READ: Exodus 1-3, Psalm 18, Matthew 18, Acts 18
He Knows Our Sorrows
In the non-transferable attributes (omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence), the God of the Bible and the God of the Koran are remarkably similar. Similarities quickly cease when we consider the nature of a God who would come near, a God who would become flesh. Muslims consider the incarnation to be despicable. It behooves us to consider their horror. The immeasurable horror of the incarnation heightens its wondrous beauty.
It is despicable for God to take the form of His creation. God cried, God pooped, God got tired, God was tempted, God died – progressively unfathomable. We can only begin to comprehend this tragic humiliation of God if we ask why on earth, why in heaven did He humble Himself so horribly.
God tells us why: “I have heard their crying because of their task-maskers, for I know their sorrows…so I have come down to deliver them” (Ex. 3:7-8). The God who dwells outside of time knows our pain – because He lived it. God’s knowledge of our bitter encounters with sorrow are not limited to theory or the observation of a protected angelic form touring this holocaust museum we call earth – He came down and lived here as one of us. “Man of sorrows, what a name, for the Son of God who came….”
Jesus experientially feels our pain. Betrayal? That spike has already been pounded through his wrist. Loneliness? That lash has whipped His back more than once. Loss of a loved one? He has wept at cemeteries. Sickness? “Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows….He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…and by His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:4-5). Rejected? The Father turned His head away.
God comes down to help us because He knows how miserable sorrow is. A God who is only transcendent cannot be empathetic. A transcendent God who humbles Himself to share in our sorrows can only be loved and worshiped. God hears our cry from His temple, our cries come before Him, even to His ears, and He rends the heavens and comes down (Ps. 18:6-8). “I know that sorrow!” He says, “I cried it myself.”