“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard lest we drift away from it….
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.” Heb 2:1 and 17-18
There are bunches of “therefore’s” in Hebrews. I have to look hard and pay attention to why are the “therefore’s” there for?
There are two verses in Hebrews 2 that caught my attention. The first is the statement “we much pay closer attention…lest we drift away from it.”
Drift is the right word. I am always taken by the fact that I can drift away. I wander, I “ooze”, I creep, and every movement like those that I can’t think of…away from Jesus. This is not real good theology but it is an apt description of what happens to me.
I get distracted by something small. It starts to consume more of my mental energy and focus. It is a factor in breaking a habit of, oh, just about anything good: I stop my daily prayer time; my reading the Scriptures time; exercise; fellowshipping; hospitality; and other things. I don’t really consciously “stop” doing these things, I just take a day off, go on vacation, and that kind of thing. One day turns into two days which turn into a week and all of a sudden it is next year and I realize “what happened?” Then I struggle to get back into the habit again…
This happens to all of us: part of our fallen nature and succumbing to temptation.
That is why the second reference is so important: Jesus is well aware of the temptations that come our way. The Scripture is very clear here: “…he had to be like His brothers in every respect…” Jesus knows exactly how we are, not in a theoretical God-type exercise but an actual experience for a specific reason:
“…so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest…” Jesus can be our High Priest before God the Father and plead forgiveness to our sorry lot because of His work of Atonement on our behalf.
So, to review: When we sin (and we do) we know without a doubt that Jesus knows exactly what we succumbed to and why-because He was confronted with the temptation and did not succumb to the temptation. Also, because He knows how weak our frame is he can sympathize but firmly and with appropriate gentleness direct us to repent and turn from our sin. While He is at it, He is our Priest before God the Judge attesting to His work of Atonement on our behalf, resulting in our continued acquittal from the penalty of our sin.
And because of this tremendous reminder, it is a daily requirement to pay specific and closer attention because we really don’t want to drift away from remembering what and who Jesus is.
There are so many points of the Gospel to learn and remember, isn’t there? Take note: to not be shaken, firm up our foundations.
Lord Jesus. It seems I learn daily of the impact of the Atonement on my life. It is a large part of “transforming my mind to prove what Your will is…” Thank You for providing clarity on the subject step by step. Thank You for showing how this knowledge applies to my life. I am so very grateful-this is not a dry exercise for me and You see that. I want to speak about it daily. AMEN.