A few days ago, I was at home watching a documentary on how some Japanese youth were being taught how to identify with the old people. They were taught that as a person ages, certain organs of the body begin to fail. Some of the effects could be blindness, stroke, arthritis among others.
Afterwards, everyone was made to 'feel' what these old people experience through simulation. Some of them had pads placed over their eyes for a whole day.
They had to cope with their daily activities in spite of these limitations. Some of them had one arm strapped to their backs so that they could only use the other free arm and experience how clumsy it is to use only one arm. A lady was asked to lie down in bed for a whole day in a dark room so that she can experience how it is to be bed-ridden for a long period of time.
At the end of the exercise, everyone had a little knowledge, more than they previously had, of how difficult it was for these old people to cope with life due to the disabilities of old age. This knowledge would help the youth to identify with them and to help them as much as possible.
After the documentary, I thought, "Jesus didn't simulate our suffering and shame, He actually went through our suffering!".
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:15.
Although the Son of God as to His human nature and equal in divine nature with God, yet, having partaken of human nature, and having submitted to all its trials and distresses, and being in all points tempted like as we are, without feeling or consenting to sin; he is able to succor them that are tempted. Heb. 2:18.
There have been times when I had to visit people who are troubled or soeak with them on phone. It is easier for me to relate with them when I have experienced what they are going through, but when the situation is of a different kind that I have never experienced, I can only imagine it. Of course I would sympathise with them and pray with them but the feeling would not be as as deep as when I know what it feels to be in their shoes.
I once told my wife when she was pregnant with our first child, "I know how you feel". She replied, "you can't ever know how I feel because you will never experience what it means to be pregnant". She was right, wasn't she?
Whatever you are going throught therefore, I want you to know that there is nothing you are going through that Jesus did not go through, in fact you are the one who cannot fathom the suffering He went through to save you and I.
Those Japanese youth may have had some experience of what it feels to be old and disabled but Jesus' experience was not simulated, it was a perfect experience. That is why He feels your pain and suffering. When He tells you, "I know how you feel" Be rest assured that He means it.
Steve o. Popoola
© Biblepraise Fellowship Online, April 2009
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the webmaster of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. British by birth, He currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria with wife Maris and their children; Praise, Stephanie and Precious. He works as an IT professional in a bank. He presently serves as Church Secretary and Heads the Music Ministry in his local church . He loves to encourage and inspire through speaking forums. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org