He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Jesus, our high priest, offers more than a sufficient sacrifice. He also offers us unlimited understanding. Hebrews 7:25 says right now Jesus is at the right hand of God making intercession for us. He is praying for us. He is pleading our case before God, and He does so because He has an unlimited understanding of our weaknesses. Hebrews 4:15 says, “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
In the first century, it was a novel thought that we have a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses. The idea of a sympathetic God violated everything people thought they knew about God. The Old Testament teaches that the distinguishing characteristic of God is holiness. God is separate from us. He is holy, different than we are. Then the Stoics came along and said the primary attribute of God is apathy. He is totally incapable of understanding our feelings. He feels nothing. Then the Epicureans came along and said God exists in continual joy, which means He is unaware of any suffering on the part of His creation. But the writer of Hebrews said we can come before the throne of grace and find a high priest who is moved by our weaknesses. He sympathizes with our weaknesses. How can He do that? Because He “has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (4:15).
Have you ever felt Satan’s temptation in your life and did not know if you were going to be able to withstand it? Have you ever had an experience in which somebody you trusted betrayed you? Have you ever loved somebody who did not return that love? Have you ever stood over the grave of somebody you loved with all your heart and wondered if you could ever recover? Have you ever felt deserted, disappointed, or let down by God? Jesus experienced all those things and more.
During His years on earth, God’s Son learned about poverty, rejection, abuse, and betrayal. He learned about pain, what it feels like to be beaten and spat upon. He knows what it feels like to have an iron spike pounded through muscle, tendon, and bone. On earth, God’s Son learned all of that and more. He was tested in all points as we are, yet without sin.
Jesus Christ understands what you are going through right now. In fact, He understands it more than anybody else possibly could. Jesus is a high priest who has an unlimited capability of offering us sympathy because He has experienced everything we have and more.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Hope For Those Who Have Blown It” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.