The first generation of Americans were at a loss for words when it came to how to address President-elect George Washington. During his inauguration, the crowds in New York shouted “Long Live George Washington!” His biographer, Ron Chernow, commented, “it was difficult for Americans to use language other than what they were used to, being former British subjects. ‘Long Live the King!’ became ‘Long Live George Washington!’”
It’s hard to change. Our brains are habit forming machines, constantly looking to offload thinking power. That’s why, until this sentence, you probably haven’t thought about breathing. Your brain has automated that process! The saying is true, old habits die (really) hard.
Seeing Jesus for who he really is, not what we expect or want him to be, is hard. Our brains are trained to think of leaders in a certain way. What influences these filters? In short, everything. Your culture, family, education, friends…all stand to influence the way you think and the way you see the world. Deeper than all these currents runs the ancient plague of every human being: sin. Not only is it a challenge to see Jesus for who He really is, the truth is: we don’t want to.
It can be hard to think of Jesus for who he really is, not just for what we expect or want him to be.
The author of Hebrews took this personally. The letter was written to early Christians on the verge of going back to their old religious system. In short, Hebrews is a sermon on all the ways Jesus is better, greater, and more than you, I, or anyone else could imagine.
In short, Hebrews is a sermon on all the ways Jesus is better, greater, and more than you, I, or anyone else could imagine.
The author of Hebrews tells his original audience, and us, that Jesus didn’t step into his role as King & Savior because of manmade leadership potential or bloodline alone. Instead, Jesus sits on his throne, speaks as a prophet, and serves as a priest because of the “…the power of an indestructible life.” (Hebrews 7.16b)
In all our effort to make Jesus relatable — and he is! — we must remember to highlight all the ways that he is more. Jesus is more than a idea, or a mascot for our causes, he is and continues to be the risen Jesus, sovereign Lord of history, Savior of humanity.
That thought should give us pause before we assign Jesus to our cause, making him the notary on our life plan. Instead, His resurrection should cause reflection: am I following Jesus? Am I submitting to Him?
Thankfully, long live King Jesus is true, thanks to his indestructible life.