Our Perfect Substitute
by Abiding Love
Since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let 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. – Hebrews 4:14-16
I remember being a teenager and believing, “my parents just don’t understand. They don’t know what it’s like to be me. They don’t understand the pressure to be popular, the pain of gossip, and the shame of being left out.” I didn’t realize that my parents still remembered what it was like to be a teenager.
I have young children and the cycle continues. They just can’t believe that I can remember how hard it is to be a kid. But I do. I do know what they are going through.
On a much higher level, we struggle to believe that the almighty God knows what it’s like to be human. So, we struggle to pray to God with transparency because it’s difficult to understand how he can relate to our pain.
That is why we love these words from Hebrews chapter four. The writer says that Jesus is our High Priest. That means Jesus is the mediator between us and our heavenly Father. But he is not a high priest that is out-of-touch with our feelings. Jesus came into this world and experienced everything we do. He was tempted in every way that we are.
The only difference: Jesus did not sin.
The writer reminds us of Jesus’ holiness, not to shame us, but to encourage us. Jesus is our perfect substitute and Savior. Jesus gives us his perfect record as a gift. Therefore, we can approach God with absolute confidence. We can tell him what we struggle with and all our guilt and pain. He hears us and even empathizes with us. And most of all, he forgives us.
Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer
January 23, 2019
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