Oftentimes in life, the answers to our most pressing questions can be found right in front of us. In that way, life functions a little bit like a riddle. In Stephen King's third Dark Tower novel, The Wastelands, a group of friends must banter with a talking computer to win a ride on his train that will take them to their next destination. Once they win the ride, the computer reveals that unless they can stump him with a riddle, he will run the train off the tracks, killing them all.
The group takes turns riddling the computer, but he has an answer to all of them. Finally, with moments to spare, Eddie, the sidekick to the main character and the "class clown" of the bunch, who is often ridiculed for his lack of seriousness, steps up to the plate again.
Instead of using long, complicated riddles like his friends, he begins a series of silly riddles that they had just hours before called "children's riddles" because of their humor and simplicity. However, it is because of this simplistic nature that the computer eventually gets stumped and the group wins their freedom.
Eddie said that the key to riddles is "thinking around the corner." Good riddles are phrased in such a way that their meaning is hidden in plain sight. Oftentimes, the answers to riddles are so simple that we feel silly after someone tells us the answer. And that's how Eddie was able to fool the computer - he used riddles that were so simple that the answers hid in plain sight.
Sometimes we treat our spiritual lives like the computer treated the overly simplistic riddles. We tend to overthink things. Instead of seeing the answer in plain sight, we complicate everything!
It seems like whenever we hit a spiritual rut - when we are struggling with sin, or not reading our Bibles like we should, or we feel far away from God - we try to overcomplicate things. We buy a new book that we think will tell us all the answers. We download a new Bible reading plan that we swear we will keep up with this time. We get a new prayer app that we believe will help us be more diligent. We watch a few Paul Washer sermons to make us feel guilty so we will finally shape up.
But friends, that isn't what the Bible calls us to do! Our relationship with God isn't a set of do's and don'ts. It isn't a complicated riddle that God is laughing at us attempting to solve. We only make it out to be that way! What does the Bible tell us to do - whether we are in a good place spiritually or struggling? Let's look at the book of Hebrews to find out.
Shortly after the author of the book of Hebrews warns his readers about neglecting the faith, he says this:
Hebrews 3:1: "Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession." [CSB]
Consider Jesus. After a heavy warning about apostasy and its very real possibility, the only thing the author tells his readers to do is to consider Jesus. You would think that with these people's very salvation on the line, the author would launch into some kind of 12 step program to spiritual recovery. Instead, to this troubled group of Christians who were on the verge of renouncing their faith, he tells them to consider Jesus. It's that simple!
So my challenge to you today is to consider Jesus. Too often we get bogged down in the nuts and bolts of Christianity. Sometimes it is best for us to stop and just consider the Author and Finisher of our faith.
No matter where you are spiritually - whether you are walking closely with God or struggling to maintain fellowship with HIm - I encourage you to take a few moments out of your day to consider Jesus. Here are 3 ways you can do that.
1. Consider His Life
Later in the book of Hebrews, the author says this about Jesus:
Hebrews 4:15: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin." [CSB]
No matter what we are going through in life - Christ has been there. There isn't a temptation out there that Christ cannot sympathize with. What does this mean? It means that your Savior understands. He has been there. When you cry out to him in temptation, you aren't crying out to a deity that is detached from reality. You are crying out to the God who became flesh and lived a life on this dusty little planet we call home. Take comfort in that!
2. Consider His Death
In chapter 10 of Hebrews, the author lays out why Christ's sacrifice was superior to the sacrifices under the Old Covenant. He says that,
Hebrews 10:12: "But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God." [CSB]
This man is referring to Jesus and here it is said of him that he made one offering for sins, in contrast to the sacrifices that had to be repeated time after time in order to atone for the sins of those under the Old Covenant. And then, He sat down. In other words, He accomplished His mission of paying for the sins of all who would believe in Him.
If you are a believer, Christ accomplished your salvation at the cross when He laid down His life for you! He made a once and for all sin offering that atoned for all of your sins - past, present, and future. Furthermore, through that perfect sacrifice we have, "our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water." [Hebrews 10:22 CSB]
That is something that was not possible under the Old Covenant and is made possible only through the perfect death that Christ died for His people. That means you, Christian!
3. Consider His Ongoing Ministry on Your Behalf
Finally, look at this final verse in the book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 7:25: "Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them." [CSB]
Right now, Christ is in Heaven interceding for the ones He died for. Hebrews says he always lives to intercede for them. There is not a moment in Heaven in which Christ is not actively working in Heaven for His people. That means He is interceding for you. You are never alone in your struggle, because your perfect priest is in Heaven pleading your case before the Father. Always. That is a comforting thought!
We have now considered Jesus' life, His death, and His ongoing ministry on our behalf. Hopefully, after considering your Savior, you are no longer puzzling about your spiritual walk like a riddle. Instead, I pray you are considering Jesus, who the writer of Hebrews calls, "the source and perfecter of our faith." [Hebrews 12:2 CSB]
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