– Tim Keller
Acquainted with our Sorrow
Hundreds of years before Christ was even born, Isaiah the Prophet wrote about Christ and Calvary, and wrote that “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4a). If He carried our griefs and sorrows at the cross, this means He’s familiar or acquainted with them. Jesus understands, because He’s also suffered, so He has literally walked in our shoes, but it was before we even existed.
Empathetic High Priest
I find it interesting that there are more references to the high priest in the Book of Hebrews (18), than any other book in the Bible. I would have expected that in the Book of Leviticus, but that’s because it was written to Christians who were Jewish. The Jews could relate to the author of Hebrews who wrote “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15). Remember that Jesus was both Man and God, and in His humanity, He got tired, thirsty, weak, and hungry, so Jesus makes the perfect High Priest because He can understand what we feel.
Sharing in His Sufferings
Jesus walked in our shoes before we did, and today, we are sharing in what Christ shared in. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Phil 3:10). Paul certainly did that. He even shared in His death, as he was martyred for his faith, but we too are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:17).
The Joy Set Before Us
Returning again to the Book of Hebrews, we see how Jesus was able to endure the suffering and the shame of the cross. He was looking ahead…beyond the cross, so we should also be “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2).
Can you now see from Scriptures that Christ literally walked in our shoes? Do you realize He’s familiar with our sorrows? That He can empathize with our weakness. That it’s destined for us to share in the sufferings with Christ, but we can do so because of the joy that’s coming when the glory is finally revealed to us at His appearing (Rom 8:18).