It has been a long dry summer! I have missed being here every morning! It has been over a month since I last posted. The end of the school year was the end of my 22 years of teaching, so I completely cleaned out my classroom. It was so strange to see it so empty of life, but I was not sad. I would have been doing a happy dance had I not been so exhausted! I’m looking forward to my new work, which has pretty much already started. The balance of summer is now filled with meetings.
Shortly after school ended, Don and I took a wonderful Viking River Cruise up the Danube, with an extra three days in Prague. We went with my sister, Susie, and her husband, Don (yes, two Dons, which it easy for everyone we met). It was a dream vacation filled with castles, cathedrals, cobblestone streets, narrow alleys, beautiful bridges, and lots of sausage and strudel! We pretty much ate our way up the Danube!
However, I’m so anxious to get back into God’s Word and to be filled with its wisdom! I have been starving! So, let’s get right back to our book of Hebrews, in which the author argues the superiority of Christ. In this next passage, the author of explains the benefit of having a high priest who understands our weaknesses.
Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins. And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses. That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as theirs. (Hebrews 5: 1-3)
The Jewish high priest, who made sin offerings on behalf of the people, understood their temptations because he had the same weaknesses. When he made the sin offerings, he was including his own sin. Our High Priest, Jesus, was without sin. However, he was thoroughly acquainted with our temptations, griefs, worries, struggles, because He, too, suffered temptations. He endured frustrations, interruptions, rejection, disappointment, fatigue, hunger, loneliness, desertion of friends, betrayal, etc.
When we are going through a struggle, it’s nice to have the sympathy of friends and family, who come along side with a listening ear. But when we can actually talk with and pray with someone who has been through the exact same experience, there is so much more power in the sharing. Talking with someone who can empathize with our grief at the loss of a dream or who can completely identify with our fear over a diagnosis because that person has been through the same experience is so much more helpful in the midst of a trial. For this reason, Jesus, who is “acquainted with our grief” (Isaiah 53:3), is the superior High Priest.
I’m so grateful that Jesus gets it! I’m so thankful that He gets me! To think that He knows me completely and, yet, lavishes me with mercy and grace amazes me! Thank you, thank you, LORD!