For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, but without sin.

Hebrews 4: 15

Let’s face it, there are days when I am not very strong. I don’t mean sore muscles or being weary from the drain of life’s activities, and I am not referring to emotional tiredness, either. There are just times in life when temptations of various kinds are more real than is the will to turn away from them. This is a challenging aspect of living in the skin that God has provided to me as a dwelling place for my heart, mind, and soul, and these are not times that make me feel especially good about myself when I look at what I am thinking and doing from the perspective of the cross that Christ allowed Himself to occupy for my sake. This contrast between my depravity and Christ’s holy yet bloodied presence makes me want to go away and hide in a dark corner with my shame and guilt covering me.

However I may feel about these things and in these dark hours of my soul, Christ calls to me to come out and to engage with Him in the truth of His gospel of love, grace, and redemption. My self-imposed cave of regrets is not the place where my redeemed soul is supposed to reside. My sinfulness does have consequences, and there is always human fallout to deal with, but isolation and separation are not the answers that Christ provides to me. Christ knows the intensity of the challenge that life in this world of brokenness and temptation provides as He experienced life in this place to its fullest without succumbing to those same temptations. Additionally, there is nothing that we can do or any place that we can journey that will take us beyond the grace and the forgiveness of the cross of Christ. Our Lord’s blood is more than adequate to cover any sin that we can commit.

Jesus wants each of us to live fully in His presence. He also desires for us to live out His calling to be people that proclaim the eternal glory of God in every aspect of our lives. We cannot do this if we allow our times of weakness to overcome Christ’s mission for our lives. However, we are directed by God to be people that recognize the destructive nature of sin and who, therefor, turn to God in repentance and with a desire to open up our areas of weakness to the restorative work of the Spirit. Sin does not need to win in this contest for our loyalty, for, in Christ, it has already lost the battle for the soul. Thus, our sins have been forgiven on His cross, we are granted mercy and grace by Christ, and His Spirit works within us to strengthen our resolve to live as holy and righteous people. As the writer of Hebrews went on to say,

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4: 16 

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For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize wit our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4: 15

 

There are pressures and situations that take us outside of God’s will. Every person is born into this life with disobedience to God as our orientation; so, believing, thinking, and acting in ways that God calls sinful is our natural manner and certain approach to life. None of us get through our days without traveling along this devious path that leads away from God’s truth. Every human being fails to love absolutely and to give all for the sake of that love. Each of us compromises and is compromised in little and in great ways as we prosecute our journey through this world.

 

These statements present a bleak picture of humanity. Well, life can be truly bleak; however, that is not the way that God says that He desires for us to live. The Father wants us to join with Him in a life that is characterized by the experience of peace in our souls. He calls to all people to turn away from ourselves and to Him. This all begins with the acceptance of Christ as our Savior, and it continues with submission to Christ as Lord over all. There is no aspect of creation that is not under His authority, and there is no portion of our lives in which He does not have the right to reign supreme.

 

In the Father’s perfect plan, He established Christ as the high priest over all of creation. In this role as high priest Christ has the authority to act as judge and adjudicator of our righteousness. He has been well prepared for this position in that Jesus was truly tempted by all that we experience. Yet, He did not give in to any of the temptation. He remained true to His absolute trust in the Father and to a response to the world’s calling that is based upon faith. We can come before Christ with our brokenness and sinful hearts fully exposed. With total confidence we can open up the darkest corners of our lives to the light of His love. So, it is in the presence of God’s infinite grace that we can enter into the Sabbath rest that is the Father’s will and desire for our hearts and minds.