Sustain

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

Hebrews 1:3

Who is Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, the Son of the Living God?  Anyone who pays a modicum of attention knows that He was born to the Virgin Mary in a manger in a small farm town called Bethlehem in what is now modern-day Israel.  He lived into his early thirties, when he launched a revolution, not with weapons of war, but with ideas that uprooted the foundations of earthly authority.  He was crucified by the Romans by being nailed to wooden beams with spikes through his feet and hands.  He was flayed, whipped, beaten, scorned, cursed, and mocked.

He died in absolute solitude as God the Father, and the Spirit, which He had coexisted with for eternity before withdrew from Him.  In that death, He took on the penalty of sin for everyone.  God, in His righteousness could no longer see His Son, but rather the blackness of sin.

After three days, He was resurrected and returned to His full glory.

If you believe in Him as your personal Lord and Savior, you understand this at some level.  If you don’t, it is a profound mystery as to why the Creator of the universe would humble Himself to the point of obedience to death.

My church recently did a sermon series on the Book of Hebrews and focused on the portrait it paints of Jesus Christ.  He was and is the full “radiance of God’s glory,” but He also lived as a man for a short time.

This isn’t a new revelation. Why is this significant enough to write on?

Look at the second half of the verse I lead off with… He sustains everything by his word.

Tonight is the second Presidential debate of the 2012 election season.  Both candidates will try to ensure you that they “feel your pain” as former President Bill Clinton used to say, but do they really?  Can they truly understand your pain, salve it, and then heal the root cause of it?  Or can they just be sympathetic toward you and your pain by recognizing it, but not truly addressing it?

Sin is the root cause of pain.  This world was not created to house sin, but it infiltrated anyway.  It is an alien invader and must be expelled, but it is as stubborn as the worst weed in a garden – the one that continues to spread when you think you’ve eradicated it for good.  Sin causes you to feel regret, to doubt, to second-guess, and to separate you from the glory of God.

Christ knows your pain.  He bore your sin and paid your penalty.  He suffered a torturous death and was shunned by the very people He came to save.  He was abandoned. He was alone.

If you are in need, He feels your pain.

If you are hungry, He knows your pain.

If you are alone, He understands your pain.

We shouldn’t look to men to solve the world’s problems because the world’s problem is sin.  The only solution to sin is the One who came to pay the penalty for it.

Don’t look to Barack Obama or Mitt Romney to help you with your pain.  They can’t do it.  Look to the only One who can.

You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.

Psalm 18:35

Surely God is my help;
    the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Psalm 54:4

The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.

Psalm 145:14

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.

1 Peter 3:18

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