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“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 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.”

Hebrews 4:14-16

We have a great high priest!

Who is gone through the heavens!

Jesus the Son of God!

A sympathetic high priest, Who is now seated on the throne of grace! Where you may now come boldly to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need!

Let us hold fast this our profession!

O, indeed, He is the great high priest! This Jesus the Son of God!

Not great, you understand, is He simply because He compares or is to be compared with other priests, and in the comparison is greater than all. Though surely that He is! But great is He because He is the reality, the One to Whom all the rest pointed, and of which they all were only faint pictures. Not one of them could bring a sacrifice that could really atone for the sins of the people they represented. All they could bring was the blood of animals which the people brought to them, but which could never take away sins. All they could do was enter an earthly sanctuary and sprinkle animal blood upon a man made mercy seat between artificial cherubim, the work of a human sculptor. All they could say to the people whom they sought to mediate was, “You must not expect salvation to come from us, but from Him of Whom we serve only as types and shadows.”

Great High Priest is He because He is the unique, the only true High Priest. Who brings not a sacrifice you give Him, but Who offers Himself. Who poured out His life’s blood, which could effectively blot out our sin and guilt, and which could merit the right to enter into the presence of God without fear of being cast out. Great is He because He can truly make intercession with the Father for us, an intercession that must be heard.

And this great high Priest is none other than Jesus the Son of God!

Jesus, the revelation of the God of our salvation!

Very God of God! Infinite in power is He! Full of infinite perfections!

For when God saw that there was no man who could redeem his brother, and that we all had made ourselves incapable of doing any good, and were inclined to all evil, and that we could only therefore increase our debt—He came Himself, in the Person of His Son, and joined Himself so perfectly to our nature in the womb of the virgin that He assumed that nature in its entirety, though without sin, without incurring our guilt; in order that He might truly represent us as our great High Priest. Then He came, as it is written in the volume of the book, to do God’s will, to fulfill the law which we had transgressed and could not keep, while at the same time presenting Himself as an atonement for our sins. He gave Himself unto the death of the curse. He allowed Himself to be burned under the fire of God’s holy wrath, and satisfied God’s justice completely. So that we have no debt, all our guilt is erased, and in its place we now possess a righteousness of God wherewith we may appear before His face as if we had never committed one sin and had always walked obediently in His commandments.

O, indeed, we have a great High Priest!

Who is none other than Jesus the Son of God!

Who is gone through the heavens!

For you see He has risen from the dead, and ascended up on high as a reward of merit, because He had first so deeply humbled Himself. And having been raised from the dead, the very nature of His resurrected body which had now become heavenly and glorious could no longer abide in the earthly.

From the Mount of Olives, in the presence of His disciples, He was taken up, and He ascended into heaven. Yea, the text informs us that He went through the heavens. Until He came to the very heart, the very center of the heaven of heavens—to the right hand of the throne of God—which is now called the throne of grace, being no longer a throne of judgment for His people.

There, on that throne of grace, He still serves as our great High Priest. No longer, you understand, to make atonement for the sins of His people: for once for all He accomplished this on the cross. But now to intercede for them on the basis of that atonement. To serve there as our advocate, our lawyer, who will constantly plead our case with the Father. That it is the throne of grace upon which He sits, signifies that now only grace, that is, the beauty and forgiving favor of God can emanate from that throne to those who are represented by the great High Priest. It is no longer a throne of wrath and of judgment for them.

Moreover, the text emphasizes the fact that also the High Priest is favorably disposed to us.

We do not have a High Priest Who is not able to be affected with respect to our infirmities, but He was tried according to all things in like manner as we are, though without sin. He knows, therefore, exactly what we go through when our faith is tried, when we are surrounded with manifold temptations. While He was strong and sinless as He was tempted in all points as we are, and therefore could stand in the temptations without succumbing, He knows that we are weak and sinful and lapsable. He knows that we would not be able to stand for a moment without His sustaining and redeeming grace.

He is the sympathetic High Priest from Whom you need not to flee away because He is holy and you are sinner; but you may come to Him with fearless freedom, believing that He will help you in your need.

Our need!

O, yes, we still have need! Though we are justified before God and shall never be brought into judgment to answer for our sins, (for that judgment was finished on the cross), and though we through regeneration possess in principle eternal life and immortality through the Spirit of the resurrected and exalted Redeemer, and though our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life and can never be stricken, yet we have great need! We dwell still in the body of sin and death that never delights to do the will of God, that never wants to go to heaven, and is still inclined to all evil, and still constitutes our greatest enemy. We have not yet finished the race, nor attained to the goal set before us. We still have to fight the good fight of faith in which we do not always taste the victory we have in Christ. We experience daily that we have only a small beginning of new obedience, and we often falter in the way. Moreover, we still transgress all of God’s good commandments. Even our best works are all tainted with sin. We need constantly grace and mercy. We need the intercessory prayers of our great High Priest Who must purify our prayers with His own and Who must constantly plead our case with the living God Who is always inclined to heed the intercession of our High Priest and Advocate with the Father. 

Let us then hold fast our profession! 

Our profession is to say the same thing God has revealed to us in the Holy Gospel, and by His Holy Spirit in our hearts. 

And what has God revealed to us? 

That Jesus His only begotten Son is our Lord and Saviour! That He has been sent of the Father into our world to unite Himself to our nature in which He could perfectly represent us as the Head of His people given to Him of the Father from before the foundation of the world. That He gave Himself unto death, even the death of the cross, in our stead. That He satisfied the justice of God in respect to our sin and guilt. That He merited for us righteousness and life. That He was raised again from the dead to declare our justification, and to open the way for us through death and the grave unto eternal and heavenly life. That He is ascended into heaven, having taken our human nature, now glorified, into the very presence of God. That there He may finish His priestly work, interceding for us with the Father, and preparing there a place for all His own in the house of many mansions. That from there He might send forth His Spirit given Him of the Father into the church and into our hearts, that Spirit which cries: Abba, Father; the Spirit which testifies with our spirits that we are the children of God and joint heirs with Christ of all the blessings of God’s kingdom and covenant. 

Briefly, this is our profession which we are to hold fast! 

Which while we hold it fast, will also give unto us the boldness and freedom to come to the throne of grace. 

We need not therefore stand afar off as the children of God in the old dispensation did and remain in the outer court while their priest functioned in the inner sanctuary. For they feared to draw near, and remained far outside the drawn curtain that separated them from the holy of holies and the mercy seat. In fact they might not enter there on pain of death. Only the priest might enter, and that only after he had sanctified himself and came with blood. 

But we may come boldly, that is, with fearless freedom to the throne of grace. The veil of the sanctuary has been rent from top to bottom, never to be repaired again. Now the mercy seat is open to the view of all, and we see Jesus, “the captain of our salvation who was made perfect through sufferings,” seated on the throne of grace and mercy, who is the hope set before us; “which hope we have as the anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entered into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” 

Should we then be afraid? 

Should we hesitate then to come in our need to that throne of grace? 

Indeed not! But let us go freely to Him Whom we boast in our profession to be our merciful High Priest, Who alone has the right to plead our case, and Who alone can give us the assurance that His pleadings shall be heard, and Who promises grace to help. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 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.”

Hebrews 4:14-16

We have a great high priest!

Who is gone through the heavens!

Jesus the Son of God!

A sympathetic high priest, Who is now seated on the throne of grace! Where you may now come boldly to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need!

Let us hold fast this our profession!

O, indeed, He is the great high priest! This Jesus the Son of God!

Not great, you understand, is He simply because He compares or is to be compared with other priests, and in the comparison is greater than all. Though surely that He is! But great is He because He is the reality, the One to Whom all the rest pointed, and of which they all were only faint pictures. Not one of them could bring a sacrifice that could really atone for the sins of the people they represented. All they could bring was the blood of animals which the people brought to them, but which could never take away sins. All they could do was enter an earthly sanctuary and sprinkle animal blood upon a man made mercy seat between artificial cherubim, the work of a human sculptor. All they could say to the people whom they sought to mediate was, “You must not expect salvation to come from us, but from Him of Whom we serve only as types and shadows.”

Great High Priest is He because He is the unique, the only true High Priest. Who brings not a sacrifice you give Him, but Who offers Himself. Who poured out His life’s blood, which could effectively blot out our sin and guilt, and which could merit the right to enter into the presence of God without fear of being cast out. Great is He because He can truly make intercession with the Father for us, an intercession that must be heard.

And this great high Priest is none other than Jesus the Son of God!

Jesus, the revelation of the God of our salvation!

Very God of God! Infinite in power is He! Full of infinite perfections!

For when God saw that there was no man who could redeem his brother, and that we all had made ourselves incapable of doing any good, and were inclined to all evil, and that we could only therefore increase our debt—He came Himself, in the Person of His Son, and joined Himself so perfectly to our nature in the womb of the virgin that He assumed that nature in its entirety, though without sin, without incurring our guilt; in order that He might truly represent us as our great High Priest. Then He came, as it is written in the volume of the book, to do God’s will, to fulfill the law which we had transgressed and could not keep, while at the same time presenting Himself as an atonement for our sins. He gave Himself unto the death of the curse. He allowed Himself to be burned under the fire of God’s holy wrath, and satisfied God’s justice completely. So that we have no debt, all our guilt is erased, and in its place we now possess a righteousness of God wherewith we may appear before His face as if we had never committed one sin and had always walked obediently in His commandments.

O, indeed, we have a great High Priest!

Who is none other than Jesus the Son of God!

Who is gone through the heavens!

For you see He has risen from the dead, and ascended up on high as a reward of merit, because He had first so deeply humbled Himself. And having been raised from the dead, the very nature of His resurrected body which had now become heavenly and glorious could no longer abide in the earthly.

From the Mount of Olives, in the presence of His disciples, He was taken up, and He ascended into heaven. Yea, the text informs us that He went through the heavens. Until He came to the very heart, the very center of the heaven of heavens—to the right hand of the throne of God—which is now called the throne of grace, being no longer a throne of judgment for His people.

There, on that throne of grace, He still serves as our great High Priest. No longer, you understand, to make atonement for the sins of His people: for once for all He accomplished this on the cross. But now to intercede for them on the basis of that atonement. To serve there as our advocate, our lawyer, who will constantly plead our case with the Father. That it is the throne of grace upon which He sits, signifies that now only grace, that is, the beauty and forgiving favor of God can emanate from that throne to those who are represented by the great High Priest. It is no longer a throne of wrath and of judgment for them.

Moreover, the text emphasizes the fact that also the High Priest is favorably disposed to us.

We do not have a High Priest Who is not able to be affected with respect to our infirmities, but He was tried according to all things in like manner as we are, though without sin. He knows, therefore, exactly what we go through when our faith is tried, when we are surrounded with manifold temptations. While He was strong and sinless as He was tempted in all points as we are, and therefore could stand in the temptations without succumbing, He knows that we are weak and sinful and lapsable. He knows that we would not be able to stand for a moment without His sustaining and redeeming grace.

He is the sympathetic High Priest from Whom you need not to flee away because He is holy and you are sinner; but you may come to Him with fearless freedom, believing that He will help you in your need.

Our need!

O, yes, we still have need! Though we are justified before God and shall never be brought into judgment to answer for our sins, (for that judgment was finished on the cross), and though we through regeneration possess in principle eternal life and immortality through the Spirit of the resurrected and exalted Redeemer, and though our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life and can never be stricken, yet we have great need! We dwell still in the body of sin and death that never delights to do the will of God, that never wants to go to heaven, and is still inclined to all evil, and still constitutes our greatest enemy. We have not yet finished the race, nor attained to the goal set before us. We still have to fight the good fight of faith in which we do not always taste the victory we have in Christ. We experience daily that we have only a small beginning of new obedience, and we often falter in the way. Moreover, we still transgress all of God’s good commandments. Even our best works are all tainted with sin. We need constantly grace and mercy. We need the intercessory prayers of our great High Priest Who must purify our prayers with His own and Who must constantly plead our case with the living God Who is always inclined to heed the intercession of our High Priest and Advocate with the Father. 

Let us then hold fast our profession! 

Our profession is to say the same thing God has revealed to us in the Holy Gospel, and by His Holy Spirit in our hearts. 

And what has God revealed to us? 

That Jesus His only begotten Son is our Lord and Saviour! That He has been sent of the Father into our world to unite Himself to our nature in which He could perfectly represent us as the Head of His people given to Him of the Father from before the foundation of the world. That He gave Himself unto death, even the death of the cross, in our stead. That He satisfied the justice of God in respect to our sin and guilt. That He merited for us righteousness and life. That He was raised again from the dead to declare our justification, and to open the way for us through death and the grave unto eternal and heavenly life. That He is ascended into heaven, having taken our human nature, now glorified, into the very presence of God. That there He may finish His priestly work, interceding for us with the Father, and preparing there a place for all His own in the house of many mansions. That from there He might send forth His Spirit given Him of the Father into the church and into our hearts, that Spirit which cries: Abba, Father; the Spirit which testifies with our spirits that we are the children of God and joint heirs with Christ of all the blessings of God’s kingdom and covenant. 

Briefly, this is our profession which we are to hold fast! 

Which while we hold it fast, will also give unto us the boldness and freedom to come to the throne of grace. 

We need not therefore stand afar off as the children of God in the old dispensation did and remain in the outer court while their priest functioned in the inner sanctuary. For they feared to draw near, and remained far outside the drawn curtain that separated them from the holy of holies and the mercy seat. In fact they might not enter there on pain of death. Only the priest might enter, and that only after he had sanctified himself and came with blood. 

But we may come boldly, that is, with fearless freedom to the throne of grace. The veil of the sanctuary has been rent from top to bottom, never to be repaired again. Now the mercy seat is open to the view of all, and we see Jesus, “the captain of our salvation who was made perfect through sufferings,” seated on the throne of grace and mercy, who is the hope set before us; “which hope we have as the anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entered into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” 

Should we then be afraid? 

Should we hesitate then to come in our need to that throne of grace? 

Indeed not! But let us go freely to Him Whom we boast in our profession to be our merciful High Priest, Who alone has the right to plead our case, and Who alone can give us the assurance that His pleadings shall be heard, and Who promises grace to help.