“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.” (Hebrews 4:16)
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 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.
Jesus 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.
Lord Jesus, thank you for giving us the confidence to approach God to find mercy and grace. Amen.