Saturday, July 19, 2008

A sympathetic and merciful High Priest

When we are tempted dark thoughts come to us about how God views ours temptations. We might begin to imagination that he despises our weakness ("surely if I was a strong Christian I wouldn't have these thoughts"). Or we might think that he is angry with us. We probably are troubled by the thought that he is distant and aloof, that somehow his help is far away.

These thoughts, however real they seem, are in fact a lie. Our Father reassures us that the Son of his love, whom he appointed as our Saviour, is able to help us when we are tempted.

Christ has been set apart and sent to be a merciful and faithful high priest. He has made atonement for our sins, removing the condemnation that we rightly deserve. Not only is this so, but he also knows what it is like to be tempted (see Hebrews 2:17-18).

It is not too much to say that he is full of sympathy for his tempted people. He knew the pressure of temptation in a way that we will never know.

I once watched the effects of the storm tossed waves as they battered the sea wall at Scarborough. At one point the wall had given way due to the relentless force of the waves. Sadly that is our experience under the force of temptation. We give way to the pressure, wave after wave of it, and sin against our Lord. Christ, however, knew the pressure of temptation to a degree that we will never know. Unlike us he never gave way, never gave in, never collapsed under the force of temptation. But he knew the power of temptation crashing against his soul.

As strange as it may seem, this sinless Son of God is the only one who can truly help us under the weight and power of temptation. He is filled with sympathy and mercy toward us, and he can help us (see Hebrews 4:14-16). When we do sin we need to know that he intercedes for us (1 John 2:1-2).

We should go to him, and we should pour out our hearts before him. Will you do so when you are tempted?

We are at times afraid of others knowing about the temptations that face us. We are afraid of what they will think of us, and of how they will regard us, we feel so ashamed. Don't be afraid to go to Jesus Christ. He is more holy than you can possibly imagine, and yet he is more merciful than your mind can take in. Know that God appointed him for you. Know that he is sympathetic, merciful, faithful, and able to save to the uttermost all who come to God through him because he ever lives to make intercession (Hebrews 7:25).

You can't deal with temptation, but he can help you. You can't deal with your sin, but he can by his death. Come to Jesus Christ.


Anonymous said...

What a tremendous meditation! Your posts are such a blessing!

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is a great encouragement! Thank you!