the same thoughts and doubts that Jesus had otherwise He wouldn’t be like us. The difference is He knew absolutely that the only way He would succeed was to be surrendered to His Father and rely completely on the Holy Spirit. He was the personification of ultimate surrender.
When Jesus said He didn’t have a foxhole, He was serious. He didn’t have an escape. This was His passion and His “struggle.” This was His “suffering.” Finally when it was all done, when God’s wrath was poured out, when justice was served, when all of us were set free, His passion was complete, He got to declare IT IS FINISHED! and finally bow His head and step into the safe arms of His Daddy. God is so good. Jesus is amazing.