“Seeing then that 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 cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16
Here the writer calls Jesus the “great” high priest. Others have been designated high priests under the Mosaic economy but none had ever been designated “great”. This describes Him as our only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). The name Jesus means Savior and for His ministry on earth it identified His humanity. When He is called “Son of God”, this identifies Jesus’ deity…Jesus is God.
After Jesus died on the cross, He ascended into heaven and “passed through the heavens” to the third heaven, the dwelling place of God (there is the atmospheric heavens, planetary heavens, then the third heaven-2 Cor.12:2). Jesus is now enthroned and sits at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus’ throne is a “throne of grace”. Prior to His crucifixion, once a year the high priest would go into the Holiest place and make atonement for the sins of the people. The Bible tells us Jesus did it as the great High Priest “once for all” and that the veil God was behind was ripped from top to bottom. Jesus became the only way to enter into the throne room. Now, as Christ followers, we can enter in at any time.
Jesus is God incarnate. He got off of His throne and came down to our level and ministered on earth for three years. He was tempted, just like we are every day, yet He never sinned, just as the Bible proclaims (2 Cor.5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5).
These verses change the focus from God’s Word as “scrutinizer, to the Lord as Sympathizer. When the word has thoroughly exposed us, we can go to Him for mercy and grace.” We can go to Him to spare us from what we deserve and be given what we do not deserve.
As a result of what Jesus did for you and me, we can enter into the holiest place where God dwells through prayer. We can do this with confidence when we know that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. And, we can pray to Him directly and openly for all of our needs because He understands. He is a King and Priest that knows what we go through, because He went through it Himself. Why would you ever want to serve any other so-called god or king?
“As it is, His human experience is such as to guarantee that in every moment of demand and pressure in our relationship and walk with God we may go to Him, confident that in some sense he has been there before us and so is the helper we need.” – J.I. Packer