April 20, 2017
In Exodus 25 we see the Lord asking his people to make him a tent. Why a tent? His people lived in tents as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land. And God wanted to associate himself with them. He didn’t just track their progress from afar; he entered into their situation and lived it with them.
And this isn’t an isolated incident. This is one example standing along a huge line of events where God identifies with his people from the beginning of history and finding its fullness in Jesus Christ.
He knows what human life is like, because he lived a human life:
In Christ, the Lord didn’t just live in a similar home, he lived as a human man.
In Christ, the Lord didn’t only walk through our journey with us, he walked through the human journey as a human.
So Jesus knows what it’s like to have a human body and human limitations. What it’s like to not have all the information, to hurt, to be wounded by others. He is linked to us in our limitations.
But that’s not all! Our King not only dwelt with Israel in tents. He not only took on our nature and all its limitations and hardships. He also took the burden of our sins. He showed us this at his baptism. The only sinless man entered into the same water where his people were repenting of their sins. He linked himself not only to our limitations, but to our sin. That’s how he took our sin to the cross to pay its penalty!
What should we do with this? Two things:
Evangelism: “No one gets me!”
If you’re in a conversation with someone who feels like no one understands - maybe they’re alone, misunderstood, or no one knows what they’re going through - this is an opportunity to share how closely Jesus has united himself to his people.
We don’t have a God who sits on his throne in the distance. We worship a God who…
Knows what it’s like to hunger and thirst.
Knows what it’s like to have blisters on your feet, and be betrayed by those you love.
Knows what it’s like to be mocked.
Knows what it’s like to be misunderstood.
If someone tells you, “No one understands,” perhaps that’s exactly the right moment to ask, “Can I talk to you about someone who does understand?”
Where Will You Go With Your Troubles?
What is the practical benefit to having a God who has connected himself to us so closely?
It means, when we pray about our troubles, it’s not to a disinterested God.
It means, when we cry out because it hurts, it’s not to a God who doesn’t care.
It means, when we are mistreated, it’s to a God who knows exactly what that’s like.
It means, when we are grieving, we call to a God who cried.
It means, when we are rejected, we pray to a God who was nailed, naked, to a cross. For us.
When we hurt – in any sense – we have a God in heaven who understands. Understands in his own experience what we’re going through. Who has compassion for us. And so, when we walk through deep waters, we never walk alone. This is a help and hope for everyone. If you’re hurting today, reach out to the God who knows exactly what you’re going through. Who knows exactly what it’s like for you to walk through it. Cry out to him. Find comfort and fellowship with him.
So where will you go with your pain?
Where will you go with the pain of rejection? When you are made to feel like nothing, mocked, ridiculed, or scorned – where will you go with your pain? Will you retreat inward? Will you wall up your heart so nothing can harm you again? Or, instead of turning in, will you turn your eyes up to heaven? Will you take your pain, your hurt, your rejection to the King of Glory who received scorn, and insults, and rejection on your behalf?
Where will you go with the pain of loss? When you suffer loss where will you go with your uncertainty? Will you throw yourself endlessly into your work? Will you throw yourself into a bottle? Or will you take your loss to the One who lost his life for you?
- Where will you go with your grief? Will you run to a distraction, or food, or other substitutes? Or will you take your grief to the one who conquered death and promises to finally wipe every tear away?