The Sympathy of Christ
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same.” “Verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.” “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” In that He himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” Such, my reader, is Christ, and such His sympathy with you! And in all the circumstances of your Christian life it is an instructive and consolatory thought, that your humanity is represented in heaven by the Head of all creation; that the Lord Jesus – the “first-born among many brethren” – is still clad in our nature, and occupies the central throne in glory, exalted “far above all principality and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” From that elevation of dignity, glory, and power, encircling spirits hymning His high praise, there flows down to you a continuous stream of sympathy, grace, and succour, meeting your every circumstance, supplying your every want, soothing your every grief, and shedding the soft and cheering lustre of a personal presence on your homeward path to glory. And although we no more “know Christ after the flesh,” yet, dealing by faith with His personality, we may realise that we possess a Friend, a Brother, and a Redeemer, in whom are mysteriously yet truly united – the SYMPATHETIC NATURE OF MAN, with the INFINITE MIND OF GOD.
I found this book by Octavius Winslow back in 1997 when I was going through a particularly dark and lonely time in my life. Very dark. Very lonely. The book was like a tender hand upon my shoulder in that darkness. It was a kind voice gently reminding me that Jesus was touched by what I was going through and could relate to my loneliness.
I’ve been wanting to read this book again. I don’t remember how many times I’ve read it in the past. But it’s been a long time. So I began reading it on November 25th, one month before Christmas and just two days before Advent began. What better time of the religious year to read a book about the humanity of Christ than during the four weeks leading up to the feast day that celebrates His birth? What better time to meditate on the reason why the baby Jesus was born? The reason was not just to promote a quaint old story that is now tangled up in strings of light and burdened by presents under a pine tree. It’s more than that: Jesus was born in order to be MY friend, MY brother, MY redeemer. It’s about time I pulled this book off the shelf to be reminded of these things once again.