For those of us who affirm the deity of Jesus, it can be easy for us to assume that he did not face the same struggles that we face, because, we tell ourselves, he was God. While that is true, Jesus was, and is, God who became man, it does not follow that he didn’t face the same struggles that we face. One of the areas that we can assume that Jesus was different was that he knew the future. For example, he knew that he was going to be handed over to the Romans and killed. He knew Judas would betray him and that Peter would deny him. He knew that he had come to give his life as a ransom for mankind. In many ways, Jesus did know his future, but it also is clear that in other ways Jesus did not know all that would happen to him. As I said before Jesus knew how he was going to die, but there is an aspect of his death that he was not aware of. Through Jesus’ question, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”, Jesus indicates that he was unaware that while he was physically dying, he would also experience being forsaken by his heavenly Father. Jesus had already revealed to his disciples that they would forsake him. However, if he had known that he would have to endure being forsaken by God as well as man and even his friends, there would have been no need of him asking that question. His question addressed to God indicates that he was unaware of what he was currently experiencing. This unawareness on Jesus’ part reveals that he is an even greater role model for those of us who follow him. Even though he was unaware of aspects of his future, he still trusted God, indicated by his subsequent statement, “Into your hands, I commit my spirit”.
We should never discount Jesus’ ability to understand the struggles, including fear of the future, that we face. The fact that he was divine does not remove the reality that he also had to trust God. He was not aware of everything that would happen to him. Jesus’ example on the cross refutes the error that Jesus doesn’t completely understand our struggles because he was God. Rather, we can draw encouragement and strength from Jesus’ example, because he too, experienced times when he didn’t understand, but still chose to trust God.