Hebrews 12:4 | Hana Mower
“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
In verse 3 we considered Christ who endured hostility from sinners against Himself so that we may not grow weary or fainthearted, and here in verse 4 it’s taken further to remind us we have not resisted to the point of shedding blood.
“In your struggle against sin”
The sin here is any hinderance to our walk with Christ, such as the weights and sin which clings so closely talked about earlier in verse 1. The struggle against sin can also mean the persecution faced from unbelievers, like Christ enduring hostility against himself throughout His entire life, but especially through His death on the cross.
The noteworthy word here is ‘struggle’. Battling against sin is a struggle because “the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” (Galatians 5:17). This is the real war at hand, not a person, not a physical worldly thing, but the powers of evil in our midst:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
We think lightly of this since it’s hard to understand what we cannot see and it may seem so small at first but think about wars here on earth, where do they begin? The answer is in the human mind. Anger, revenge, lust, greed, or even a mindset of improving the planet can start a war. An action cannot be carried out unless a thought first arose to accomplish it. If we hold evil in our heart and mind, evil will come out.
But in this struggle against sin, “you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.” Whoever is reading this has not been martyred for Christ, you have not shed blood yet during this race called life. No one has experienced the crucifixion Jesus undertook on the cross, the guilt of sinners heavy upon him while they pierced his side. The ones whom he was dying for were the ones killing him. Christ payed the penalty for sin so you wouldn’t have to, it is for those who would believe in His death and resurrection that He gives everlasting life. We are to take heart because Christ died for us, this does not mean some will not die as martyrs, some already have. It means we should be grateful that Christ willingly took on persecution, beating, and death, so we could be saved. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.