Excerpted from Power Made Perfect in Weakness, a Lenten Guide for Lectionary Year A from the North Carolina Council of Churches.
Good Friday – Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
The theme of our Lenten Guide, “Power made Perfect in Weakness,” is amplified throughout this passage from Hebrews and is especially potent on this day, the day of Christ’s crucifixion.
The untouchable, all-knowing deity, is actually one of us, who had struggles and suffered times of weakness. He was nailed to the cross, crowned with thorns, and spat upon in mockery. Through all this, he stayed true to his calling. Knowing that Christ has struggled and overcome, we can carry our own struggles and weaknesses to him, confident that we will be received.
The power of Christ in us is made perfect in our weaknesses. A paradox that rings true in each and every one of us. Our society looks down upon weakness, even as we have all suffered and been weak. The culture teaches us to be strong and completely independent. When our young children stumble and fall, we tell them to tough it out and not to cry. When a family member dies, we tell ourselves to get through it and stay strong. When we speak about hard times with friends or family, each person in the room grows visibly uncomfortable.
Our faith teaches us, we should not only accept our weaknesses, we should embrace them recognizing that it was in weakness that Christ was made perfect. If we remain true to ourselves, we will become strong enough to understand that weakness does not mean imperfection. We know that when we embrace that part of ourselves which is weakest, we reveal our strongest, truest selves.
Lord, guide me in my time of need. Receive me and help me to find grace when I am weak. Give me the strength to reveal my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Amen.