The Power of His Humanity

Pastoral Reflections

We may have forgotten most of it now, but it used to be a heated debate in the second century. How human was Jesus? Just how human was His humanity? This has long been answered, but sometimes, the question may still creep into our minds, especially when we long for a savior who would understand us. Then, we think of those places in Scripture that indicate so. He ate. He got tired at times. As a child, He grew in physical and mental capacities. He slept. He was moved to tears arriving at a friend’s grave.

If you want something more than a verse here or there, like a block of continuous (evidential) experiences, I would commend to you the narrative of His week in Jerusalem leading up to the crucifixion. We who speak in liturgical language call it the Holy Week or the Passion. It begins at the Triumphal Entry through the crucifixion to the silence of Holy Saturday.

There is something else about that week that I want to point our eyes to, which fascinates me this year as I ponder the Passion. Something that we, as ordinary humans, are familiar with in life. The complex, sometimes complicated, nature of our life and experiences!

As we follow Christ through Holy Week, we see Him live through such web of complex, sometimes complicated, sets of events, emotions and responses. There was praise but then also prejudice. Acclamation and condemnation. Courage and resoluteness, yet moments of distress and need to resist the instinct to bypass a difficult call. Forceful public moments. Private moments with close friends with whom to process things. Very personal, sweaty moments at a quiet garden. Corrective actions borne out of (righteous) jealousy for the Temple. Lament over a beloved city. Optional silence at a trial for His own life.