June 26, 2021
Scripture: Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18
Observation: The Son of Man was like us in every respect. He experienced the joys (John 15:11, 17:13) and sorrows (John 11:35, Luke 19:41) of life and even suffered when he was tempted (Matthew 4:1-6, 16:23), yet was without sin. For these reasons, the author of Hebrews declares that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient to appease our Holy Father and to rescue us from the temptation to sin. How so? His Holy Spirit, who dwells in us (Romans 8:9-11), leads us away from the snares of temptations by providing escape routes (1 Corinthians 10:13). What are our escape routes? Worship, creativity, acts of service, and Scripture recall. The Son of Man applied all of these tactics throughout his ministry. When exhausted or sorrowful he withdrew to quiet places to worship and pray to his father. He exercised creativity when he told parables to reveal greater truths. And he served others by feeding, healing, and restoring the brokenhearted. Lastly, when he was starving from a 40-day fast, he recalled the promises of the Father in their correct context to rebuff Satan’s misquotes.
Takeaway: Thankfully, our Savior understands our struggles with temptations and knows how to navigate away from them toward higher ground. That’s why he has given us the Holy Spirit to show us our escape routes and a community of believers to hold us accountable along the way. Together with Christ, they’re an unbeatable team that will help us resist temptation.
Prayer: Father God, please help us to cooperate with your Holy Spirit when he exposes our sins with his truth and grace and holds us accountable through a godly community of believers. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling