Approaching God with Confidence
Scripture Reading — Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV)
Jesus the Great High Priest
14 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. 15 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. 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.
Priests were God’s chosen servants; they served as mediators between God and his people. They worked in the temple, praying for the people and bringing their sacrifices to God. They offered sacrifices on behalf of the people to make an atonement for their sins. And only the high priest was allowed to enter the most holy place to stand before God.
Earlier in Hebrews, Jesus is referred to as the “faithful high priest.” Here, in chapter 4, he is called the “great high priest.” This means he is actually the greatest of all high priests. He is the one true High Priest and there is no other.
Jesus Christ alone is the greatest because, unlike all the others, he “has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” Because he is sinless and perfect, he is able to stand before God as the one who can make atonement for our sins.
Because of his perfect life, Jesus’ atonement for our sins is real and lasting. For this reason, we do not need to be afraid to enter God’s presence; in fact, we can have “confidence” when we approach God. We can be confident that we will “receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Don’t be afraid to approach God. Instead, approach him with confidence, knowing that even though we cannot do this in our own strength, we can do it through Jesus, the great High Priest.