We love Jesus and we worship him as our Lord and Saviour – He is amazing! Our heart’s desire is to become more and more like him. But how well do we really know him? What was life really like for Jesus? God the Son became a human being – what must that have been like for him? To leave his throne in heaven; to become a human baby? As Philippians 2 says, ‘he emptied himself by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness . . . he humbled himself’. As a human being he had to learn everything as if for the first time. What must that have been like for the Son of God?
We know a lot about what Jesus did and what he taught, but the gospels don’t really tell us much about what was happening on the inside for Jesus. What was he thinking and feeling as he grew up and followed God’s call for his life, a calling that would cost him everything? What was it like for the 12-year-old Jesus to realise that he was God’s son when he visited the Temple with his family? How did he feel when the crowds flocked to him for healing and miracles, but they failed to grasp who he was? So often people just wanted to use Jesus to get what they needed, or of course many others just hated him. Even his own disciples completely misunderstood him, tried to pull him away from the cross, and in the end deserted and betrayed him. When did Jesus truly realise that being wholeheartedly obedient to the Father was going to cost him everything? When did he first know for sure he was heading to Calvary? What must that have been like? No one else understood what he had to do, they just couldn’t – he was completely isolated. He must have felt so alone.
It is only when we grasp something of what life was truly like for Jesus that we can begin to grasp how much he truly loves us. We will never know what our salvation really cost – but it was deeply personal – Jesus gave up everything for us – from the manger to the grave it was a sacrifice. It was not just on the cross that Jesus suffered for us. Jesus willingly suffered throughout his life for you and for me, because he loves us.
This teaching series was inspired by a guided retreat that I went on about 10 years ago. Each day I was given a different passage from the gospels, the life of Jesus, to read and meditate on. I spent time imagining what it was like for Jesus through the narrative of each different scene. It was a very powerful and transformative time for me. It was as if I was meeting Jesus for the first time all over again and discovering things about him that I had never realised before. It is my prayer that, as we as a Church study some of the same passages, we will meet Jesus in a whole new way and fall in love with him afresh. He is indeed a wonderful Saviour.
This series is all about getting to know Jesus better.