Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. Hebrews 7, verse 27.
This is a comforting thought. On days like yesterday, I’m overwhelmed. I realize that my version of ‘overwhelmed’ right now is pretty first-world. I’m not starving to death; I haven’t recently lost loved ones; I have a home, food, clothing, a job (which is why I feel overwhelmed), and so much more to be thankful for than anything about which I could complain. Yet the weather outside is gloomy and rainy, and my senses are overwhelmed, mainly because of the job I mentioned. I’m blessed to announce that I’ve started in a new full-time position just yesterday, so now I find myself struggling to get up to speed quickly. God has provided as He always does, and I feel like I’m trying to drink from a fire hose. I can’t remember which sites to go to for which items, the new laptop doesn’t log into the customer Citrix portal, I don’t yet know who to go to when I need help, I don’t want to mess up, and there is so much more that I don’t know about this new position than what I do know.
Boo freakin hoo, Dave, and waaaah. I’m 50, employed, and living in America. Snap out of it, boy, and get with the program; it’s only been one day and it takes time to get up to that speed. Except that, even though I’m a 50 year old employed American, I still feel overwhelmed. Yes, in time I’ll catch up and learn how things are done on the new job. But for today it has me sort of bowled over. There is so much to take in and I feel inferior until I do. Even a little gun-shy having been released from my last position. Yet in the middle of all this, there’s something important to remember: I can do this. I can do it because Jesus is on my six.
Did Jesus ever feel overwhelmed? I’m betting He did, yet He didn’t spiral downward in some pity party. He stayed true without sin. Jesus experienced every non-sinful emotion that you or I experience. He was fully man yet fully God. Think about it: He lived fully as a man without succumbing to the temptation to feel sorry for himself, or to let the world push Him in a direction that would drag him past temptation. He was tempted, but He resisted it by keeping His eyes on the Father. He proved a man could fully live without diving into transgression. It can be done, even if I’ve never done it. I’ll never be sinless, but I don’t have to be mired down by sins going forward. That means we can overcome, we can get up to speed.
When I’m overwhelmed by things I’m learning, tasks to get done, and all the stuff that goes with starting a new job, I find it comforting that the man who saved me from my eternity of death was never tainted by sin. His work was done the way our work was designed to be done. We were designed to do perfect works for Him – even managing projects! – yet every one of our works since Adam has been radically imperfect. Enter Jesus, who made right the crooked path, who lived a sinless life so that He could restore balance to what man and sin unbalanced. He didn’t have to earn His bread, but He did. He doesn’t need to offer up substitute sacrifices to atone for things He did wrong because He never did anything wrong yet, when the chips were down, offered Himself up as the real, not substitute sacrifice, for bonehead things that I’ve done. Or you. Or the pope…feel free to go down the list.
Because of Jesus, I can do this.
For further reading: Hebrews 5:1-3.
My Lord, abide with me. Guide me, steady me, counsel me, and teach me to be patient and to give it my all.