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2020 Advent devotion: Been there done that

“Live and in person” Advent devotion for December 9, 2020. Read Hebrews 4:14-16 and Psalm 51.

The author of Hebrews writes, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

In other words, “Been there. Done that.”

One of the amazing things about Jesus is that He was here, live and in person. He knows what it’s like to be loved and hated, adored and persecuted, welcomed and rejected, praised and damned, nurtured and killed. No matter what we are going through, He’s been there. He’s experienced it. He knows exactly what you are going through. He gets it. He understands.

Like a CEO who was hired for the mailroom, or an officer who started out as a private, or a concert-master violinist who played last chair third violin for years, Jesus knows exactly what it’s like to be born, grow up, be hated and die on planet earth. When we pray, we are never talking to an entity who is removed from reality. He was here, live and in person.

Are you a doctor or nurse? He was a healer. Are you a teacher? He taught so many. Are you a chef? He knows how to feed a crowd. Are you a leader? He was a king. Are you a scientist? He not only knows how the universe works, He created it! He knows how to fish, make wine, climb a mountain, ride a donkey and work with wood.

It makes such a difference to talk to someone who did the same kind of work you did. They know the lingo. They understand the disappointments. They appreciate the successes. They’ve learned from the mistakes. They have sound advice.

Jesus was born. He lived. He died. He gets it. He was here. And that leads to some great conversations that we call prayer. When you ask, “What do I say?” “What do I do?” “How do I deal with this?” He has an answer. After all, He’s been there and done it.

More importantly, He knows about temptation. He’s felt the pressure. He’s heard the lies. He’s struggled with His fears. He knows how hard it is to pray, “Not my will but Your’s be done.”

Do you know what the best part of this reality is? When we come to Him, we receive mercy and grace when we need it. No condemnation, no “You should have known better,” or “Too bad!” At the feet of our high priest, at the foot of the cross, we encounter our biggest cheerleader. We find grace, strength, and encouragement to be like Him, for He has been there and done that!

Lord, thanks for understanding. It’s hard. It’s hard to resist temptation. It’s hard to obey. It’s so hard to stay on the path. Thank you for the mercy and grace I need right now – as well as every day. Amen.

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