Why Hope Exists for Less of Me and More of Him

There is a verse of Scripture jostling around in my spirit today.  A verse that speaks of my Jesus. 

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin."  Hebrews 4:15

I love this verse because it removes the "God card" factor.  Jesus didn't just play a God card and exempt himself from the possibility of sin.  No.  He was tempted.  In every way I have been tempted, and then some.  And at levels I have never had to face, for he was tempted by the destroyer himself, face to face.  (Matthew 4)

But, he's been there.  His heart has been tempted the way mine has. 

I sometimes imagine it.

When he saw his cousin beheaded, was he tempted to give in to disappointment and let a seed of bitterness sprout?

When his own hometown, his family and friends, could not see past his "ordinariness" and rejected his claims to be the Messiah, was he tempted to give in to anger and let a root of unforgiveness grow?

When the teachers of the law struck his face and spit on him, crying out that he was blaspheming the very name he shared with His father, was he tempted to give in to hopelessness for their redemption and let the tree of mankind wither and die?

When he was all alone in the garden, knowing the cross was coming the next day, was he tempted to tell God He didn't want to do it His way anymore?

These are real situations Jesus found himself in.  Real people he had to look in the face.  Real heart issues that so easily ensnare.

I find myself there all the time.

When God doesn't do what I thought He would do.

When people aren't as mature as I thought they were.

When someone assumes the worst about my intentions.

When my way looks better...or just easier...or just satisfies my wants more than His does.

And I don't always handle it the way He did.  For He didn't sin.

Oh, my Jesus, how I love you for that.  You could have, and you didn't.  You showed me it can be done.  And then you died for the times I would try to follow in your footsteps and fail. 

And today I have hope.  Because You did it.  Because You're still whispering that I can learn.