Day 4: Hebrews 4:12-16
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, 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 empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Is it possible to put the word of God into a coma? If it is, I think I may have done that when I became a religion major. Because I studied the Bible at school, people seem to think I have some greater understanding of it personally. It’s like they think I have God’s home number on speed dial and he and I go for coffee dates on a regular basis. News flash: not so much.
The summer before I left for college it was like every time I opened the Bible God would show me something new or clarify something old. I was constantly being awestruck by the awesomeness of God and his goodness. As my freshman year when on those interactions became fewer and fewer as the number of papers grew. Now I get more inspiration for reading Harry Potter than from reading my Bible. Like I said, I think I put it in a coma.
Nothing I have done has helped to wake it up. Going through this book has been a huge leap of faith for me. I was scared this would be no different than all the other times I have tried to connect with the spirit of God but failed. So far, it has not returned empty.
When I read verse thirteen before it felt like a threat. It was almost as if God was saying I needed to behave myself or he would send me to hell. When I read the same verse this time it was an entirely different experience. It was comforting. It was saying that my God, the creator of everything we can see and touch sees me.
He sees what I love. He sees what hurts me. He sees my loneliest nights and my most joyful days. He knows where my heart is wounded even better than I do. He sees everything.
This new understanding of the verse changes the way the rest of the passage reads. Jesus wasn’t slumming when he came to earth to die. He came to prove his love and to understand what we go through, that way he can gently lead us to his grace and mercy.
Not only does he see my loneliness, but he understands it. He has felt it. He has felt betrayed by friends. He has experiences the death of a friend. It stands to reason that he has also experiences the joy of weddings and births. He understands all of human existence because he has lived it.
Now, however, he welcomes us to experience a new existence. All of that bad stuff won’t go away; but we won’t be alone in it. I am not alone, not matter how much it feels like I am. I don’t have to fight this battle alone. My high priest fights along side of me. I can’t even put into words how incredible that is. I am not alone.