In the context of the passage we are about to study in this article we have read about our great high priest Jesus Christ. We discussed how we are exposed before the eyes of our Lord (Hebrews 4:13). We studied about Jesus being our great high priest in Heaven (Hebrews 4:14). We learned of Jesus’ ability to have compassion because He knows what it means to live in this physical world (Hebrews 4:15). From those points we then read this: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
The English phrase “let us” is used multiple times in this letter (Hebrews 4:1, Hebrews 4:11, Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 6:1, Hebrews 10:22, Hebrews 10:23, Hebrews 10:24, Hebrews 12:1, Hebrews 12:28, Hebrews 13:13, and Hebrews 13:15). So, it would appear that this is a common phrase used by the penman of this epistle. However, a word study proves otherwise. The phrase “let us” does not best represent what was originally written in Hebrews 4:16. In this passage, it is best translated “come therefore come.” The Greek term “προσέρχομαι” that is translated “let us” and “come” is the same Greek word (Strong’s # 4334). So, the focus is not so much on the “let” or the “us”, but the approach itself to the throne of grace.
With Jesus being the high priest that stands before our Father in Heaven, faithful Christians can come boldly before our Father. Consider what is written later in this epistle: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-22). When Jesus was talking to His disciples He said: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). He died that He might bring us unto the Father (I Peter 3:18). Faithful saints have access and confidence by faith in Christ (Ephesians 3:11-12).
As Gentiles, we understand what it means to need Jesus to be able to come to our Father in Heaven (Ephesians 2:1-17). The Jews, to whom this epistle was written, needed to learn that their relationship with God was no longer a physical birthright. Through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; they were the blessed seed of man upon this earth (Exodus 32:13, Psalms 105:1-45, and Isaiah 41:8-10). Under the Law of Moses, they were the chosen people of God (Deuteronomy 7:1-14 and Deuteronomy 14:2). They grew comfortable with this. They were so comfortable with this, that when Jesus came they thought that being of the seed of Abraham was enough (John 8:13-59).
The throne of the majesty in Heaven (Hebrews 8:1) is referred to in the passage we are studying as “the throne of grace.” The continued thought is that this is where mercy and grace are found in time of need. This is about spiritual needs. How do you feel if you err? If you err, you should have a sense of godly sorrow that leads to repentance (II Corinthians 7:9-10). If you err, you should abhor yourself (Job 42:1-6). If you err, you should be ashamed (Genesis 3:1-10). If you err, you should desire to weep bitterly (Luke 22:54-62). In these moments, it is easy to feel unable to come before God. After all, we know that God does not hear the prayers of sinners (Proverbs 15:8, Proverbs 15:29, Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 1:10-18, Isaiah 59:1-3, Micah 3:4, John 9:31, and I Peter 3:12). This is where the points of Hebrews 4:13-16 come into play. It is of great importance that we understand that in times of the most vilest offenses (as it might seem to us), Jesus makes it possible for us to come before the throne of our Father to obtain mercy and grace.
We know that God expects us NOT to sin (John 8:1-11, Romans 6:1-2, I Corinthians 15:34, II Timothy 2:19, and James 1:13-16). We also have to consider that God has made it possible for us, if we err, to be reconciled to Him through Christ. Notice: “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us… For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them… My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:19-25, and I John 2:1-2).
John said this: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Whether it was the Jews in the first century or us today, we need to keep that at the forefront of our minds. We can find grace and mercy because of Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:21 and Jude 1:21). We can come before our Heavenly Father because Jesus is our mediator (I Timothy 2:5-6). Isaiah prophesied about Jesus saying some great things about Him (Isaiah 9:1-7). Among those things you find the word “Wonderful” (Isaiah 9:6). That is a fitting term. We have a WONDERFUL savior in Jesus Christ.
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