“Seeing then that 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 cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV
God up close
There is a tendency to think that God, the Creator of the universe is this distant and detached Sovereign, unaware and unconcerned with all that we go through. I know that this is simply not so. The Lord has blessed me with a cursed life where I have come to know and adore Him, God up close.
I remember laying on my back in a hospital bed at the Mayo Clinic, unable to walk, numb from mid chest down, wondering about what future I would have. There were all the examinations, all the probing and violations of my personal space one must endure in medical treatment. In the midst of all that darkness and pain, I thought of the Lord Jesus, fully exposed, being tormented on His way to the cross.
I thought of the life He led, God in human flesh, self humbled to live life as a mere man, yet fully God. He went through the unspeakable for my good, that I and a multitude of sinners be reconciled to God. I resolved to endure what I must, for I knew He was with me.
Every Christian should read and reread the passage in Hebrews chapter four when they think that the Lord does not care. Jesus went through things the we cannot imagine, and we may never know the extant of His suffering at the hands of the Romans, who were known for humiliations that are unspeakable.
“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:2 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, our Jesus, our Savior went to the cross to die for our sins, accepting the brutality of what was to come, that we can have access to the throne of the Father. He is not a distant God who does not know us, but one who became like us, and experienced all that we experience.
He died, that He would be buried, and He then rose again, that the sin debt be paid, and that each of us, by faith, could have peace with God.
He did not leave us without resource, for in dying in our place, a great exchange indeed, He also exchanged our wicked hearts with clean ones, and our dead spirit with His Holy Spirit, that we be able to live the new lives that He has afforded us.
It is said that God seems nearest in times of trial. I can tell you this is true. In your darkest times, Jesus is God up close, walking beside you, and residing in you in the midst of trouble.
The times that we are living in are wicked, and will grow more wicked still. But let us remember that we have the word of God, and His presence within us to get us through. We also have the benefit of knowing the end of the story, the great victory to come. Let us focus on that even as all hope seems to fade.
May our primary focus be on the mission the Lord has laid out for us, as we go and tell others of Jesus, of the Good News, that those furthest from God and nearest hell, can have the same security found only in salvation through Jesus.
Let us also remember that the same Lord who walked footsteps of grief before us, has also called us, and promised that He would be with us.
“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
Matthew 28:16-20 NKJV
“But some doubted.”
There are those among us who have doubts, for fear has crept into our hearts. I tell you the truth, if I had know before hand all the things I have suffered, I am not sure if could borne it, but the Lord prepared me with baby steps of faith. In every life there are little hills and valleys. Let us endeavor to remember those times when the Lord has been faithful, that we be able to stand in the oncoming evil days.
Put the Lord to the test, that you too can have all doubts removed, and you will be one who hasn’t tasted the goodness of the Lord.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”
Psalms 34:8 NKJV
Just as He came and became one of us, let us rejoice that we who believe God will one day be where He is.
““Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
John 17:24 NKJV
Have a fabulous Friday!