But now God has shown us a different way to heaven—not by “being good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us “not guilty”—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like. Romans 3:21-22
True empathy requires that you step outside of your own emotions, to view things entirely from the perspective of the other person.
I always feel the need to remind the world and especially Christians that Jesus came to fulfill the law. The blood of Jesus is sufficient to heal us of our sins. The Lord died once and for all. He gave His life, so that we may leave free of guilt. Yes we sin, and yes we will all sin. The verse which follows the scriptures above state that we must keep our faith in Jesus, not so that we may live a life of sin but that we may live a justified life.
- having, done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason.
- declared or made righteous in the sight of God.
The reason we are blessed, favored and at peace with God is because of what Jesus has done. He descended from heaven and became the perfect sacrifice for us, for our iniquities and transgressions.
- immoral or grossly unfair behavior.
- wickedness, sinfulness, immorality, impropriety; perversion.
- an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offense.
- offense, crime, sin, wrong, wrongdoing, misdemeanor, impropriety, infraction, misdeed, lawbreaking;
The work at the cross finished the judgement that was set against us. It is a free gift we receive by faith in Jesus, this is Grace. To be made right in the eyes of God. To be reconciled to God. To be at peace with God (where God is no longer angry with us). And this righteousness we receive is through Jesus, if and when we place our faith in Him. Many people think Jesus waves a list over their heads that reads “Do Not Do” or “Things you have done”, and this is not the truth. The truth is that Jesus is that the son of God, came to the earth to be payment for us against the charges that were hanging over our heads. God doesn’t wait for us to sin, but He is not shocked when we do. He knows we live in a fallen world in a fallen human body.
Jesus put Himself in our shoes, literally.
The scriptures say that we have a lawyer sitting at the right hand of God: we have a High Priest who is able to understand our fallen nature. Not because Jesus sinned, but because He was 100% God and 100% man. In the flesh, Jesus experienced temptations like the rest of us, and He experienced emotions and suffered fleshly needs like us too. And this is why He can empathize with us, not simply sympathize.
Jesus was in the human body, feeling, thinking and desiring in the way that we do. What kept Jesus from sin, was that the spirit of God was also 100% full in Him. He was always in communion, He was always in prayer, alone on a mountain. But the bible says he suffered all the temptations we face today. He was tempted to deny God, to take the glory for himself, to give in to sexual acts, idolatry, to lie, to be unforgiving, to act out in anger, to be depressed, to rebel against God. Imagine that. It’s not easy to give your life to others and be called a blasphemer, to be spit on and be made a mockery with a crown of thorns over his head. It is not easy to have the same people who applaud you saying Good jobs, we love you, hosanna, and the next say Kill him, crucify that blasphemer!
When God looks at us, he sees who we are in Christ. he sees the future, he sees why Jesus died for us. He sees our big picture, while we see and are frustrated with what we see, the small picture. We are limited in our knowledge, but God is all knowing. he sees the struggles Jesus faced and has compassion for us, while Jesus suffered like us and has empathy on us, like the lawyer he is interceding for us before the father.
Lord God Almighty, open our eyes to see your love, your favor and mercy. Open our understanding to see you as the God who is with us, and suffered like us, not the God who is far away holding a guilty charge against us. may our understanding of your sacrifice become our conviction. May we never believe the devil’s lies, telling us that we have messed up and have gone too far from your salvation and love God. In Jesus name, Amen.