(Continued from previous entry)
With gods in other religions, when they took on mortal form, they usually went for the best form that they could. There are many stories about Zeus taking on forms so gorgeous that no woman could resist him. But what about Jesus? Well, we don’t have a very specific description of what He looked like – other than that He was a human being, and Jewish – but we have this one line:
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2b)
That’s it??? Our one description of the very Son of God’s appearance, and all it says is that He’s not particularly attractive? That’s not even flattering!
But that’s the point. God took on human form to be approachable. God has always been amazing, almighty, and majestic. What He added for us in Jesus was the ability to relate to Him, and a clear demonstration that He could relate to us as well. We don’t just need somebody tall and imposing and better than us. We need somebody that we feel can sympathize with our struggles. This is stated directly in the Bible:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ( Hebrews 4:15-16)
Take Jesus’ temptation in the desert. Satan tempts Jesus to skip His difficult time of fasting (Luke 4:2b-3), and gain immediate power (Luke 4:5-7) rather than the slow, painful road to power He would take through His journey to the Cross. Jesus turned away these temptations, knowing these things were not the divine plan God had sent Him to accomplish – but they were real temptations, that Jesus felt vulnerable to, or else the Devil would not have bothered mentioning them to Him. And again we see Jesus struggle about the path He’s meant to take, on the night before His death (Matthew 26:38-44).
This entry will be continued in next week’s edition.
(To read scriptures online I recommend Biblegateway.com [not affiliated with this site].)