Your Great High Priest

"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

If you've been judged for giving grace to a sinner...He has, too.  (Luke 7:36-50)

If you've been judged for speaking the truth in love...He has, too.  (John 6:25-66)

If you've been lied about and maligned...He has, too.  (Matthew 12:22-24)

If you've had your words twisted and used against you...He has, too.  (Mark 15:29)

If your intentions have been misinterpreted...His have, too.  (John 12:12-13)

If you've looked at the task you've been called to and wished there was another way...He has, too.  (Luke 22:42)

If you've been deserted by everyone who once committed to stay...He has, too.  (Mark 14:50)

If you've been betrayed by the one who professed to be a friend...He has, too.  (Mark 14:43-46)

If you've been pierced by the ones you're trying to help...He has, too.  (John 19:2, 18,34)

And then, from the cross, unrecognizable as a man, He prayed this prayer,

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  (Luke 23:34)

And you can, too.

Because your priest, the healer of your soul, was never buried into bitterness or apathy.  

He did not quit.

He rose. 

He rose from the tomb and into His Father's arms. 

He rose from the vile accusations of man and into the light of truth.

He rose from the disgrace of being naked on a cross and into the glorious realm that had never ceased to proclaim His majesty.

He rose to make a way for the very ones who scorned him to come to the Father.

And if the Spirit of this beautiful man has taken up residence in you, then you need not die by the criticisms or rejections of mankind.

You, too, can rise above them.  You, too, can extend forgiveness.  (Colossians 3:13)

And to journey forward, you need only look for approval from one pair of eyes.  Eyes that won't be hard to find if you refuse to stare into the gaze of judgment.

For they have never stopped looking at you.  (Romans 8:34)