Saturday, November 21, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: A Double Negative That Makes a Powerful Positive

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

So fully has the Son of God identified Himself with our fallen humanity, that it's difficult to take a scalpel and separate the heart cries of Jesus in the Psalms from the heart cries of king David. For example, in Psalm 22:1 David cries out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" But then we discover that Jesus cries the same dereliction as He hangs on His cross (Matt. 27:46). Then as we read further in Psalm 22, lo and behold, we find that the entire psalm records the heart cries of Jesus up to the moment of His death when He cried out, "It is finished" (asah, the last word in the Hebrew, which means "it's done!").

But how could Jesus Christ, the sinless One, pray the same words that the guilty, bloodstained sinner David prayed? Wasn't Jesus "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Heb. 7:26)? He should be as far away from feeling like the despicable sinner, David, as day is from night!

But wait a moment: isn't His "name Immanuel, which is translated, 'God with us'" (Matt. 1:23)? Isn't it "unto us" that this "Child is born, unto us a Son is given" (Isa. 9:6)? Didn't the Father "so love the world that He gave" Him to us forever? Don't we "see Jesus ... made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death" (Heb. 2:9)? How could He "suffer death" unless He came inside our skin, as it were? He is "not ashamed to call [us] brethren" (vs. 11)! He had to be "[made] perfect through sufferings" (vs. 10). But wasn't He "perfect" all along? In holiness, yes; but He had to go through a process of education for 33 years in order to qualify to cry out sincerely from a broken human heart every word of Psalm 22!

That word "made" has enormous meaning: "In all things He had to be made like His brethren. ... In that He Himself has suffered being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted" (vss. 17, 18). He was "made of a woman, made under the law" (Gal. 4:4, KJV). He was "made in the likeness of men" (Phil 2:7, KJV), He became truly a man "in the [same] likeness of sinful flesh" (Rom. 8:3), "made ... to be sin for us," who "knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21).

What does this all add up to?

Jesus Christ is the Son of God who became "the Son of man," your Savior "in the flesh." He knows 100 percent empathy with you. Here's a double negative that makes a powerful positive: "We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). Don't turn your back on Him even for a day!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 24, 2004.
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