Hebrews 4:14-16 “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.”
A sympathetic High Priest: that is what we need! We need one who understands us, replaces our sin with His righteousness, and represents us before the heavenly bar of divine justice for the forgiveness of our sins and the cleansing of our souls before God the Father. And, we have such a High Priest – Jesus Christ!
One of the fundamental reasons He can be such a wonderful Intercessor for us is that He bears our humanity, and through His love and mercy, He sympathizes with our weaknesses. Jesus does not condemn us; He sympathizes with us!
Our weaknesses are daily reminders of our sinfulness, reminders of our falling short of the glory of God, and reminders of our need for Jesus as our Savior. But the gospel is also a reminder; it reminds us that Jesus came to save sinners. And through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we find in Him a wonderful Advocate who stands in our stead to make intercession for us. And in so doing He also sympathizes with us in our weaknesses.
Others may condemn us, and we may condemn ourselves, but Jesus sympathizes with us. Jesus doesn’t act like a “holy policeman” waiting for us to mess up! Rather, He comes alongside us in and through the Holy Spirit to help us, to gently correct us, and to aid us in sanctification and spiritual growth. He corrects us not in anger, but with love; He is a tender Shepherd who sympathetically helps us along the way. He shortens His steps to accommodate our child-like strides; He WANTS US TO MAKE IT!
Our judgmental and cancel culture will never understand Jesus. Those who criticize others constantly want Jesus to join with them in protesting sinners, but Jesus will refuse to do so. He is the Friend of sinners. Jesus goes to the house of Zacchaeus, a sinner (Luke 19:7); Jesus forgave a thief on the cross and guaranteed him Paradise (Luke 23:43). What is wrong with Jesus? Why does He do this? Jesus does this because He came to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21); Jesus came not to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17).
Where can God’s people go to confess their sins without condemnation? Where can we go to beseech the Lord for His mercy in our weaknesses? We can (and we must) go to Jesus, our High Priest, and then petition Him for forgiveness and strength to continue. This is our peace and our comfort!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Jesus Christ, my Savior, and High Priest. Thank You for Jesus being my Intercessor and Advocate. Please forgive me of my sin and cleanse me inside and out. And help me to never hesitate to run to Jesus for an understanding Savior and Shepherd; help me to pour out my heart to Him and seek His will and way. Thank you for Your love and mercy to me. Amen.