This pic of Anthony and me with Santa reminds me of Hebrews 4:14-18, which says we can come boldly before the throne of God. Just like many little kids run up to Santa and are eager to sit on his lap and tell them what they want, Anthony and I went right up to him and sat on his knee, welcomed like children.
Similarly, we are invited, through Jesus, to come boldly to the throne of Father God, the King of Kings.
In the New King James Version, this section of Hebrews is titled, “Our Compassionate High Priest:”
“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.”
This isn’t some far-off un-human man who doesn’t understand the hardships, trials, and temptations we face. This is someone who has been through it all — and can help us go through it too.
God wants us to come to Him, knowing we will be welcomed with love. We are made acceptable to God not through our own works but simply through faith, believing that Jesus’ death on the Cross was enough for us. So, we can find mercy and help from God whenever we come to Him.
On the other hand, similar to how many kids’ Santa songs talk about how they’d better watch out because he’s checking on their behavior, the One True God is righteous and holy, a principle to which the previous verses allude:
“For the word of God is … a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12-13).
That could sound like pressure or a need to wake up and be careful about how we are living, and that is true.
We do need to be careful that we live according to God’s righteous standards, but He knows that we can’t do that perfectly on our own — we must come to Him for help. And that leads us into these verses about how we can come boldly to the throne of — not just judgement, but of grace. The throne of grace.
God follows the verses about how we must give Him an account — about our thoughts, intentions and actions — with a message basically saying,
“Don’t run away from Me. Don’t go hide in the garden like Adam and Eve. Instead, come to Me. I am compassionate toward you. I am understanding of your weaknesses. And I will give you mercy, grace, and help in your time of need.”
We can come to God and ask Him for what we need, trusting that He will be kind to us, He will give to us, and He will guide us to what is truly best for us.
That is our compassionate High Priest.