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Our Sympathetic High Priest

by Marilyn Adamson, director of EveryStudent.com and StartingwithGod.com

Heb 4:12-16 is amazing to me. It is a great summary that shows God’s view of us and what he tenderly offers us.

The early part of Hebrews 4 is talking about disobedience. He then talks about how thoroughly God knows about our disobedience….knowing not just our actions, but our thoughts and motives. Starting at Heb 4:12…

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

We can’t hide. Hebrews 4 continues:

“And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

We would have to give account, if we were to stand there in our own righteousness, defending our own holiness. We would certainly feel exposed!

However, in steps our great High Priest….the one who died for us, whose death gained us forgiveness and a righteous standing with God.

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”

(Don’t give up, don’t lose heart.)

“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.”

At this point, I wondered if it would say, “Jesus didn’t sin. He was tempted just like you, but HE didn’t sin. What’s YOUR problem?!” But it doesn’t. Instead, it says…

“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.”

Not judgment. Mercy. Not tough it out on our own. His grace, his help in time of need. In Hebrews 10:23 –

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

I heard it said once, “You should constantly reevaluate your relationship with God in light of the fact that it is God who is faithful, not us.” He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Justifier, our Sanctification, our High Priest.

Just a wrap-up here. Romans 5:1,2

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand…”

Praise God that we are fully acceptable to him, not by our own good works or righteousness, but because of our great High Priest, who covers our sins and clothes us in his righteousness.

Thank you, God.