Our Compassionate High Priest
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14–16, NKJV)
This is one of the most comforting passages in Scripture. The book of Hebrews is the best New Testament Scripture that explains the three offices of Jesus, prophet, priest, and King. In the original covenant that God made with Israel he instituted animal sacrifice to be done by a priest who interceded for the sins of the people. Through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection these sacrifices are not needed anymore. Jesus has become our High Priest interceding on our behalf. Jesus does not intercede with the blood of animals but with his very special precious blood.
What makes our relationship through faith with him even more special is the fact that he was tempted many times in the same ways we are tempted on a daily basis. Since Jesus came in flesh and blood, he knows how our flesh gravitates towards sinfulness and eventually will not say no to temptation. Think of all the 10 Commandments and their meanings and Jesus suffered temptation in every category.
Was Jesus tempted in sexual sin? Yes. Was Jesus tempted by greed? Yes. Was Jesus tempted to hate those that were “unfriendly” to him? You betcha! As the religious leaders of his day badgered him and plotted to kill him he was able to suppress the sinfulness that must’ve been trying to creep into his life because of the hatefulness of those leaders.
When we are having temptation troubles the writer to the Hebrews points us in the direction of Jesus because he knows he suffered through the same tempting troubles that we struggle with. I love how the NKJV beckons us to come boldly to the throne of grace. Most of the other translations talk about us coming to the throne with confidence but the NKJV tells us to be bold. I think as Christians we suffer from a lack of boldness in life. We think we need to be meek and by being meek we can’t be bold.
But we have every reason to be bold in our confession of sin and the grace and mercy that comes through the forgiveness of those sins.. Jesus went to the cross so we could be bold, so we could come to his throne of grace and freely receive the much-needed forgiveness in our lives. Don’t ever be afraid to come to Jesus thinking that he doesn’t know how you feel because he is God and has never experienced what we experience, he has and he can help.
God Bless, Pastor Todd.