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. Hebrews 4:15
Looking for my daily infusion of hope this morning, I opened my Bible to Hebrews 4 and read vs 15, then did a double take.
I’d read the verse wrong. The message I received in my brain was, “We have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses…” I shook my head. What?! I went back and read it again, and again it said, “We have a high priest who is unable…” That’s not right, I said to myself, and of course it’s wasn’t. Funny, what the brain can do to you before an infusion of caffeine.
The jarring reality of what this world would look like if we didn’t have a Savior able to empathize with our weakness, though, was a thought that lingered with me long after my mistake.
What if Jesus was a harsh Savior?
What if He cracked a whip over our backs every day?
What if He couldn’t or wouldn’t understand how susceptible we are to sin?
What if He didn’t come looking for us when we’re lost and alone?
What if He couldn’t care less about our pain?
What if He only cared about how low we’d go when He passed by, and wonder if it was never low enough?
What if Jesus looked the other way when we were tempted, or tearful, or tested beyond our ability to resist? What would life look like for us then? And wonder if we had no choice but to serve Him. Wonder if we hated Him, and He us, what would that do to us? What kind of life would we live then?
Today, I’m eternally thankful for a baby born in a manger, and that His birth was a divine act of mercy; that He grew up understanding a sacrifice would be necessary, and that He was willing to make it for me. I’m thankful that when I cry out, Jesus listens and not only listens, but understands and responds.
In the courtroom of heaven one day, I will have Jesus standing and defending me. How grateful I am for that promise that He will never leave me, never forsake me.
Today, I’m grateful for a high priest who is able to empathize with my weaknesses–for admittedly, they are legion. This reality is my only hope for my future.
How about you? Are you glad for a Savior who understands?