TGIF – thank God it’s Friday. Is that what you’re saying today? We all have weeks when we stumble into the weekend in a kind of emotional stupor, don’t we? Life can turn into a maelstrom; confusion, fear, doubt, fatigue, disappointment, demands, temptation, too many demands wrapping us up, robbing our peace.
Let me remind you of something true. There is Someone who is there for you, who knows your emotional state, to Whom you can cry. If you’re reading this blog, I am fairly certain that is not news, but we can forget it, doubt it, even reject it when it all just seems ‘too much’ to take. Meditate on this word for a moment. “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, NIV) Go back and re-read that passage one more time; slowly!
At the beginning of His final week before the Cross, Jesus was met with palm branches and acclamation when He entered Jerusalem. Sounds good, right? But, it broke His heart because He knew that the crowds were fickle, that they would turn on Him in a matter of days. All that week He struggled with the men who were His friends knowing that He was about to entrust the Kingdom message to them, yet seeing them bicker about their status, fail to grasp what was really going on.
One of them turned on Him, betraying Him in the worst way. In His time of great crisis, as He wrestled with the will of the Father, He asked them to pray with Him and … they fell asleep! I cannot even imagine how isolated and alone He must have felt. He was subjected to physical torture, psychological games by political hacks, and then sent to a horrific death. For me the most wrenching cry from the Cross is this: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” It is the anguish of One torn from all that has defined Him from eternity!
That Jesus is YOUR Great High Priest this morning. Given that single week from His life, can you actually say He does not know what you’re dealing with today? Stop trying so hard to make the hurt go away. Stop trying to work it out ‘til it makes sense.
Focus on this – “Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” (Hebrews 7:24-26, NIV) The older translation has a beautiful phrase I want you to hang onto today: “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by Him!”
He is praying for you, for me, for this busted up world we live in, right now before the Father God. Contrary to what you might be feeling at the moment, He has not lost control of your life. You maybe did, He never did. You can cry. You can scream. You can sit in angry silence. Regardless, He is able to save to the uttermost! Will you trust Him?
The word from the Word for this Friday is one that I hope will remind us that we cannot save ourselves, that it is not from us that salvation comes. ” Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” (Hebrews 12:1-3, NLT)
“We do this … by keeping our eyes on Jesus, our Great High Priest, Who saves to the uttermost!”
Jesus! what a friend for sinners!
Jesus! lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.
Jesus! what a strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him;
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my strength, my vict’ry wins.
Jesus! what a help in sorrow!
While the billows o’er me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my comfort, helps my soul.
Jesus! what a guide and keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night o’ertakes me,
He, my pilot, hears my cry.
Jesus! I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find,
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.