Lord, thank You for being our High Priest.
Read HEBREWS 4:12–16
12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
14 Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need.
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‘In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.’ (Eph 3:12) Come to your time with God today in full confidence of His acceptance.
We tend to see verses 12 and 13 as a source of comfort; after all, they speak of the stability, permanence, and effectiveness of God’s Word, which we take to be equivalent to the Bible. Taken in context, however, they are more challenging. The connecting ‘for’ links the statement with what has gone before. We make every effort not to lose out, because God, to whom we have to give account, sees in such a way that our motives and desires are laid bare. There is no fooling Him with empty claims to believe when the heart is not right. His Word is one which will always achieve what He intends (Isa 55:11). For those who doubt and are in danger of going back, there is challenge, but for those who continue in faith there is comfort. We can have every confidence that God will see us through to the end.
We have already met the idea of Jesus as high priest (Heb 2:17; 3:1), but it now becomes the theme for the next six chapters, the central idea of the sermon-letter. Here Jesus’ example provides further motivation to stay faithful. Though tempted, He remained firm. Although the whole of Jesus’ life is in view, perhaps especially in mind are the temptations where the devil offers Him an easy route to glory (Matt 4:1–10), and the struggle in Gethsemane, where Jesus faces the temptation to give up, but does not (Mark 14:32–42). He is therefore perfectly equipped to support those who face the same temptation.
When other things seem more attractive, when friends and relatives do not understand why we believe, we remember that God sees and knows and that we have to give account to Him, not others, and that Jesus knows exactly how we feel. We can come confidently, expecting to receive God’s grace in times of weakness and temptation (16).
What difference will it make to the way that you live today to remember that Jesus has traveled the same road?
Lord, Your people are under no illusions as to Your perfect knowledge of our hearts. Keep us aware of Your scrutiny of our lives.