Title: Our Great High Priest
Text: Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
It is altogether fitting that the text shifts from warning against falling away, to the piercing power of the Word of God, to our Great High Priest Jesus, for our author has been warning and encouraging his readers to hang on to their faith through a time of great trial lest they should perish. Think about it: They were being told to endure a really horrible time in history, Christians were being burned alive for fun and amusement, and the author is telling the people to endure that rather than turn their backs on God: Yikes!
There is a huge difference between unbelief, turning our backs on God and making an error or committing a sin. The error part, the sin part is not a problem, for we have a great High Priest. Since Jesus, our “big brother” has ascended into heaven where He is our high priest who makes intercession for us with God, we must, and we can hold onto our faith. Jesus, who makes intercession for us with God, has endured every temptation; He knows what it’s like to be a weak human, so He will understand and intercede for us.
Do you see how encouraging this must have been for those brothers and sisters who first heard it? Isn’t it pretty encouraging for us now? Do I hear an “Amen”?
With this in mind, the next step is to approach the throne of grace with confidence. Why? Because we know who our High Priest is, there is nothing to fear… We can remain in our faith and seek forgiveness when we fall short; there is no need to give up and turn our backs on God, thinking that our case is hopeless, for Jesus is in our corner.