Sixty-two years ago today, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to successfully set foot on the peak of Mount Everest. The two became instant celebrities for the feat, receiving worldwide recognition, awards, and gracing the covers of magazines and newspapers. Hillary went on to be knighted by the Queen of England and have his face emblazoned upon the New Zealand $5 banknote. Movies were made. Books were written. It was a big deal.
Once you’ve summited Mount Everest, everyone pretty much agrees: you’ve made it. You’re a success, an achiever. You’re the inspiration for millions of those motivational posters that hang in school gyms and doctors’ offices.
Achievement is the American dream. It’s New York City’s cost of survival. The message is loud and clear, broadcast by everyone from Rosie the Riveter to Nike: you can do it.
But what if you can’t?
When Moses climbed a mountain, he didn’t receive accolades—he was handed the Ten Commandments. These laws set before the nation of Israel a foundation for a standard of total perfection. In total, the Tanach sets forth 613 laws.
Those 613 laws measure a higher summit than all 29,029 feet of Mount Everest. And we can’t climb it.
We can win gold medals, Oscars, and Nobel Peace Prizes. We can raise healthy children, pursue our dreams, and pay rent in Manhattan (totally a feat). But there is no amount of human strength that can bridge the gap between our fallen humanity and our perfect Creator. Only Yeshua could do that—fully man, yet fully God.
It takes great strength to admit our need for a Messiah, to admit that we cannot achieve perfection or adjust that level to our own standard of “good enough.” But when one can acknowledge the need and accept the solution, they become a true victor.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39