Collect for Monday:
Almighty God, grant that in the midst of our failures and weaknesses we may be restored through the passion and intercession of Your only-begotten Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.
Read Hebrews 9:11-15
Where do you live?
That is normally one of the first questions you are asked when you meet someone new. The assumed answer is the name of a town or state, or a section of the country. People are not expecting your street address, just a general idea of where you live.
If you live where I do, the next question is normally ‘where is that?’ To which the response is to name some other surrounding towns and try to give people a vague idea of where exactly it is that I live.
Not many of us live in high end ritzy neighborhoods like Beverly Hills or South Beach or the Hamptons. But neither do many of us live in the slums or in the gutters, most people actually live in middle class neighborhoods, and are comfortable if not happy with where they live. The grass may be greener elsewhere, but it is not too shabby where we live either.
But how many of us would answer the question of ‘where do you live’ with the answer of ‘I live in the midst of failures and weaknesses.’ Probably not many of us.
Unfortunately, that is where we all live: in the midst of failures and weaknesses. On the outside it may look like high end living, but the truth is that our sins have pulled us down into the dregs of death and suffering.
Our sins have weakened us beyond all recognition from our original glorified selves at creation. We are not strong enough to fight off the attacks of the devil on our own, in fact we are totally helpless. The devils constant daily attacks on us have weakened us beyond recognition. The devil’s goal? To weaken us to the point where we will deny God, and worship the devil.
All of our attempts to save ourselves fail. We try to save ourselves by doing good works, and we fail. We try to keep God’s Law perfectly and we fail. We try to confess every single one of our sins in an effort to receive forgiveness, and we fail. We even try sacrifices of both animal and human, and we still fail.
That is where we live in the midst of failures and weaknesses.
But for us fights the valiant One, whom God Himself elected.
Jesus has come on our behalf, and by His death and resurrection He overcomes our weaknesses and defeats the devil. Jesus refuses to fall victim to the devil’s temptations, resisting Him at every turn. Jesus never fails. Jesus keeps the Law perfectly; Jesus does works that are perfectly holy in the eyes of God; He is the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
In the midst of our failures and our weaknesses, Jesus comes into the world and overcomes those failures and weaknesses on our behalf by His death and resurrection.
And by His death and resurrection, we get to move. Not to a better earthly neighborhood, but rather we are restored to perfect and glorified bodies in the presence of God in the glories of heaven.
This Holy Week, as we live in the midst of failures and weaknesses, we take consolation that we have been restored by the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. And by this restoration, we will no longer live in the midst of our failures and weaknesses, but rather in the presence of the power and glory of our heavenly Father.