Jeremiah 40-42 Hebrews 4
“For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NCV)
The job of the High Priest was to offer sacrifices to take away sins. The most important of those was the yearly sacrifice to take away the sins of the nation on the Day of Atonement. (Yom Kippur) The author of Hebrews makes the case that not only did the office of the High Priest point to Jesus, Jesus not only took away our sins, He did it as the Great High Priest once for all even though He Himself had been tempted just as we are. He’s able to take away our sins because He overcame all of His temptations but didn’t sin. Because He dealt with the same temptations we do, He’s going to be merciful so that when we do sin, we can come to Him to receive grace and mercy.
And oh, how much we need that grace and mercy! We live in a world inundated with sin and we fall into its clutches so easily. Our anger rises whether we’re dealing with kids, driving on the highway, or watching election returns. Our greed and our lust for things grows when we see the cool things our friends get as they post pictures on social media. “Wait? Did my cousin just get a cool new car?” (Thinks about my crummy old car.) Need I go on? Porn is readily available and people in the Bible Belt search for it at a higher rate than other places. All these things are sins because they reveal the sin in our life which is our separation from God. And Jesus knows all our temptations. He endured them. He overcame them. No matter what the thought or action you engage in that reveals your separation from God may be, Jesus not only overcame that temptation, He reaches out to each of us offering forgiveness, mercy, and grace. He brings us into the presence of God the Father as He restores the relationship between us. We can overcome those temptations because of the grace and mercy God has for us through Jesus. Thanks be to God for the power to overcome sin.
Lord, the world is full of temptations and it’s so easy to fall for the allure of sin. Thank You for Your grace and mercy that comes when I need it. Thank You for extending that same grace and mercy to others. Help me today to stay strong in my relationship with You and avoid the allure of sin.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.