The Sympathetic High Priest



I am often astounded by my propensity to fall short. With all I have been given and blessed with I still manage to find ways to stumble and fall. Frequently. 

With all the goodness I have experienced I still find myself riddled with anxiety and fear. With all the truth I know I still fail to speak it out when its voice is needed most. I still spend most of my time preoccupied with temporary things instead of things eternal. I still am more fixated with myself than I am with Christ and the cross. Often times that crucial Christian character trait--joy--is just plain missing in me.

I am indeed reminded from time to time that I have a long way to go. And as often as I am reminded of my shortcomings, I am also reminded of the amazing character of our God. A God who is exceedingly patient, who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

And thankfully, my security is not found on the basis of my goodness. My hope is not built on the foundation of my devotion. My joy is not rooted in all that I have done for my Savior. No. I am secure for no other reason than that Jesus has declared me righteous and I belong to Him. I have been purchased by His blood and I am His. The case is closed.

I am in His hand, and nothing can snatch me out of His eternal grip.

Furthermore, we do not serve a God who is constantly driven mad in frustration at our persistent failures, or a God who is shocked and astounded at our unfaithful natures. As Psalm 103:13-14 says, “Just as a Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame, He is mindful that we are but dust.”

God has been in our shoes. He understands us. He knows what it is like to be weak and to be tempted, to be thirsty and hungry. He knows our need, to our weakness he’s no stranger.

Hebrews 4:14-16 further expounds this great truth:

“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. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

But how are we to respond to such a High Priest who is sympathetic to our ever present missteps? Who has been tempted as we are and yet was sinless and perfect? Verse 16 continues a very appropriate response. The only response:

“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.”

Such immeasurable grace compels us to come. Such paternal sympathy drives us to our knees to seek the face of so merciful an Advocate. Even our filthy lists of sin which formerly stood to condemn us, in the light of this High Priest now only further illuminates the beauty of His grace.

May we draw near to His throne early and often. Daily. Moment by moment. Desperately seeking the mercy and grace to help us in time of need; which, I might add, He will not withhold.


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