“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15)
One of the things that helps us relate to Jesus as a personal savior is that He has been there and can relate to us on the basis of humanity. Philippians tells us that he emptied himself of everything and entered into mankind in human form (Philippians 2:6-7). He stripped himself of all divine privileges and dignity and assumed the guise of a slave born under the dominion of Satan’s kingdom. He did this so He could rescue us.
Jesus started with nothing. He was born in the most humble of circumstances. Born to teenage parents in a lowly manger, reserved for animals. Not exactly the place for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). And yet Luke’s gospel tells us that Jesus grew in wisdom, and the grace of God was on Him (Luke 2:40). Even from an early age, Jesus pursued and prepared for His role as the Savior of the World.
During His time on earth Jesus underwent temptation and trials so He would be fully equipped to serve as our High Priest. He deal with difficult people and faced situations that are common in humanity and yet the Bible says that He was without sin. This is incredibly important because to defeat death we needed a perfect sin substitute. By conquering the grasp sin had on mankind He was able to free us from what held us captive. Since He emptied himself of all divine privileges and experienced the fullness of humanity He is able to understand and empathize with us in our weaknesses. There is no one better equipped to serve before God as our High Priest than Jesus.
The previous verse in Hebrews says, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens,Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (Hebrews 4:14). Since this is a past event and Jesus has ascended to the right hand of the Father, we can cling to this confession of faith in Jesus when trials and temptations seem to close in around us. He is there to provide help exactly when we need it. All we have to do is ask and believe that He will deliver us. Paul told us, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (I Corinthians 10:13). He is able to do this because He has been there and understands the common temptations that mankind faces.
What a marvelous truth knowing that Jesus was chosen as our High Priest. One who has been tempted and tried in every way imaginable and yet remained sinless throughout His course in life. He is able to run to our side and assist us in every circumstance because He has been there. And now He is in heaven in a position to help us in every way because He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death to rescue us from the dominion of darkness. Because of this we can have boldness and confidence to enter into the throne room of God to find grace and mercy when we need it.
Tomorrow we will look at Hebrews 4:16; Approaching the Throne of Grace with Confidence.