Day 329: November 25, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Hebrews 4:14-16
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Want to share today's reading with your friends? Pick a platform below

Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.
—Hebrews 4:16

Take the Mercy, Accept the Help
by Sally Cressman, Member of Brentwood Baptist Campus

Infrequently, I’d clean one of my teenager’s bedrooms. It was their responsibility to make their beds and keep their rooms picked up. Consequences were incurred for not cleaning a room: no gas money, no going out with friends, no having friends over.

But things happen. School work piled up, extracurricular activities ate into the schedule, groups met before school, and so on and so on.

When I sensed my son or daughter was overloaded, I’d clean his or her room. I made the bed, placed the dirty clothes in the hamper, and hung and folded the clean clothes. I placed the note, “You have been graced!” on the pillow. I’d then hand them the money for gas or tell them to go ahead and enjoy the time with their friends.

The writer of Hebrews in today’s passage encourages those who need grace or mercy to approach a throne. I can’t help but think about Queen Esther, the new queen and wife of King Ahasuerus.

When Esther heard her people were to be exterminated by the King’s decree, she received word from Mordecai telling her to plead with the king. She replied, “Every man and women who approaches the king…and has not been summoned will receive the death penalty…unless the scepter is extended.”

Through the fasting and prayers of Mordecai and the Jewish people, Esther was accepted by the king and the Jewish people were able to fight for their lives.

This throne in Hebrews is very different because it’s a throne of grace and held by the  Great High Priest and the King of Kings. The writer makes the case for Jesus as our Great High Priest by laying out the qualifications and showing He is superior to Moses or any other priest:

He was appointed by God to serve as the great high Priest (Hebrews 5:4-6).

He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).

He’s been tempted in everyway we are, yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

He holds this priesthood permanently (Hebrews 6:20).

He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins once and for all (Hebrews 7:27).

He is seated at the right hand of God, in the true tabernacle that was set up by the Lord and not man (Hebrews 8:1-2).

We don’t have to wait to be accepted or extended the scepter as Esther did. The physical veil guarding the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle (under the old covenant) was torn in two when Jesus died on the cross allowing access for all believers to our Holy God.

We don’t need to approach this throne with fearfulness or cower in His presence, but we are told to come boldly. What no punishment? No condemnation? No, none at all. Yes, there will be consequences to our sin, but in His presence we will only find grace and mercy.

The Message translates it this way: “So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.”

Do you need to be “graced” today or extended mercy? Come boldly to the throne of grace then take the mercy, accept the help. His grace is sufficient. His mercies are new every day.

Reflection Questions

  1. What’s holding you back from coming into God’s presence?
  2. How does knowing that God extends mercy and grace to those who come to Him change your perspective?
  3. How does knowing that Jesus was “tempted in everyway we are, yet without sin” make this throne more approachable?

About the Author

Sally Cressman

Since 2004, Sally and her family have been members of Brentwood Baptist. On Sunday mornings, you’ll find her in the Children’s Ministry area teaching kindergartners. She’s married to Drew and they have three children: Kendall, Derek, and Hannah. Her hobbies include biking on the trails in Crockett Park, reading fiction and non-fiction, and writing. Some day, she’d like to attend a Packers game at Lambeau Field in December or January.