Thursday of the First Week of Lent

Today’s Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 11:27-12:20; Mark 4:21-41

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We like to make excuses for our mistakes. Our favorite excuse is our humanity. “To err is human,” or my personal favorite, “I’m only human.”‘

But in fact, we are not only human. We are fallen humans. We sin because we are sinners who like to sin. We are sinners because we know how to sin. We love to do it. We’re addicted to it. Temptation is an itch that we simply must scratch. We can’t stop.

Jesus is human, but without our fallenness, our sins, and without our excuses. He doesn’t need to justify Himself for His sins. And in Him, we need not ever justify ourselves again.

For we have a High Priest who went into the presence of the living God. He, being human like us but without sin, didn’t have to offer a sacrifice for Himself. Instead, He made a sacrifice for us. He sacrificed Himself.

His one perfect sacrifice counts for all–for all your sins and the sins of the whole world. He bears in His body the sin of the whole world and it dies with Him. He rises to new life on the third day, and all who believe and are baptized rise with Him.

“But, I can’t resist that temptation!” No, you can’t all by yourself. You might do well for a little while, but then you’ll be right there again in your failure and fallen nature.

Our High Priest has endured all that we have endured. He has been tempted in every way that we have been tempted. He didn’t sin. He didn’t fail. He didn’t fall.

Repent of your sins. Turn from them. Die to them. Drown them in the waters of your baptism, and rise again to live before God for others. Live each day in Christ not gratifying the flesh. Receive forgiveness from Him who overcame all your sins for you on the Cross.

You aren’t only human. You are one for whom the High Priest died. You are a forgiven human. That’s who you are now and who you will be on the Last Day. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

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