Lent Devotion: March 30th
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
14Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. …
7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
These are human struggles, sensations, traumas, and injustices. I can say that I’ve experienced some of them. I am sure that you identify with many as well.
Those who are oppressed and marginalized face these experiences at a rate far greater than I. The women and girls I work with endure these traumas to degrees that are unfathomable. But they are not unfathomable to Jesus, who endured all of this and bore our sins.
The Christ we serve, the Christ we worship, the Christ we remember today, is familiar with cries and tears because they streamed down his face as well. Through his sacrifice on the cross, he too endured human suffering.
Good Friday is a day of sorrow and mourning, remembering our Savior who experienced distress, betrayal, scorn, condemnation, mockery, beatings, abuse, humiliation, suffering, and ultimately death so that we could have salvation. Today serves as a reminder that we can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence in our time of need because we know that Christ is all too familiar with the human sensations, trials, struggles, and pain we face. We can approach God’s throne not only with confidence but also with tremendous comfort, knowing that he who bore our sins is intimately familiar with our struggles. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Who better to empathize with us than our Savior who not only shares in our struggles but bears them.
Prayer: Jesus, I come before you in repentance and submission for salvation. Christ, I come before you confidently to receive your mercy. Savior, I come before you confidently to receive your grace. Messiah, I come before you confidently in my time of need, asking you to share my burdens, my pain, and my suffering. Amen.
Jennifer Lucking serves as the executive director of Restorations Second Stage Homes, a charity in southern Ontario that addresses issues of commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Jennifer works to provide residential care, support, and programming for women leaving the sex trade. She lives in the Hamilton, Ontario, area with her husband, Mark, and daughter, Amy.