Our high priest is sympathetic and available to help us persevere in our faith. We can have confidence before God.
In the previous verses, Paul warned his readers by explaining to them the ability God’s Word has to discern all their thoughts and intentions. He is now encouraging them with the high priesthood of Jesus. We as believers have everything we need to hold fast to our confession. To hold fast means to hold firmly to our faith because Jesus has already ascended into Heaven and is ready there to help us. Jesus is our perfect high priest—he can sympathize with our weaknesses because he has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin (Matthew 4:1-11). Although Jesus was tempted, He never sinned, making Him a perfect high priest because He is able to sympathize and He overcame temptation and was obedient to God.
Our perfect high priest is in Heaven, sympathizing with our weakness, and wants to help us in our need. Jesus is not glaring upon us – Jesus is rooting for us to succeed, and wants to help if we will call on Him. In Christ, we have everything we need to be faithful and obedient to God. Although Paul warned his readers about the piercing knowledge of God, he now encourages them that they should approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.
Since Jesus is interceding for us, we ought to be confident to approach God, who can help us to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. We are often tempted to disobey God and go our own way and Jesus fully understands our weakness. We can expect to find mercy and grace when we approach God asking for help, because of the high priesthood of Jesus.
All these passages emphasize the amazing fact that Jesus has given us the freedom to choose. Jesus wants us to choose to love Him, by choosing to follow in the footsteps He has prepared for us. Jesus wants us to succeed, and will help us. But he leaves it to us to trust Him and follow in faith. There will be no faith in heaven – this is the only opportunity in our existence we will have to serve and know God by faith. It is a once-in-an-existence opportunity God has granted us as a precious gift. Jesus desires to bless us in a way that is beyond our ability to comprehend (1 Corinthians 2:9). The warnings are there to urge us not to miss out on this amazing opportunity, and Jesus stands ready to help us as a faithful and sympathetic High Priest.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
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