This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
After yesterday’s Leviticus I was praying for a nice, easy scripture verse for today. Let’s face it–that scripture was a bear!
So, back to Hebrews and our good friend Paul. This chapter starts with Paul telling the Hebrews about the rest and comfort that God offers which is good to hear after reading Leviticus.
Jesus understands our weaknesses. He faced every temptation that we did. Even on my worst day, having the worst luck, being the worst parent and wife, managing to flub up everything at my job (not my NEW job–I’m perfect at that. No, I mean flubbing on the OLD job). Even when I’m not doing anything right and sinning with every step–Jesus faced those same things. And he did not sin.
Now I know that Jesus didn’t have my job, life, marriage or children–but he faced the same temptations. He faced the same struggles. Yet while I fall on my face, Jesus managed to turn away–sinless.
It brings me comfort to know that Jesus walked in my shoes. I expect him to be without sin, but I guess in the back of my mind, I was imagining that it was easy for him to avoid sin–he was the son of God after all. But he was man, too. And as a man, faced human temptations.
When I was in college, my friends and I left our Baptist College and headed into Knoxville (home of the 1982 Worlds’ Fair). We’d decided we were going to see the controversial film, “The Last Temptation of Christ.” At the time, being in the South, the movie was causing HUGE protests throughout the city (and in my mind, likely the entire world.) Now when I talk about it up North, no one even knows what I’m talking about. I guess the Baptists just had a much bigger problem with it than anyone else.
Willem Dafoe played Jesus (he was good– no Henry Ian Cusick, mind you, but good nonetheless. Harvey Keitel played Judas– which looking back now, IS a stretch (I probably didn’t really know him back then). In the movie, while Christ is on the cross, he is given the opportunity to come down from the cross and live a human life. He is able to marry, have children and grow old. It is only on his deathbed that it is revealed to him that he WAS supposed to die and he calls to God to allow him to make the sacrifice.
I don’t find this hard to believe. Jesus was human. He loved, he longed, he desired–and yet he managed to remain perfect.
I cannot fathom the perfect part–that just isn’t a word that it part of my world. Whenever it is used, it typically refers to OKPs–Other Kids’ Parents– as in, “I love CiCi’s mom. She’s just perfect.” Just the fact that Jesus knows what I’m going through–that He totally gets my bad days, my bad moods and my bad actions. He gets it–he understands it– and he loves me anyway.
This chapter ends with verse 16:
16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Indeed, we can approach the throne, knowing that God will be merciful and will give us comfort.