Hebrews 6.10-20; Psalm 110.1-2,4-5,9,10 (LXX); Mark 2.23-28
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb 6.17-20)
He has sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and terrible is his name! (Ps 110.9)
And [Jesus] said to them, ‘have you not heard what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?’ And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath’. (Mk 2.25-28)
Jesus changes everything. And yet every change that he brings does not do away with the old, but fulfills it, making it new.
Can it be the same in our lives, I wonder? Because we all look back (unless we are very lucky, I suppose) and see things that seem to have no place, things we regard as mistakes and sometimes deeply regret. How does God make good come out of the messes we make of our lives? God must: that’s God’s nature, to take what is broken or spent and make it new. So Jesus appears on the scene and says, No, you’ve not got it quite right. This is how it is supposed to work: sight to the blind, freedom for captives, good news to the poor. God is for us, having given the law as a blessing, not a burden.
I look at my own life and see dimly how I have missed the point. I have mistaken blessings for burdens and seen temptation as opportunity. In Christian parlance, we call that sin, don’t we? And Jesus is the remedy for that–but what happens to the time I spent walking the wrong road? What of the misplaced affection and misdirected energy? Is it all simply lost because I went left instead of right, down instead of up? No, I think not. The ‘unchangeable character of [God’s] purpose’ is not thwarted, not hindered in the least or the slightest by my failings. That is the sure hope, the anchor for my soul: that he remains faithful, even when I am faithless, knitting back together the life he intends for me, every time I try to unravel it, however many straying strands have to be worked into the pattern. So I should pick myself up and start again, in the confidence that he who has begun the good work in me will bring it to completion, and pray again and again: let it be done to me according to your word.