By Ricky Chelette, Executive Director
This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:22-25 ESV)
One afternoon I found myself talking with a young man who professed belief in Jesus. His parents raised him in the church. He regularly studied the bible. He believed Jesus was the son of God who died for his sins and as he shared more and more of his story, it was evident that Christ had indeed accomplished much in and through his life. He had experienced Jesus personally and powerfully.
However, there was one area in his life that seemed beyond Christ’s touch—his same sex attraction. For years he prayed these feelings would go away and he was convinced scripture taught against such behavior, but despite his beliefs and his diligence, his feelings prevailed. He was utterly frustrated.
As we continued to talk, it became apparent to me that his real dilemma was not about his sexual struggle or even his temptation to act out with other men. His real struggle was a matter of deep-seated belief. Though he indeed knew Jesus, he did not believe Jesus was powerful enough to save every part of his life. Of course, Jesus could assist him with his greed and his gluttony, his anger and his loneliness, or even his pride, but this struggle was just too much.
This young man fell into a trap common to all Christians. Namely, we believe Christ can get us into heaven, but we don’t really believe that He can transform everything about our lives, especially our most deeply felt desires.
As New Testament believers, we partake in a covenantal relationship that can transform all aspects of our lives. The Preacher of Hebrews highlights the limited nature of the old covenant by demonstrating that Jesus “is the guarantor of a better covenant.” With Jesus, there is a new empowerment given to believers. He is the Son of God who is eternally seated at the right hand of the Father. He is the one who is constantly making intercession for our sins with direct access to the Father. He is the one who “is able to save to the uttermost” (25). In other words, there is nothing Jesus can’t transform, redeem, and restore. But do we really believe that?
When the preacher says Jesus “is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him,” I think he implies these three specific truths:
- Jesus can utterly redeem our past. Jesus is able to redeem the terrible moments and early childhood wounds of our lives. Too many of us live as victims of our history, always being defined by what has happen to us rather than embracing who we now are in Christ.
- Jesus can utterly rescue our present. Each day we experience a plethora of temptations, trials, and difficulties. Each day we are given opportunities to submit to our inclinations to sin or submit to our Savior who has ransomed our soul. When we face that decision, Jesus promises He will make a way of escape, redeeming the moment and exhibiting His power in us (1 Cor 10:13).
- Jesus can utterly fulfill His promises. Often, we believe His Word is true for others, but we doubt it for ourselves. Why? All of the Bible shows that He is faithful. Not always are His promises revealed as we expect and not always in the time frame we hoped for, but He is faithful, even when we are not (2 Tim 2:13).
Do you believe God can utterly save you? Are there places in your life you refuse to let Him enter? Are there things you believe are simply too much, too horrific, too terrible, or just too difficult for Him to heal? Those are the veryplaces He wants to enter to bring healing and wholeness. But He will not heal what you are not willing to reveal.
Jesus wants to utterly, completely, and unrestrictedly save us, redeem us, and restore us as His sons and daughters. Will you trust Him to do what only He can do?