Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
In chapter 4 the writer introduces one of the key attributes of Jesus – that he is our high priest. In ancient Jewish tradition, the high priest exercised the most significant spiritual leadership in Israel. It was only the high priest who, on the Day of Atonement, could enter the holy of holies at the heart of the temple sanctuary, and there make a sacrifice for the sins of Israel. This was a high and holy calling. The holy of holies was off limits to all other human beings, at the pain of death. It was held to be the dwelling place of God on earth. The holy of holies was separated from the rest of the temple precinct by a tall, thick curtain. It was this curtain that was torn in two, from top to bottom, the moment Jesus died on the cross – signifying that his sacrifice had removed the barrier once and for all between us and God. Jesus is the high priest who makes the sacrifice, and the sacrifice itself. Because of his actions, by faith, we are able to confidently enter the throne room of God!
Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus, that you are my High Priest, and that through you I have full access to my Father, not just for a day, but for eternity.