“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. 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.” Hebrews 4:15-16
This is one of my all time very favorite verses!!! Every time I read this verse it fills me with wonder and awe and joy and humility! Jesus is our high priest! When he died on the cross the veil tore between the Holy of Holies and humanity and gave us access to the throne of God. We don’t have to go to another person, not a priest or a pastor or anyone to act as a mediator between us and God! But even more awe inspiring is that Jesus had taken on humanity and he had walked the earth and he felt pain and he felt joy and he knows what it’s like to walk this crazy earth with crazy people and yet, he kept His perfection by not sinning!
It’s like this, when you are going through something and you feel you really need to talk to someone wouldn’t you rather talk with someone who has been there. I know when I lost my parents, I realized that I had never fully understood what it was like to lose parents until I lost mine. I could sympathize with people who had walked that path but I couldn’t empathize with them. Same thing when I lost my sister, the people who really touched the pain deep in my heart were the people who had been there, the people who had experienced the same pain that I was experiencing. Jesus took on flesh and blood and he walked this earth. He got dirty and had to bathe, he ate food, he experienced pain and he experienced happy times and sad times, yet he handled everything that came His way when he was walking this earth rightly, without sin. Jesus knew weakness but he did not know sin. When we think of that it may make you think Jesus can’t possibly know what we are going through because of His perfection, because He did not sin. In my study I found a quote by Spurgeon (I love Spurgeon, he has some of the best statements!).
“But listen to me; do not imagine that if the Lord Jesus had sinned he would have been any more tender toward you; for sin is always of a hardening nature. If the Christ of God could have sinned, he would have lost the perfection of his sympathetic nature.”
I had never thought of this in that way but it’s true when I think of people who fall into a lifestyle of sin, they become hard and bitter. Whether your lifestyle of sin is outward (sins like abuse of alcohol or drugs, or sins against the body, pornography or lust) or inward (harboring unforgiveness, pride, greed), sin will make you hard and bitter. Jesus never became hard and bitter because he did not sin! He experienced earth in the most perfect way! Which brings us to the most awesome thought that we can approach His throne of Grace!
I love how some translations say “come boldly”! Jesus in all His perfection and in all His humanity has a throne of grace that we can come boldly and walk right up to Him and lay all of our troubles, our worries, our doubts, our fears, our anger, our sin, and yes even our hopes and our dreams down in front of Him. And when we bring all of our imperfect selves to the perfect Jesus, we don’t receive condemnation and/or even ridicule from Him. We receive mercy and grace. Mercy is we are not getting what we deserve. We truly deserve condemnation and judgement but we aren’t getting that from Him. And we don’t deserve the grace (the love, the forgiveness, the peace) but that is what we gain.
Bring it all to Him, bring all the ugly that may have crept in your heart because of living in this old world! And bring your hopes and your dreams and lay them all down at the throne of grace and you will receive mercy and grace from Him. Come boldly!