Sympathetic High Priest (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Hebrews 4:15-16

 

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.

 

            The fact that Jesus, the Son of God, became a human being is a stunning reality.  For eternity past, the holy trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit have existed.  God has always been, and has always been in spirit form.  Yet, in accord with God’s eternal plan, for God’s eternal glory, and for the sake of the salvation of mankind, Jesus, God the Son, took upon himself human form.  God became flesh.

 

            There are so many things about this truth which are amazing.  Jesus stepped down from heaven, lowering himself, pouring himself out (Phil 2:5-8), in order to redeem for himself a people, to reveal himself to a people, and to do so much more than we can imagine.  One of the purposes of the humanity of Christ, a purpose that makes Christianity vastly different than any other world religion, is what we see in Hebrews 4:15-16.  Jesus became human, in part, to identify with his creation, to truly understand by experience our struggles, joys, pains, pleasures, and hardships.

 

            Christians, ponder these thoughts.  Your God knows what it feels like to be hungry.  Your God knows what it feels like to stand at a mother’s side at the funeral of an adopted father.  Your God knows what it feels like to rejoice with a bride and bridegroom at a wedding feast.  Your God knows what it feels like to witness government corruption.  Your God knows what it is like to live a real, honest, happy, and sad human life.

 

            We do not have a high priest who does not understand what we go through.  Our God is not confused by our struggles.  Our God is not mystified by our joys.  God knows us, because the Son of God knows what it is like to take upon himself true humanity.   

 

            How do we respond to this truth?  We draw near to God with confidence.  When you sin, when you fail, when you hurt, you run to the throne.  If Jesus knows what it is like for you, you need not fear that he will cast you out.  No, he will not excuse your failure.  Instead, he will do something far better.  If you will trust in him, Jesus will forgive your failure because he already died and rose again to redeem you from that failure.  When you have joy, you run to the throne, because Jesus knows what it is like to celebrate with humanity.  When you hurt, you run to the throne, because Jesus knows what it is like to feel real human pain.

 

            Christians, our God is beyond compare.  No other religion in the world has a deity who is both holy, above and beyond us, as well as being able to totally identify himself with his creation.  God is beyond creation and, because of the humanity of Christ, connected to his creation.  Jesus draws us to the throne of God because of his shared experience with humanity and his perfectly holy love.

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