July 5, 2016
READ: Hebrews 4:14
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (4:16).
Author William Willimon told the story of an encounter he had with a woman dying of cancer. Exhausted from her battle with the disease, she clutched the crucifix that had been given to her by her grandmother when she was a little girl. It was a symbol of what Jesus meant to her. When Willimon entered the room, he asked if he should summon a priest. The woman held out the crucifix towards him, which depicted the body of Jesus nailed to the cross. She then said, “Thank you—but I have a Priest.”
The writer of Hebrews wanted all believers to know that they too have Jesus as their Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). During Bible times, the priesthood was a group of men who were responsible for worship and sacrificial duties. The Old Testament identified Aaron and his heirs as having special priestly responsibilities among God’s people (Numbers 18:1-7).
Jesus’ priesthood was superior, however, because no other priest had a ministry in heaven like Him, and no other priest would let ordinary people approach him (Hebrews 4:15-16). Christ fulfilled the Old Testament priesthood by being both the High Priest and the sacrifice through which He achieved forgiveness of sins and grace for daily living for all who believe in Him (5:8-9). As the Great High Priest, He perfectly represented us before God. Being a truly divine High Priest, this act of His was perfect, once for all and of great eternal value (10:10).
Today, we continue to have a Great High Priest in Jesus. He forgives our sins, sympathises with our weaknesses, understands our temptations and pours out His mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. May we draw near to Him today and experience the fullness of His love and presence!
365-day plan: Luke 7:1-7
Read Hebrews 10:19-23 and consider our basis for drawing near to Jesus.
What should the attitude of our hearts be as we draw near to Christ? What needs will you bring to Him today?