Today’s quiet time:
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our
confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points
tempted as we are, yet
without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV
This passage is a wonderful reminder to me that Christ can relate to all we go through and His mercy and grace are available to us if we boldly approach Him. Too often we get wrapped up in our problems and forget to look up at Christ on His throne, where He is looking at us with understanding eyes, extending His hand to us hoping that we would extend ours.
An excerpt from St. John Chrysostom on Hebrews 4 – Homily VII…
He had said above “There is no creature that is not manifest in His sight,” intimating His Godhead; then, since he had touched on the flesh, he again discourses more condescendingly, saying (ver. 14), “Having then a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens”: and shows that His care is greater and that He protects them as His own, and would not have them fall away. For Moses indeed (he says) did not enter into the rest, while He [Christ] did enter in. And it is wonder fill how he has nowhere stated the same, lest they might seem to find an excuse; he however implied it, but that he might not appear to bring an accusation against the man,(2) he did not say it openly. For if, when none of these things had been said, they yet brought forward these [charges], saying, This man hath spoken against Moses and against the law (see Acts 21:21, 28); much more, if he had said, It is not Palestine but Heaven,(3) would they have said stronger things than these.
[5.] But he attributes not all to the Priest, but requires also what is [to come] from us, I mean our profession. For “having,” he says, “a great High Priest, who is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession” [or "confession"(4)]. What sort of profession does he mean? That there is a Resurrection, that there is a retribution: that there are good things innumerable; that Christ is GOD, that the Faith is right. These things let us profess, these things let us hold fast. For that they are true, is manifest from the fact, that the High Priest is within. We have not failed of [our hopes], let us confess; although the realities are not present, yet let us confess: if already they were present they were but a lie. So that this also is true, that [our good things] are deferred. For our High Priest also is Great.
Ver. 15. “For we have not an High Priest, who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” He is not (he means) ignorant of what concerns us, as many of the High Priests, who know not those in tribulations, nor that there is tribulation at any time. For in the case of men it is impossible that one should know the affliction of the afflicted who has not had experience, and gone through the actual sensations. Our High Priest endured all things. Therefore He endured first and then ascended, that He might be able to sympathize with us.
But was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Observe how both above he has used the word “in like manner,” and here “after the likeness.” (c. ii. 14.) That is, He was persecuted, was spit upon, was accused, was mocked at, was falsely informed against, was driven out, at last was crucified.
“After our likeness, without sin.” In these words another thing also is suggested, that it is possible even for one in afflictions to go through them without sin. So that when he says also “in the likeness of flesh” (Rom. viii. 3), he means not that He took on Him [merely] “the likeness of flesh,” but “flesh.” Why then did he say “in the likeness”? Because he was speaking about” sinful flesh”: for it was “like” our flesh, since in nature it was the same with us, but in sin no longer the same.
[6.] Ver. 16. “Let us come then boldly [with confidence] unto the throne of His grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
What “throne of grace” is he speaking of? that royal throne concerning which it is said, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand.” (Ps. 110:1.)
What is “let us come boldly”? Because “we have a sinless High Priest” contending with the world. For, saith He, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33); for, this is to suffer all things, and yet to be pure from sins. Although we (he means) are under sin, yet He is sinless.
How is it that we should “approach boldly “? Because now it is a throne of Grace, not a throne of Judgment. Therefore boldly, “that we may obtain mercy,” even such as we are seeking. For the affair is [one of] munificence, a royal largess.
“And may find grace to help in time of need [for help in due season].” He well said, “for help in time of need.” If thou approach now (he means) thou wilt receive both grace and mercy, for thou approachest “in due season”; but if thou approach then, no longer [wilt thou receive it]. For then the approach is unseasonable, for it is not “then a throne of Grace.” Till that time He sitteth granting pardon, but when the end [is come], then He riseth up to judgment. For it is said, “Arise, O God, judge the earth.” (Ps. 82:8.) (“Let us come boldly,” or he says again having no “evil conscience,” that is, not being in doubt, for such an one cannot “come with boldness.”) On this account it is said, “I have heard thee in an accepted time and in a day of salvation have I succored thee.” (2 Cor. 6:2.) Since even now for those to find repentance who sin after baptism is of grace.
But lest when thou hearest of an High Priest, thou shouldst think that He standeth, he forthwith leads to the throne. But a Priest doth not sit, but stands. Seest thou that [for Him] to be made High Priest, is not of nature,” but of grace and condescension, and humiliation?
This is it seasonable for us also now to say, “Let us draw near” asking “boldly”: let us only bring Faith and He gives all things. Now is the time of the gift; let no man despair of himself. Then [will be] the time of despairing, when the bride-chamber is shut, when the King is come in to see the guests, when they who shall be accounted worthy thereof, shall have received as their portion the Patriarch’s bosom: but now it is not as yet so. For still are the spectators assembled, still is the contest, still is the prize in suspense.