As often as I tell myself I will not overeat, I do it again. I’m sure we all have helpful resolves that we keep breaking. I remember a catechumen saying, “I decided I would stop sinning when I got up this morning, but gave up after 15 minutes.” The easiest thing would be to ignore our weaknesses.
To his weary disciples in Gethsemane Jesus acknowledged, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) God knew the waywardness of Israel and gave them a sacrificial system through which to be redeemed and enter again the wholeness of life with God. At the heart of this system was the yearly Day of Atonement when the sins of the people were carried into the wilderness and their burden was lifted. It needed to be repeated every year.
Quoting from Psalm 40, the writer of Hebrews attests to the futility of that sacrificial system. With words attributed to Christ, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God,” (verse 7) Christ became the sacrifice, removing our sin, once for all. Indeed, a new and better way.
Holy God, let your Spirit live in my weakness that I may live in your power. Amen. — RH