Originally scheduled for November 25
One of the more mundane consequences of the
incarnation of God is this: Jesus of Nazareth had a shoe size. We
don’t know what it was, of course. In fact, Jesus probably wore
sandals which tend to have a looser fit than shoes. We don’t know if
those were custom-made sandals to fit his feet, or whether or not
they were just a standard, one size fits all sandals. We do know
that he didn’t have to put up with credit cards to buy a pair of
sandals, nor did he have thousands of styles to choose from. But he
did have feet, just like the rest of us. We may therefore safely
conclude that, just like the rest of us, sometimes his feet hurt. As
he walked everywhere he went this is quite likely.
The humanity of Christ carries with it a
profound implication: he knows how you feel. He knows the pain of
ordinary living. When he got up in the morning during the winter,
his feet were cold. I suspect the sandals didn’t do much to warm
them up. So he understands the pains of daily living. He understands
the frustration dealing with other people who have petty grievances,
strange eccentricities and feuds from long ago still being carried
forward. A man who fasted forty days in the wilderness certainly
understands what it is to be on a diet. Jesus is fully human — and
therefore understands what it is to put up with the rest of us.
This gives us insight as to how he approached
The pain of the Cross was real — and
Jesus knew it. He had probably seen many executions before (they
were a common public sight). There is little doubt that the
anticipation was not at all pleasant.
Thus, the fear of the Cross was also
real. He knew what it was like to experience the terror of pain
which would arrive in the morning.
Therefore, the ache to be released
was also real. You cannot read the account of his prayers in
Gethsemane without knowing that this was a man who wanted so much to
find some other way to accomplish what God wanted.
The astounding fact in all this is simply that
Jesus did not have to do this. He did not have to come as a baby in
the first place; he did not have to suffer — unless he wanted to do
his Father’s will. Out of the Father’s will came the love which
placed Jesus on the Cross.
As you partake of Communion this morning,
remember that the bread is your reminder of his body hanging on the
Cross. The cup is your reminder of the blood shed out of love for
you. Examine yourself; take these solemnly — and remember.