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Jesus Understands Our Weakness

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 feel sympathy for 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. (NIVUK)

Jesus is our Great High Priest. The picture is of the Old Testament priest who was selected each year to offer the annual sacrifice to atone for the sins of the nation: He then went alone through the heavy curtain into the most holy place to meet with God (Leviticus 16:1-34). Jesus is both the sacrifice and also the Great High Priest. He offered Himself as the once-forever substitute-sacrifice for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21), going alone with His own blood into the presence of Father God (Hebrews 9:12; 13:12). The cross, resurrection and ascension, which the apostles witnessed, was evidence that our sins are finally atoned for (Romans 3:25). Therefore, we can have great confidence to keep on trusting Jesus, and not turn back.

Our Great High Priest is not remote or mechanically acting out a ceremonial role. He knows us each intimately and has personally experienced every human testing, even though He always resisted the temptation to move against His Father’s will (Luke 22:42). He fully understands our weakness: He knows what it feels like. He has great compassion for us as we suffer under evil, and experience extreme pressures in our bodies, minds and spirits (1 John 3:20). He has been there and He cares deeply for us.

Therefore, instead of running away from Him in shame because we have failed, fallen short of perfection, transgressed into forbidden territory - sinned in a thousand different ways – we must come close to Him (Matthew 11:28). His throne is full of grace and mercy: we do not deserve His love, forgiveness or acceptance but we certainly need them all. Nobody else would want to welcome weak, fallen sinners like us; and nobody else can (Titus 3:4-7). But He does, because He loves us and wants to make us right with God; and to provide what we need to take the next steps of our journey towards heaven.

This world does not reward failure, nor does God: but through the blood of Jesus, God will forgive it. It is natural to want to hide from God's holiness (Matthew 25:41), but Jesus urges us to come to Him to be made righteous (1 Corinthians 6:10-11). Although we are rightly ashamed of our sin, as we come to Him we find mercy (1 John 1:9): anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame (Romans 10:11). There is no other safe route for sinners, except by trusting in Jesus and holding firmly to Him who has taken our sins and mediates for us with Father God (1 Timothy 2:5). When we are tempted to give up, He gives us grace to go on. When we have nothing, He gives us enough for the next step and then surprises us with goodness we do not deserve. So, don't let go of Lord Jesus; He is your only hope (Hebrews 10:19-23).

Gracious God. Thank You for sending Jesus to live a human's life, become the sacrifice for my sins and be the Great High Priest to present His own blood to You, atoning for my sins. Forgive me Lord for ever wanting to hide from You, to run away or to seek a Saviour who can never forgive me or make me right with You. I repent of my sins and ask that You will please cleanse me. Help me to keep on trusting You, holding firmly to the truth of the gospel and staying close to Jesus. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams