After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. - Hebrews 12:4
Recently while getting ready for work I was captured by lyrics to a song I'd never heard before:
How in the garden He persistedI may never fully knowThe fearful weight of true obedienceIt was held by him alone
("Your Will Be Done" by CityAlight)
I couldn't stop thinking about the truth of this fact: I'll never know the full weight of true obedience. As I sat down for my quiet time that day, Hebrews 12 immediately came to mind. I read the context and remembered afresh the truth the author is communicating: Jesus is better than what has come before. As part of that, we are called to live out our relationship with Him in specific ways - ways that can feel hard. This section (Hebrews 12:4-13) is primarily about discipline and obedience in the life of the believer. It is instructive that before getting into those exhortations that the author tells us we have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed.
What does that even mean? In the context of verses 1-3 exhorting us to keep our eyes on Jesus and the cross He endured, the author clearly is calling us to focus on HIS sacrifice for sin. We haven't given our lives to fight against sin - but HE did. This of course refers to the cross, but also brings to mind His suffering temptations. Many wiser than me have pointed out that Christ's deity and perfection doesn't mean His temptations were weaker than ours - they were stronger. He endured every temptation to the fullest extent possible, because the temptations do not get easier as we resist, they get harder.
As I reflected on all of this, I thought of the contrasts between my obedience and His. My best obedience is imperfect and mixed with impure motives; He was perfectly obedient with perfect motives. All of my obedience is carried out in God's presence; His ultimate obedience on the cross was carried out with the Father's face turned away. All of my obedience is covered with grace; His was covered in wrath. And as Hebrews 12:4 says, all my striving against sin doesn't reach the point of bloodshed - but His did.