By: Carole L. Haines
“I (Jesus)know how hard the journey is, which is why I walk with you step by step.” (Cherie Hill-He Whispers your name)
I was reading this wonderful devotion a friend recommended to me when I came across the above statement. I was reading the devotion to my husband over the phone as he drove to work and just instinctively added my own line to it. I said to him, “I know how hard the journey is”…I’ve walked it. It made me remember the two verses in the book of Hebrews about Jesus experience as a man.
“Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:17-18)
Now that word propitiation is not one we use every day. It means, “gracious, merciful, to make reconciliation for, atone for. It’s only used two times in the Bible. This verse and in The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, found in Luke 18: 9-14. The Pharisee was very arrogant and self-righteous in his prayer, but the Tax Collector was sorry for his sins.
“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”(Luke 18:13)
Jesus became the atonement for our sins to reconcile us to God. This tax collector refers to himself as THE sinner, not just A sinner. When we see our sin for what it is, we feel like THE biggest sinner in the world, not just A little sinner. That’s when we cry out to God, like the Tax collector to be merciful and Gracious to us. Jesus was made like us even in the feeling of sin, but the only time He felt sin, was when He literally bore the weight of it on His shoulders on the Cross for us. This is the moment He cried out, “My God, My God, Why Have you forsaken me?” Jesus never knew separation from His Father and the Holy Spirit until that moment, that Heart-shattering moment of bearing our sins. Jesus is our Merciful and Faithful High Priest and since He Himself was tempted in that which He suffered; He can come to our aid when we are tempted. He knows…He walked it.
The other verse in Hebrews where the word tempted is used is:
“Therefore, since 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 One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
When we are tempted and sin, we want to run and hide as Adam and Eve did when they sinned in the Garden. But we need to run to Jesus instead. We need to draw near to the one who walked this journey of life in the flesh and was tempted in all things as we are, yet He never sinned. He calls us to run to Him with confidence, to His Throne of Grace with trust and belief in His Mercy. He promises that we will find grace to help us in our time of need. He is faithful. He knows how hard the journey is we take…He’s walked it. So, walk Your journey with Jesus.