Our Great High Priest

from the Hebrews reading plan

Hebrews 4:14-16, Hebrews 5:1-10, Psalm 110:1-7, Matthew 4:1-11

Several years ago, I attended a weekend conference on prayer led by an author who had recently written a book on the subject. I learned all sorts of helpful tips that weekend, but my biggest takeaway could be summed up as: Get in the game. Don’t just talk about prayer or think about prayer or wait until you have just the right system or motivation to pray, but actually begin praying in any and every situation you can. Don’t hold back. Pray often, pray honestly, pray imperfectly (which you will), but pray. Get in the game.

Children can lead the way here. Think about it: they ask for what they want, unconcerned with their motives or having just the right words or whether or not it’s a good time to be asking. They make their requests known, fully expecting their parents to be able to give them what they need or want. It’s no wonder Jesus said, “Don’t try to keep them from coming to me, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). Jesus is not turned off by need and desire, but moves toward it.

Hebrews 4:14 describes Jesus as our “great high priest.” In the Old Testament, a priest served as a mediator between God and the people of God. This priest was human, of course, and so was weak and sinful, just like us. He knew what it felt like to desperately need God’s mercy and grace. As a fellow sinner, the offerings he made to God on behalf of the people were also made to cover his own sins. While he was called by God to represent the people, he was not above the people.

Jesus was also called by God to serve as our high priest. “He did not exalt himself” to that role (Hebrews 5:5). Because He lived a sinless life, His sacrifice was a sufficient and permanent offering to God. And yet His sinlessness does not mean He is unable to sympathize with us. He was “tempted in every way as we are” (Hebrews 4:15). And “during his earthly life, he offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears” (Hebrews 5:7). Jesus knows what it feels like to be human. He is our Great High Priest, but He has been in low places. He is not an unapproachable Savior.

And so Hebrews 4:16 offers this exhortation and invitation: “Let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” In light of who Jesus is (great, and sympathetic to our needs) and in light of what He has done (provided a permanent sacrifice for sin) we can and must approach God with unashamed boldness, fully expecting Him to give us the mercy and grace we need. He delights to do so, for He is a merciful and gracious God.

Written by Matt Erickson

Post Comments (6)

6 thoughts on "Our Great High Priest"

  1. Chuck Adair says:

    Receive mercy and find grace in our time of need. God is with us in the midst of it. There are times he feels so distant and so far off. Yet, the truth of scripture reminds that God is present to provide exactly what we need when we need it!

  2. Troy says:

    Jesus in the flesh has made God understandable. Relatable. He knew frustration and weakness. He endured temptation and pain. Not only can we relate to Him, but He can relate to us. He is not an “up there” or “out there” God. He came here.

    He became one of us. He became our peace. And today He is for us. Interceding on our behalf. He is a Savior who gets it. And, as a result, a great high priest who is approachable and from whom we can expect grace and mercy.

  3. Joshua H. says:

    Unlike the old high priests Jesus is perfect and always there for us.

  4. Ben says:

    Despite our shortcomings, we could boldly approach HIS throne of grace. Like children of child like faith to keep coming and never stop ceasing to seek HIM. Our great high priest is drawn to our needs and desires because we are HIS children

  5. Frank Dankowski says:

    We serve a merciful God.

  6. Kevin says:

    Day 8: how good is it that our Jesus came down and did not give himself the power that he has but has been anointed as the holy one by God? I also really love the encouragement to approach the throne of God with boldness. Sometimes I feel like I pray and say things like if it’s your will or I guess or something else that shows my timidness. If anyone can move the mountains in our lives it’s God. Why be timid approaching him? Go to him in confidence that he will do as he pleases but wants to hear the desires of his children. Love y’all. ⚒

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