Friday, February 12, 2010

Hebrews 4:14-16

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 the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

This is one of my most favorite passages. One that gives raw unbridled hope to us sinners. Telling us we are not alone in our temptations, we have One that sympathizes with our weaknesses.

"Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great high priest whose name is ‘Love’
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart,
I know that while in heaven He stands,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there,
Who made and end to all my sin.
Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God the Just is satisfied,
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace.
One in Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!"

Praise the One, risen Son, of God!

I don’t know what to say of this passage. Let it be a source of joy for our broken souls. Our confidence does not rest in ourselves, thank God, but rather in our great High Priest who intercedes for us. No longer must we try to withdraw from the throne of God, because the stain of our sin goes to our core, but rather we are free to draw near because of Jesus, because ‘It is finished.’ Instead of God’s righteously just wrath we find grace and mercy to help in time of need (indeed all the time).
What should this make us do? Sing and dance with all our being? Or weep and cry like only the freed slave does? How do we react to this truth of grace and mercy rather than just damnation? I know of no other answer than overflow and love.
Love for God who saved us apart from anything we could do or want. Love for people to tell them of this great mystery that has been revealed to us. A wellspring of love, more than that of the man and women in love; more than that of a father and mother to their children. This love is, and indeed does drastically change us.
The atheist believes; the agnostic become Christian; the simple become wise; the slaves are freed; the dead live; and the broken hearted rejoice. I’ve been all over the world and know of nothing more beautiful than the weeping eyes of the new believer. Not a sunrise or a sunset; not a new born child; not a lovers embrace; not even the husband washing his wife’s feet (though these are all beautiful they don’t compare). Nothing but a sinner seeing, for the first time, the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.