Because He was made like His brethren in all things, Jesus experienced the vile and vicious treatment described in Psalm 41:7-9. Here it is written: “All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they devise my hurt. ‘An evil disease,’ they say, ‘clings to him. And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.’ Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” Because of His suffering, we have a merciful and faithful High Priest who can sympathize with us when:
- People whisper together against us. Jesus knew the painful sting of gossip and behind-the-back hate speech. He was the object of deliberate plans intended to hurt and humiliate Him. “When will he die, and his name perish?” (Psalm 41:5) was a conversation topic of David’s enemies and Christ’s. Even before Jesus had chosen the apostles (Mark 3:14), His enemies had plotted together on how they could destroy Him (Mark 3:6). Ultimately, their vicious plotting resulted in the public shame and humiliation of Jesus’ crucifixion.
- Betrayed by a trusted, close friend. Few emotional wounds in life cut deeper, hurt greater, or scar more than the treachery of an adulterous spouse or the betrayal of one who was a close friend. Not only was Judas one of the twelve, he was the treasurer (John 12:26) entrusted with the generous, sacrificial support personally given by many (Luke 8:2-3). Like the apostle John, Judas heard, saw with his own eyes, handled with his own hands, and looked upon the incarnate Son of God (cf. 1 John 1:1). They had traveled together, eaten together, worshipped together. The betrayal of Judas was not a superficial wound; the long blade of his betrayal cut deep and went in all the way to the hilt.
What a friend and High Priest—merciful, faithful, and sympathetic—we have in Jesus!