This passage summarizes much that has gone before and anticipates much that will follow. Our Great High Priest is a human being who identifies with us. This is communicated through the human name, “Jesus,” given him at birth (Matt. 1:25; Luke 2:21) and through the noteworthy statement of Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Our Great High Priest is also divine—God himself. This is communicated through the author’s saying that Jesus “has passed through the heavens”; no earthly high priest ever ascended to God’s heavenly throne! Jesus’ deity is also communicated through the divine title “the Son of God.”
Consequently, our priest is both God and man. As a genuine human being he is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses, since he shared them, including knowing temptation. But as the second Adam he never sinned. Therefore, as God himself who became the perfect man, he is able to give us mercy and grace when we come to God through him. We are to come boldly before God’s awesome heavenly throne—which through Christ has become for us “the throne of grace”! And we do so assured that Jesus as a man understands our struggles and as God is able and willing to help us in our distress. This is a great incentive to prayer and praise.
This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.