podcast

#501 – Advent: A Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14–16)

Pray The Word
Hebrews
4
14-16
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“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 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 4:14–16)

What an incredible exhortation the author of Hebrews give us here. Think about it, all throughout the Old Testament it’s like only Moses could go meet on the mountain with God. Everybody else had to stay away. And you think about it, all throughout scripture, you got the high priest who goes into the Holy of Holies there in the temple once a year. Everybody else is way far away.

Because of Christ fulfilling all righteousness and dying in our place at the cross, we can boldly approach the throne of grace in our time of need.

Now, the author of Hebrews is saying, “Let’s with confidence go to the throne of grace.” And not just like select people, but all of us. How is that possible? Because we have a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens for us, Jesus the Son of God. He’s paid the price for our sin, because he was totally without sin. As a result, we can go to him with confidence and find mercy and grace to help us in out time of need.

I just want to encourage you with that. As we are coming close to the end of this Advent season to realize what the coming of Jesus 2,000 years ago means for your life today. So yes, it means first and foremost that we can be saved from our sins through Jesus. So we believe, we trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. But that is not the end of the story. I mean that would be a glorious end of the story, but it’s even better.

Because, now think about this, in our time of need. I want you to think about that on two levels. One, in temptation and two in trial. So in temptation when we are tempted to sin the author of Hebrews is saying go to throne of grace, like go right then. When you are tempted to sin, go to the throne of grace. Because Jesus is our high priest and he’s at the Father’s right hand right now, and he was tempted in every way that we are. He is familiar with all our temptations. Yet he is without sin. And he stands ready to give you grace, power, strength to resist that temptation in that moment. To help you in your time of need. Go to him in the middle of temptation.

And then think about it on the level of trial. Because Jesus has experienced our sorrows, our struggles. He’s not distant from us, separated from the pain and the hurt of this life. He suffered as one of us. He experienced pain, grief, sorrow so we can go to Him and know that he stands ready to help us in the middle of trial, as one who is familiar, sympathetic with our struggles, our challenges, our hurts, our pains.

So God we come to your throne right now with confidence, with confidence. Confidence not in ourselves but in you, Lord Jesus, the one who is without sin and the one who conquered sin and suffering and death. And we pray for help. God I pray in my own life, I pray for those who are listening right now God for help in the middle of temptation, for help in the middle of all the different ways we are tempted to sin. Please O God, help us. Help us to resist sin, help us to walk in holiness more today than we did yesterday. Please help us to grow in holiness and obedience to you. Help us amidst our temptations.

And then O God in the middle of trial, I pray in my life and especially those who are walking through particular challenges right now, God please give them mercy and grace in their time of need. Jesus show yourself strong on their behalf. I pray especially knowing the holidays are often times tender times, emotionally and relationally, particularly when there’s been loss, or grief, or pain. God I just pray that you’d pour out an extra measure of grace and mercy in time of need.

All glory be to your name for this privilege of coming to your throne with confidence O God. We pray this in Jesus’s name. It’s the only way we’re able to pray this, in his name. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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