Hebrews 4:15, 16 – “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Christ, our high priest. What a comfort! Jesus suffered things that we cannot even imagine in His life on this earth. Every minute of the day, every second, He suffered the wrath of God against sin. He came into our frail, weak flesh, and was sick, exhausted, even tempted to sin, like we are. He was scorned by the Pharisees, reproached by the people, and even abandoned and misunderstood by His own disciples. When the crowds realized He wasn’t an earthly king who would deliver them from the rule of Rome, they left from following Him. In the Garden, dwelling in the shadow of the cross, He underwent excruciating emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain – and there His disciples lay, sleeping! Just before Calvary, Peter denied Him. The soldiers pressed a crown of thorns on His head, and mockingly dressed Him in a purple robe. And then the cross. There, on that tree, our Savior was suspended between heaven and earth – the people jeered, mocked, and reproached Him. The darkness came. Thick darkness that can be felt. Then no one mocked and reproached. Jesus plunged into the inexpressible terrors, horrors, and torments of hellish agony. For three hours, the eternal wrath of God for sin poured upon His head. He died. He was buried, lying in the grave itself.
But that is not the end! Christ arose from the grave and ascended into heaven. Now He is a high priest in heaven. He knows everything you are going through right now, young people! He knows your every trial, temptation, and fear, for He is the suffering servant. No matter what you are experiencing, He is beside you, dwelling among you, constantly pleading on your behalf in heaven. He completely understands your suffering and trials. He has walked that deep, dark valley. What a high priest we have! It is true, our fellow pilgrims on this earth can be good comforters – but only One, Jesus, can really understand our needs. And just think – He is the One Who is praying, at this very moment, that we might be with Him. What inexpressible joy, a thrill, to be in the arms of Jesus! To be held and to dwell in perfect fellowship with the Lamb Who was slain for our sin, with the One Who loves us more than we can even start to imagine! In Jesus’ arms there are no more tears, anxieties, or sin. In heaven we shall live with our merciful high priest for all of eternity!
But what are we to do on earth in the meantime? Go to the throne of grace! It is a throne – Jesus is king! He has authority over all things, and that is why Lord’s Day 1 says that it is such a comfort to know that nothing happens apart from God’s will in Christ – not even a hair can fall from the head. But it is also a throne of grace – God’s favor, in Christ, shines upon us! That’s grace! God sees us as beautiful. Christ intercedes for us, as our high priest, showing to God how beautiful we are in the robes of His righteousness. And so, young people, when you struggle with anxiety, loneliness, and all manner of sins and pressures, you can pray – and God hears you. God hears us because we pray for Jesus’ sake. When we pray, He gives us that peace which passes all understanding. When we pray, He testifies to us that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. When we pray, He makes us to know that these light afflictions are but for a moment, and are not to be compared to the heavy weight of glory awaiting us. When we pray, He causes us to roll our burdens upon Him and He sustains us. When we pray, He works in our hearts so that we know nothing can separate us from His love. What a gift prayer is!
What a high priest we have!