August 17, 2022
“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)
You have heard me say that part of our responsibility as a church family is to help one another get home before dark. In other words, we want to help each other follow Jesus faithfully every day, all of our days. But there are people in our lives that we find difficult to help. Sometimes they don’t want help, or don’t know how to ask for or receive help, or consistently build walls around them that make it difficult for others to get over in order to help. How do we help those who seem to be so critical, demanding, a quick to judge?
If we are going to make progress helping someone who seems so difficult to reach, there are two initial steps we need to make. 1) We need to understand them and 2) We need to help them understand them and their need. Here is what I mean.
Jason grew up in a home where his dad was an angry, abusive, and violent alcoholic. Jason remembers hiding from his dad and just trying to stay out of sight lest he be the recipient of his father’s irrational and maniacal tirades. Those experiences had a profound influence upon Jason and shaped his thinking about many things. In order to help Jason, I need to understand those influences since that will help me understand him. But Jason needs to understand Jason as well. Jason has not only been sinned against, but Jason is a sinner whose default response is to sin back. Jason’s anger does not need management, it is needs to be rescued. Jason needs understanding for sure, but Jason needs a redeemer. Jason needs to be rescued from his own sin that contributes to the layering and complicating situation of his life.
Sin is part of our story. We have all been sinned against and we have all sinned in response, which sadly means that we have perpetuated the problem. Like Jason, we need understanding AND rescue. We need a counselor and a savior.
Here is my point. Our Savior and our salvation are deeply personal. Yes, there is a transactional aspect to our salvation. The debt of our sin was paid. There is a judicial aspect to our salvation too. We are declared righteous through the imputed righteousness of Christ. But our Savior and salvation are deeply personal. We have a Savior who understands us. “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…” Jesus knows all about our troubles. He is the man of sorrows who is very well acquainted with grief. He understands you deeper than anyone. But Jesus also rescues. He has been tempted as we are, YET WITHOUT SIN. He not only forgives our sin; he changes us by saving us from ourselves when he saves us from our sin.
Helping each other get home before its dark means that you and I are going to keep pointing each other to Jesus so that we will keep going with confidence to the One who understands us that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.
I am so grateful for Jesus! Thank you Lord for saving my soul!!
Grace and peace,
Sunday’s text: 1 Samuel 24:1-7