Daily Reading: (Hebrews 4:16):
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
“Let us therefore”, this means that something that comes before this text has led to a drastic change. In the Old Testament when people used to live under the Law, they would not have any confidence at all when they would bring their petitions before God. Unfortunately, some believers who are still trying to live under the Law are the same way today. When you do not realize that Jesus fulfilled the Law on your behalf, you will try to work for what you have been freely given in Jesus.
No one could come directly before God except the High Priest and only one time a year during atonement. He did not come boldly- he came fearfully because if he did anything wrong or didn’t properly purify himself he would die. How effective was that? Ok, your sins are removed, but the next day at work you mess up royally and the High Priest isn’t going back in there for another year. Temple sacrifices and stuff but people could never be sure how they stood in their relationship with God before Jesus. Just listen to the way David wrote – a man after God’s own heart.
No one came before God except the High Priest and only one time a year during atonement. He did not come boldly- he came fearfully because if he did anything wrong or didn’t properly purify himself, he would die.
If the High Priest sinned, he brought guilt on his nation, and God would reject the entire nation no matter how law-abiding the people were or how faithful they were in bringing their sacrifices.
Conversely, if their High Priest was without fault and acceptable to God, God would accept the whole nation even if the people were sinful.
Unfortunately, the High Priests of Israel often failed because, like any human being, they were imperfect.
“Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into Heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (Hebrews 4:14).
We have Jesus as our High Priest. As our High Priest, His standing before God is always right. Jesus is always acceptable and pleasing to the Father. Therefore, we can never lose our acceptance with God because as our High Priest, Jesus only brings righteousness on His people.
In the Old Testament, people would bring their sacrifice and the priest would examine it. During that time the priest wasn’t looking at the person who brought the sacrifice, the priest only looked at the sacrifice. And today that’s the same thing. God doesn’t look at us, He looks at the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God. God looks at Jesus. If Jesus is accepted, you are accepted. If God sees Jesus perfect, then He sees you perfect. If Jesus is righteous, then you are righteous. And we know that Jesus our High Priest is good, accepted, perfect, and righteous, which means that that is how God sees us! That’s not fair, that’s not deserved, that’s not earned. That’s called grace and that is why, “since we have a great High Priest “Let us [therefore come boldly] unto the [throne of grace].”
Why a throne of grace? Confused people who think our sacrifice is what pleases God, will see a throne of judgment. If you put your faith in Jesus you get to come boldly unto God because you know that the perfect Sacrifice has been made for you and you will find yourself before God’s throne of grace.
Because Jesus is our High Priest something else happens when you pray in your time of need. In Leviticus 1:14-17 we see what happens when we pray as we understand what the High Priest in the Old Testament did with the burnt offering of a bird.
The birds what they represent are our prayers “flying” to the Lord Jesus because we pray to the Father in Jesus’ name. What the High Priest did with the bird sacrifice is He would remove the bird’s feathers after killing it. Jesus removes all that is unclean from our prayers, such as unbelief and self-centeredness.
Then, just as the High Priest offers the bird as a burnt sacrifice, a sweet aroma to the Lord, Jesus our High Priest adds His perfection, beauty, excellence, and fragrance, which the Father delights in, to our prayers. That is how He presents our prayers to the Father. That is how He lives to make intercession for you.
You don’t have to run to a church leader for them to pray “more powerfully” for you. You can pray for yourself. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). You are the righteousness of Christ Jesus so take advantage of Jesus’ intercession for you and know that the promise is that you “find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).