Summary: Jesus is stronger. Stronger than the devil. Stronger. Stronger than any temptation, stronger than any fear, stronger than any sin. Jesus is stronger.
Remember the Road Runner cartoons where Wile E. Coyote chases the Road Runner cartoons and inevitably end up in a tight situation? The Coyote will chase the bird failing every time. He will explode, have a rock fall on him, have a ACME device malfunction or fall off the edge of a cliff. But, every once in a while, as the Coyote falls, he grabs hold of a twig sticking out of the side of the cliff….but we all know what will happen - He hangs there for a short time, and then of course, the twig snaps and he falls hitting the ground in a big puff of dust.
It doesn’t matter how strong the Coyote’s grip was; It doesn’t matter how determined the Coyote was; It doesn’t even matter how good his ACME equipment was, when the twig breaks, the Coyote falls. Poof.
Many of us have a Christian walk like Wile E. Coyote don’t we? We buy the best available equipment for our walk of faith: A study bible, solid Christian books, maybe a bible computer program – we attend service, take notes, even go to a mid week study of some kind. In fact, there are times where we seem to have caught on….and then we fall off the cliff. Poof, big puff of dust.
For you see, the key to a great faith is not how strong we are, but what the faith holds on to that is strong. If faith holds on to a breakable twig, then no matter how strong the grip is, that faith will fall, just like Wile E. Coyote. Fortunately we have something to hold onto that is strong, in fact stronger than anything we could build ourselves up to, in fact stronger than anything that can come against us – the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is stronger. Stronger than the devil. Stronger. Stronger than any temptation, stronger than any fear, strong than any sin. Jesus is stronger.
Through the strength of Jesus Christ – THAT is how our faith overcomes. Our Scripture today helps us understand how this works – and the result for us is that “we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Verse 16
I could use that, grace and mercy in my time of need, couldn’t you?
Before we jump into our Scripture this morning, let me pose a question for you to ponder in your Christian walk: Do I hold onto Jesus Christ when times get tough, or do I hold onto something else to get me through?…..Other things I might hold onto instead of Christ might include - My intellect; My abilities; My wealth; Relationships, both professional and personal; Keeping busy; My intuition; Being critical and degrading of others…get the picture?
We can fool ourselves. The truth is, even for those of us who have been Christians for a long time, we trust ourselves more than we trust the Lord Jesus, we trust a long list of other things more than the Lord Jesus. Truly, in a practical sense, we trust in Jesus as our strength to get us through, only after all other options are exhausted, but by that time we are hitting the ground - poof of dust.
Please have your bibles open to our Scripture for today, Hebrews chapter 4: 14-16. I know some of you have closed your bibles already since we have already read the Scripture. It will help you understand our God’s Word better this morning if you have your bible open, you can see with your own eye what God has written to you. If you have a hard time finding the book of Hebrews, just use the table of contents in the front of the bible – don’t worry I won’t see you flipping to the index, my eyesight is fairly poor; so your secret is perfectly safe with me…..I think I have spent enough time stalling for you to find the Scripture haven’t I?
Hebrews 4:14. As we look at this first verse we see that we have a high priest, and Jesus is that high priest. What does that mean?
I think this is becoming more difficult for us to understand with more and more religions becoming prominent in the USA now. The pagan notion of priesthood has somewhat colored our thinking in reference to a biblical priest. A pagan priest in effect, bars the approach to God calming the possession of some mystical power essential to bringing a person to God. To get to God a pagan needed the priest. A person has to go through the pagan priest to get to God. He is not able to go to God on his own. There is a wall, a distance placed between the worshipper and God.