What does one hope for in life? Health, a beautiful family, a life filled with pleasantries as if on perpetual vacation? The writer of the Book of Hebrews outlines what hope is. He paints a picture of hope as the reunion of God and man that has been woven into the fabric of the human story.
In Chapter 5, the writer of Hebrews, makes reference to the obscure person known as Melchizedek, the priest to whom Abram gave tithes after his defeat of four kings who had made off with his cousin Lot. There is no mention of Melchizedek before or after this story until the David’s Psalm (Psalm 110) that foretells that the Christ will be “a priest after the order of Melchizedek”.
Why is this so important and what does this have to do with hope? The significance is that Jesus had hard days and was able to walk out and to expect something different than what he currently was facing. It says in Hebrews 5:7 that Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save him from death. A priest is one that can relate to the challenges set before him and understands his reliance on none other than God to deliver him. Jesus understood that self sufficiency was the hindrance, not the answer.
In life we wrestle with things that are unseen, things that grip us and wish to have us submit to the weight of pressures of what we face day-to-day. Jesus was not without understanding and faced this pressure in a way that we cannot even comprehend. But as a child, Jesus read the Psalm whereby the Lord said to the Christ "sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies a footstool" and came to know the authority that was given to Him. Ask yourself what are the challenges you face day-to-day. What does it mean to sit above the challenges and to no longer have to wrestle with the problems of the day?
The Father called Jesus into relationship with him not only to convey comfort but authority. The Father called Jesus to reign with Him until there was nothing left to come against Him so man could believe that he too can live undisturbed. From the beginning of time man was meant to be in relationship with God and nothing can come between that. Everything must subordinate itself to this reality.
So as the writer of Hebrews continues encouraging us not to become sluggish in our thought life, but to look to where the promise of this reality has been fulfilled, he reminds us of the unchangeable nature of God and identifies that these promises are the “hope” that is in us. A hope that resides in our inner being. A hope that anchors the soul, a hope that ushers us into the Presence of God, here and now.
Jesus, as High Priest according to the Order of Melchizedek, has established an expectation within us of our ability to stand in His authority. By recognizing Christ, we have the ability to come before the Father and are able to walk in His power. We have been ushered into the the same relationship and stand in the presence of the Almighty God. Regardless of the trials, the pressures, the storm, Jesus the Christ has established an unchangeable reality, that is that man has been reconciled with God.
We no longer need to question if God hears our pleas. There is no longer a question of whether we can move past the challenges of today or whether God will deliver us from us from what we are facing. We know by the cries of Jesus that this way has been cleared for us to walk in the same reality that He established. No longer is their a question of whether we can be reconciled with God. It is this hope that we hold onto like an anchor of the soul, that holds to the truth in the midst of the storm. We have hope and wait for the breaking of the storm, the breaking of our self sufficiency, until all that is seen is the Light.
K.R. Davidson is lead pastor of The Christian Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario. The Christian Centre is a church located in the heart of "Little Europe" in St. Catharines.