Why did Jesus have to come to live among us? I think there is a very important reason beyond the requirement for him to die to save us. That is to understand us, to really understand us, and for us to know that he understands us. There is a difference between knowing all about us and actually living as one of us. When the Bible says God understands us and understands the way we feel weak or scared or tempted we can be sure that is the truth because Jesus lived with us.
Last Friday I stayed up all night with the youth group, we’ve had the sleepover once a year every year for nine or ten years, In the beginning I used to really enjoy it. I used to love spending that much time just hanging out chatting with the kids playing silly games and watching films all night. I still see the fun in it but I don’t feel part of the fun as much. I find myself thinking why can’t we just do the same stuff in the daytime when we’re all awake. Maybe it’s because now I’m usually tired for several days afterwards when I used to be able to bounce right back. I can barely keep my eye’s open now in the middle of the day nearly a week later.
I was speaking to my friend who is a leader in the next youth group up at the weekend and she said that when they asked the four or five kids we just sent up to their group what they liked most about our group they said their favourite thing was the sleepover. It’s good to hear that they like it, I’d hate to think I’m this knackered for no reason. It just feels odd to me, I know I used to enjoy it and I know I don’t really anymore. It’s very strange the way memory works. Have you ever been excited to get the chance to see a film you love that you haven’t seen for years and then you watch it and you can’t really understand what you ever found so brilliant about it.
Kids have never been on our side so how can we expect them to understand the way we see things but we have all been kids so we should try to think back and understand them. In the same vein God knew that we had never and could never see things from his perspective so he made the effort to see things from our perspective. It is that perspective that allowed him to bridge the divide between us because he understood himself and he understood us as well, because of that he was and is the only one who can create a way to him for us. That way is open just as the way is open for those kids to one day understand our perspective on the sleepover the only difference is those kids will grow up whether they want to or not but the way Jesus made for us, the way to salvation isn’t compulsory, it is always a choice, do you want to go God’s way or do you want to go another way, either way he has made a path for you by a great act of understanding and sacrifice.