Verse of the Day Devotion. Hebrews 4:14
“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.” – Hebrews 4:14
This verse speaks of the main focus of Christ’s coming. First, let’s go back to chapter 2. “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:17-18. It says here that we see that Jesus “became a merciful and faithful high priest.” And because of this He paid the penalty, thereby accomplishing what we could not do, being a propitiation for the sins of all mankind. In the Mosaic Law, the high priest would intercede on behalf of the people and was at least a symbolic head of the current priestly administration. The priest would bring sacrifices to God on behalf of the people of Israel and would do so repeatedly, as the law prescribed. While ordinarily the high priest would bring the sacrifice, Jesus Himself was the sacrifice. His personal sacrifice was an incredible act of mercy, and He could be the sacrifice because He had become like those for whom He was giving Himself up for.
Now to our focus verse. “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.” Hebrews 4:14. The Jewish high priest went once a year into the most holy place in the temple, to offer the blood of the atonement. The author says that the Christian High Priest has gone into heaven. “For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrew 9:24. Instead of having to go once a year, Jesus once and for all went into the presence of God on our behalf. And because of this we can have complete confidence in our eternal future. “In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, in order that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:17-20.
And because He was made like us, “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15. He was made like us so He knows our temptations by a practical experience of them. And though He was without sin, yet the same sins that are put before us by Satan were also set before Him. Jesus is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He is not only touched with the feeling of the heroic endurance of the martyrs, but he sympathizes with everyone. “Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41.
And because of all this, “Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16. We have a Friend at court; our Bridegroom is on the throne. He who reigns in heaven loves us better than we love ourselves. Come, then, why should we hesitate, why should we delay our approach to His throne of mercy? What is it that we want at this moment? Let us ask for it. If it is a time of need, then we see clearly from this verse that it is a time when we are encouraged to pray. “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.