Friday in the Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Hebrews 4:14-16

Jesus, Our Great High Priest

The significance of the Book of Hebrews is that it speaks so much of our Lord’s office as our faithful High Priest and how we benefit from that.  Here at the end of chapter four, the Preacher gets into the meat of his sermon on this very topic.  Understand that our Lord’s priesthood is predicated on who he is as the Son of God (which was what chapter one was about), his assumption of our humanity when he became the Son of Man (chapter two), his work on the cross taking our sin upon himself as both the one who offers the sacrifice and who is sacrificed (chapter two), and presently his exaltation to the Right Hand of the Father (his “session”) where he executes his priesthood on our behalf until he bring us to his “rest” (chapter three).

Our Lord and Savior thus elevated, the Preacher says, “Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”  Did you hear?  We have not just a “high priest” but a “great high priest,” one “passed into the heavens,” not passed into the grave as all others.  What greater reason have we to “hold fast our confession?”  We serve 1) a living God who 2) has in His service a Priest who ever ministers at His side on our behalf to whom His Majesty always listens as he is His Son (and thus God as well).  But what is more, this Priest, though “great and high” is not so high and mighty that he cannot be touched by his people’s cries but, on the contrary, “sympathizes with our weaknesses.”  And why is this?  Because “in every respect” he “has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”  He knows us.  Our Lord is not some far off deity who cares not for us or anything else; he is the one who in the fullness of time was sent by God, “born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).  And he bore up under and conquered every temptation and every trial in life and death for us for the express purpose of delivering us from the same.

Therefore, we have every reason to draw near to the throne of grace.  He beckons us; our succor is why he came.  Our Lord invited all “who labor and are heavy laden” so to give them rest (Matthew 11:28).  But here the call is to those heavy laden with temptation and sin, trial and persecution, fear and trembling.  And note that they are to apply to “the throne of grace.”  Did you hear?  Our Lord’s throne is a throne of grace!  Come and “receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need,” for it is His grace, His favor, that makes us to endure, to conquer.  Yes, we have such a “great high priest!”

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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