The Sympathy of Christ!

(Francis Bourdillon)

"We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are" Hebrews 4:15

In all our infirmities and troubles of every kind — in pain and sickness, in poverty and need, in anxiety and grief — Jesus has a sympathetic heart for us. Is not this comforting? Does it not cheer us in a time of suffering, when some kind friend comes in and sits down beside us and shows most plainly that though he is unable to help us, he does sincerely feel for us? How much more cheering it is to know that Jesus in Heaven sympathizes with us in all our troubles here below! Does not this thought, this blessed truth — take the edge off the sharpest suffering, and lift us for the time above our sorrows?

Jesus Christ Himself was afflicted when He was on earth. He is called a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. No sorrows were ever equal to His. We know that He was tired and hungry and sad. He was besides, the poorest of the poor — He had nowhere to lay His head. He led what would be called a very hard life.

Our greatest sufferings are light when compared with His. He had some afflictions which we cannot fully understand, as when He prayed in the garden, "If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me!" And as when He cried upon the cross, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me!" 

He can sympathize with the poor — because He was poor Himself.
He can sympathize with the sad — because He was a man of sorrows.
He can sympathize with all who suffer — because His own sufferings were so many and so great.

He was tempted; He was tried; He was afflicted; He went through what we have to go through — and much more. In this very world in which we live now — He lived and suffered; and therefore He can and does sympathize with His suffering people.

"He was despised and rejected by men — a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces — He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows — yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace, was upon Him — and by His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:3-5