Hebrews 2:14-18 (NIV)
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
On February 15, 1921, there was a doctor who performed an appendectomy. The doctor performing the surgery was Dr. Evan Kane who over his 37-year medical career had performed nearly 4,000 appendectomies, so this surgery was not at all unusual except for two things.
First of all, this was the first time that local anesthesia had ever been used in major surgery. Dr. Kane believed that local anesthesia was safer than putting a patient completely to sleep. Most of his colleagues agreed with him in principle, but they wanted to see first if it would actually work.
So Dr. Kane searched for a volunteer, a patient who would be willing to undergo surgery while under local anesthesia. It wasn't easy to find one. Most people are squeamish at the thought of being awake during their own surgery. Others are fearful that the anesthesia might wear off too soon.
Finally, though, Dr. Kane found a volunteer, and on Tuesday morning, February 15th, the operation began. The patient was prepped and wheeled into the operating room. A local anesthetic was applied. And as Dr. Kane had done thousands of times before, he cut open the tissues and removed the appendix. The patient had only minor discomfort and recovered quickly, dismissed two days later.
Dr. Kane had proven his theory. Thanks to the willingness of a brave volunteer, Dr. Kane demonstrated that local anesthesia was an alternative, even a preferred alternative.
But I said there were two facts that made this surgery unusual. I've told you the first: the use of local anesthesia. The second unusual thing was the patient -- the patient was Dr. Kane. You see, in order to prove his point, Dr. Kane operated on himself. The doctor became a patient in order to convince the patients to trust the doctor.
As unbelievable as that may seem, it is insignificant compared with what Jesus Christ did for us. The Great Physician voluntarily became one of us. He placed himself in our shoes. He left the glories of heaven to live on this earth as one of us -- to suffer our pains and feel our fears. Why? So that when you hurt, you will know that you have someone who understands -- your Great Physician -- and you will have confidence to go to him for healing.
Dear Lord, thank You for coming to Earth to become one of us and walked in our shoes so that as we go through things we can look to you and know You went through them also and understand. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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