Humans and animals have a few physical traits in common. Both have a “breath of life” which will end in death someday. (Gen. 7:21-23) The flesh of both will return to the dust of the ground. (Eccl. 3:19-20) This does not mean we have the same nature or that we are on equal ground.
I would not risk my life or willingly sacrifice myself for the creatures of this world. Yes, they have value and we should not abuse them. God created animals for our use and benefit so we should take care of His blessings. (Gen. 1:26-28) Beyond this they have no lasting value since there is nothing about them that keeps on living past death.
There is no way I would choose to become like one of the animals of the world. To live as they live, to face the same trials and dangers they face, or to die without hope. Some say we are no different from the animals in that death ends us. The Bible says something different. “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28-29)
God created us with an eternal soul and gave us value beyond this life. (Matt. 16:26) We can think, reason, and decide what to do or how to live. It is this power of choice that gives us a special place because God wants us to choose to serve Him. (Deut. 10:12-13) God gave us our worth by His grace and love, and it is this value that motivates Him to bless us.
Displays of love and sacrifice are not new, but nothing can match what God does for us. (1 John 4:9-10) By the power of choice we choose to sin against our loving Creator. (1 John 3:4) He wants us to obey Him and we say No! Our sins separate us from God and He gives us a way back.
As wonderfully as God made us we are still far beneath His nature and character. He describes the great gulf dividing us this way. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:9) Surely a God “All-Powerful”, “All-Knowing”, and “All-Wise” would never lower Himself to become in anyway like His Creation. Yet He did.
Matthew 1:23 – “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
Jesus was still God even though His Divine Nature was in a human body. Why was He willing to lower Himself to live as we live? It was the only way He could save sinful man. He had to live in bodily form and experience what we do to become the perfect sacrifice. The Hebrew writer says, “A body you have prepared for me.” (Heb. 10:5-14)
The Lord also had to live in this body without sinning while experiencing the same hardships and trials we do. This is what the Hebrew writer says He did. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15) These were real trials and temptations just like we face and He could only confront them in a human body.
What a wonderful thought to know God the Son sympathizes with us when we go through hard times! When people mock and ridicule me for my faith, He understands how I feel. Jesus knows what it is like when someone slanders my name or when they lie about me to do harm. He faced the Devil’s best shot in Matthew chapter four and overcame.
An advocate is someone who pleads the cause or case of another and Christ is our advocate. God does not want us to sin, but if and when we do, the Lord is there as our go-between with the Father. (1 John 2:1) However, forgiveness comes only to those who confess their sins. (1 John 1:8-10) Jesus sympathizes with us to a point where He can act as our advocate with God.
Another passage describes Christ as our intercessor to God. “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34) It is nice to know that the one who is speaking to God on my behalf knows what it is like to face trials.
It is hard to appreciate and even understand why God would care so much for me. I am here as the result of His Creation. I choose to rebel against Him in sin. There is no hope based on my own merit. Jesus stepped in by living as man lives and dying as man dies. He did all of this without sinning Himself and yet He still argues my case before His Father. He is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses.”