“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV
This passage captures so much about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. First, there’s the obvious, that He serves us as our great high priest, interceding for us before the Father. That is significant in and of itself. We do not presently depend on a human priest, who is fraught with all of our weaknesses, and having to deal with their own sins. We have a great high priest who when here in human form was tempted “in every respect…as we are, yet without sin”. He does not need to atone for His own sin.
Another thing I see in this is that we see both the fully human and fully divine aspects of Jesus Christ. In His human form, the incarnation of God, He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, and knows what it means to be tempted. We also then see His divine form It’s because of this co-existent divine form that He resisted sin completely, and thus is uniquely able to atone for our sin with His blood.
All of this allows us to have the confidence mentioned in verse 16. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Have you even stopped to think about being able to approach the throne of grace with confidence, instead of abject fear? Certainly we should not approach casually, or with disregard for who it is we are addressing, but we need not fear being struck down by the one who sits on the throne because of our sin. Jesus has made peace with God for us when He atoned for our sins once for all with His own blood sacrifice.
That act of atonement makes prayer not only possible, but enjoyable, as we approach a God who is at peace with us, and loves us. We can approach Him to receive mercy (not getting what we deserve), and find grace (enjoying a benefit we did not earn) in time of need. I hope you regularly take advantage of this wonderful opportunity we have for communication with the one who is our heavenly Father.
By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen