April 10, Monday

The AMI QT Devotionals April 10-16 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston.  David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace who teaches at a public school.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR THE PASSION WEEK

“The Prancing Dad”

Hebrews 5:8-9

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him

About a month ago, I was walking in downtown Boston, and I found myself walking behind a father and daughter, holding hands as they walked along the sidewalks of downtown. The man was probably in his 40’s, fully suited from head to toe. It was obvious that he worked in the corporate world in downtown. Next to him, holding his hand was his daughter who couldn’t have been more than 5 years old. As I was walking behind them, the daughter started skipping. In my heart, I thought, “Aww, what a cute pair…” But I didn’t expect what happened next to happen. Before I could finish my thought, the dad started skipping too! With his suit jacket flapping in the wind, and dress shoes clunking and skidding on the pavement, his gait was anything but graceful. In fact, he looked ridiculous! But as I watched them skip and prance ahead of me, I thought, “That man might be an important businessman somewhere, but he is certainly a great father.” And in that moment I understood a little more of God’s heart for us; although He is an Almighty God, He would willingly humiliate himself, endure ridicule, and go through suffering, all for the sake of being with us.

To be clear, our passage today is not at all saying that Jesus was imperfect at one point, nor was Jesus disobedient at any moment of His life. But it is telling us that God willingly took on flesh and experienced (learned) first-hand what it’s like to be human. Jesus walked, talked, ate, wept, and suffered with us. Furthermore, Scripture says that without falling into sin, He also endured every temptation that we experience. And that’s what made Him our ideal Savior and sympathetic High Priest.

This week is Passion Week, and we usually spend more time this week meditating on the suffering of Christ than in any other time of the year. As we remember what Jesus went through during this week, let us not forget that He did it all for the sake of being with us.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for willingly humbling Yourself, laying down Your titles and walking in our shoes. This week, as we approach Good Friday and Easter, may we understand Your great love for us.  In your name we pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Leviticus 1


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Hebrews 2:14-18: Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Questions to Consider

  1. According to this passage, why did Jesus have to become fully man?
  2. According to this passage, what is the pre-requisite for helping those who are being tempted?
  3. How can we most effectively help others who are going through trials and temptations?

Notes

  1. Jesus had to become fully man, “made like his brothers in every respect,” so that He could become a merciful and faithful High Priest. In other words, Jesus’ divinity is what made Him worthy to atone for all of our sins. But it’s His humanity that made Him an eligible representative for us. He had to become like us, in order to take our place upon the cross.
  2. Verse 18 reads, “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” It is true that God would still be able to help us, even if He hadn’t experienced temptation. But Jesus experienced temptation for our sake, so that we can relate to our Helper. When we are tempted, we can be sure that our Lord has been there Himself, and that He understands the struggles of being tempted.
  3. Most of the time, we feel as if we need to have it all put together before we can provide help for someone who is going through a hard time. Help is seen as something that is given as charity from the strong to the weak. But if we take a cue from Jesus, our idea of help is transformed. Although He was strong, He made Himself weak in order to minister to the weak. He willingly endured temptation and suffering for our sake. Obviously this is not a command to go out and intentionally seek suffering and temptation, but rather it is a call to be honest with our own weaknesses and flaws, because God often uses our own shortcomings as a way to minister unto others.

EVENING REFLECTION

This evening, spend some time meditating on this passage from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

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