TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Hebrews 2:9-18
In 1859, Charles Dickens began to publish weekly chapters in a fascinating tale of life in London and Paris during the French Revolution. These episodes would later be combined into one of the best-selling novels of all time: A Tale of Two Cities. This classic work features two men, Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay, who bear a striking resemblance to each other. While Darnay is imprisoned and awaiting execution, Sydney Carton convinces a friend to sneak him into prison for a visit. Carton drugs Darnay, exchanges clothes with him, and has him carried away. Darnay returns to his home, and Carton dies in his place.
The atonement found in Christ is so beautiful and multifaceted that no one image can fully capture its power. Christ gave His life as a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:6), He gives us victory over death because of His victory (1 Corinthians 15:57), and He is our once-for-all sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10). In Hebrews 2:9-18, we are reminded of another powerful aspect of the atonement: Christ suffered and died in our place. He was made a human being like all men, and He suffered through the temptations all of us face. Even though TV, the Internet, and social media did not exist in Jesus’ day, temptation was present. Think about it this way: imagine a piano. The notes on a piano remain consistent over the years. People may use a different arrangement of notes or rhythm to produce new songs, but the notes are the same. We have new ways in which temptation rears its ugly head today, but the core of our temptations remains the same. Jesus faced all of life’s temptations, and He can identify with us (Hebrews 2:18). Because He faced them without sin, He can sacrifice for us. We didn’t deserve it, but Jesus tasted death so that we wouldn’t have to.
Charles Dickens’ novel is a classic, but the sacrifice of Jesus is the greatest story ever told. It really happened, and it will really change our eternity.
Today, I will…read Matthew 4:1-11, and reflect on the way Jesus endured temptation and remained sinless.