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  • Writer's pictureFrank Keeler


The Soul Anchor [Hebrews 6:19] - December 1, 2023

As we move toward the end of what feels like another brutal year we see ridiculously high prices on most everything, war in Israel, war in Ukraine and unrest in our own country. If the current condition of the world makes you want to cry, consider the words of the beloved Christmas Carol, “Away in the Manger” which tells us that the little Lord Jesus, “No crying he makes.” Go to manger scenes around the country and you would be hard pressed to find a crying Jesus. Of course, that is because most churches use plastic dolls for Jesus in our manger scenes.

Because we have sung it over and over we tend to think of the baby Jesus not letting a tear roll down his cheeks on that evening in Bethlehem. Yet the words of the Scripture make it very clear that Jesus was just like us in fact the Bible tells us that Jesus was fully human so that He could make atonement for the sins of people.

Hebrews 12:16-18 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

If Jesus was just like us did He cry on the first Christmas night? I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure but the author of Hebrews does tell us that Jesus did in fact cry. Hebrews 5:7 says, “who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.” Yes Jesus cried, in fact the shortest verse of the Bible is generally believed to be simply, “Jesus wept.”

What is it that brought the savior of the world to tears? Primarily, it was us- the people who Jesus came to save. There are three specific places in Scripture in which Jesus feels the same anguish of emotion that we often feel.

When Jesus saw his friend Mary weeping at the death of her brother Lazarus, He also wept before ultimately raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus feels our hurts because he did become fully human to save us.

Jesus wept when He saw man’s rejection of God’s plan. Luke 19:41-42 says

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes.” As a a loving Father, God hates to see us turn away from Him but is always willing to welcome us back with open arms.

Finally, Jesus experienced anguish when He was confronted with the price of our salvation. As he prayed in Gethsemane Luke 22:41-44 “He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Facing the cost of saving us from our sins- Jesus had arguably the most intense moment anyone ever had in all of history.

I don’t know if Jesus cried in the manger, but I do know that he cried. He cried about us. He hurts when we hurt. He hurts when we reject God’s path and go our own way and he weeps over sin.

If 2023 brought a tear to your eye remember that you are in good company.

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Frank

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