For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
The heart of the Christian message rests on the willingness of the same God who authors creation to come and be in our midst in the world in which we live. It is a striking claim. But we cling to it as the message that brings us life.
Equally striking is that this God did not come into the world to conquer its flaws but to suffer because of them. While Jesus acts as a high priest, offering up a sacrifice on our behalf, unlike most priests, Jesus’ sacrifice is himself and not something else. Jesus became fully human and knows what it is to live in the world with the issues we face. He knows what it is to be tested and to struggle. He knows what it is to feel pain, suffering, grief and even death. And yet the God we meet in Jesus did not flinch from the commitment to love and bless the world. Jesus remains faithful to the very end.
We often feel overwhelmed by the things we face in life. And we often flinch when confronted with the hard choices. But Jesus is there to love us anyway and to remind us that the most important things we have are not earned by our work, nor preserved by our caution. They are gifts from God and the love that God has for us cannot be taken away. God is persistent in loving us to the very end.
This message can free us to live bolder and more confident lives. If the most important things are offered as a gift and cannot be lost, then the chance to stand strong in the face of adversity becomes an opportunity for faithful living and not just a place to risk loss. Take time to reflect on the Jesus who offered himself for us and the world around us. You may find yourself set free from some of the things that paralyze you and opened up to a life filled with gratitude and meaning like never before.