THE EMOTIONAL LIFE OF CHRIST
Q. Have I ever felt splanchnizo for someone who has suffered harm? Yes, I have had many such experiences. My profession was law enforcement for more than 26 years. I dealt with innocent crime victims, accident victims, and those suffering sickness and disease. Using CPR I extended the life of many people. I always prayed for the victim while doing CPR, and God used me to revive many people that were clinically dead during the course of my career.
Q. How did compassion lead me to a righteous response? I am a born-again follower of Jesus Christ. My primary motivation is love; the love of Jesus in me, and my love and appreciation toward him for saving me, forgiving all my sin, and declaring me justified. I believe compassion is a secondary emotion of love—God’s love in me. Compassion moves me to do everything in my power, including prayer, to alleviate those who are suffering. We operate a non-profit prison ministry. It is love that motivates us to bring the message of God’s love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy to the lost and hurting. The benefit has been the transformation of many as they embrace Jesus and receive his mercy and grace. Many have said, “knowing Jesus makes me more free than I ever was before coming to prison.”
Q. What comfort does it provide to know that Jesus has a fiercer anger against sin than I do? Under the Old Testament Law God demanded righteousness from sinful man; God hated sin. Under the New Covenant of Grace God imparts righteousness to sinful man, and he declares that he “remembers our sins and lawless deeds no more.” God not only poured the sin of the whole world into Jesus; he also poured his wrath against man’s sins into Jesus. Jesus took all of our Father’s wrath in his body on the cross. The bible says that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. Jesus never showed anger toward the common people of his day. He reserved his wrath against the religious leaders most of all. Why? They knew the prophesies of the Old Testament; prophesies that spoke in detail about the life & times of the coming messiah. They rejected the prophesies, and they saw the myriad miracles of Jesus and still rejected him. The religious leaders were the ones that allowed the vendors and money changers to operate in the temple, and it was the religious leaders for whom Jesus showed his wrath. The woman caught in the very act of adultery was shown love and forgiveness—John 8:1-11. God’s wrath was satisfied in the sacrifice of Jesus. It was horrible. So horrible that the Father had to look away. So horrible that Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Then Jesus uttered his last words: “It is finished.” The earth quaked, the temple curtain protecting the most holy place was torn in two, and the demands of the Old Testament Law were fulfilled and satisfied in the sacrificial death & resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” The New Covenant is all about God’s love and provision for humanity. Our part is to recognize that we are sinners in need of a savior, and turn to him for forgiveness, love, and gift of righteousness. As we surrender our will to him, and receive his love, our love for him will begin to grow. This will result in love for others, and a desire to live God honoring lives every day. Our love for Jesus must be our motivation.
Q. In what ways does sin dampen or distort our emotional response? Without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, sin distorts one’s entire life. It affects what is believed and how life is lived. What we believe affects how we think, filter events, and ultimately what course of action we will take. But to those who have truly surrendered their life to Christ it is a different story. We are declared to be new creations in Christ, all our sins are forgiven, we are declared righteous, and that we will reign in life through Jesus Christ. Where is anger? Judged at the cross of Christ. I am not a sinner! I am a Saint who occasionally sins, and when I do Jesus is my advocate, continually making intercession on my behalf before our Father. I rest in his love, forgiveness & grace. It was for freedom that Christ has set us free to reign in life.