Normally I would give you 5 promises for the week, but this week I’m just going to give you one fat promise that has four little promise babies.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 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 4:14-16)
1. Jesus gets that you’re only human
According to the writer of Hebrews, we can hold fast our confession. Why? Because Jesus gets that we are only human.
Our mediator – our High priest has left Heaven, come down here, and He knows what it’s like to be us.
Picture those commercials that are on around the holidays: the commercials with wide-eyed kids from Africa, and a scrolling phone number under photos of their diseased and frail bodies and a pleading message for you to pick up the phone and give whatever you can afford.
Sometimes when we watch those we’re moved to compassion. We’re moved to pick up the phone and give some cash. Donating funds and watching one less movie each month – that’s our version of compassion.
God’s version of compassion is a little different.
Imagine if you were watching that commercial with your three-your old kid on the couch next to you. As you watch those children, suffering all the way across the world, you suddenly realize that you can’t fully have compassion on them because you don’t know what it’s like to be them.
Imagine that you long to identify; you long to have true empathy. So, you decide to send your child over there, to live in poverty, to experience all that hardship, so that when he is grown he can come back and tell you what it’s like and you can really understand. That child can come back and be an ambassador for those kids because he really gets what they’re going through.
That’s the compassion God has on us.
Guys, we can trust God today. You know why? He gets it.
Jesus came down here so that He could go back home to Heaven and explain to His father what it’s like to be human.
Whatever you’re going through today, God isn’t impatient. He isn’t rolling His eyes. He knows that this life is bumpy and hard and that being human has unique joy and unique pain. He gets that.
2. Jesus gets that you’re tempted.
Here’s the truth:
I’m sad that my dad is gone.
I don’t really get that my dad is gone. Sometimes I deal with it in really godly ways and sometimes I’m tempted to deal with it in ungodly ways.
Sometimes I’m tempted to be frustrated that my dad died before I got married.
Sometimes I’m tempted to believe that God isn’t a good enough Father to replace the dad I’ve lost.
Sometimes I’m tempted to believe that no one in the world can know what this feels like, least of all Jesus.
And Hebrews tells me that in these times I should run to God for grace and mercy because I’m wrong. Jesus gets it. He’s not shocked and appalled that those thoughts are floating around my head.
Jesus was tempted to be frustrated with singleness.
Jesus was tempted to believe that God wasn’t worth all the pain He went through.
Jesus was tempted to believe that the task He had been given was impossible. He was tempted to believe He was alone and unknown and unwanted.
3. Jesus gets temptation even more than you.
And here’s the neat thing: Jesus never yielded to those temptations.
Lots of times we think that means he can’t really identify with us, but what it actually means is that Jesus was tempted way more than us.
If two people are being tortured and one yields after 10 minutes, and one never yield for 33 years, who do you think can speak more clearly about the pain of torture?
4. If you draw near, God promises to give mercy and grace
Hebrews does the math for us. In light of all these other things you can know that if you’re sad or struggling or having a hard day, you can go to God. You don’t have to run from Him. You can run to Him.
It isn’t going to result in anger or irritation, but in grace and mercy.
Jesus knows where I am today.
He knows all the weird things that I’m feeling.
He knows what it’s like to lose a father.
He lost the only true Father so that I would never have to lose Him.
That’s mercy. That’s grace.