“Since then 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 is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14–16 ESV)
When I think of why Christ came to be born in a manger, I typically think that He came to be the Savior of the world. Obviously, this is not wrong. Jesus was the Messiah, the long awaited Savior. But I forget that He was also so much more.
This morning I was reading in the book of Hebrews and I was reminded of this. Jesus is my high Priest. Now, until recently in studying more in the Old Testament, this notion didn’t mean much to me. I have no experience with High Priests and for the most part, I never understood why I might need one.
But before Christ, the High Priest was necessary because there needed to be someone who could be an advocate for God’s people to God to make sacrifices on their behalf. Men could not approach God without the sacrifice and mediation of the High Priest. But, as the author of Hebrews points out, even the High priests in the order of Aaron had to make sacrifices for their own sin, so mankind never had a fully capable and sufficient ambassador before God.
Jesus, because he lived a perfect life and became the all atoning sacrifice himself before God, can now be our perfect and righteous advocate in heaven. Not only was the Savior born in Bethlehem, but a new order of priesthood and a new law was born that allows us to have a perfect mediator between ourselves and God.
Since Jesus was born and did what he did, we can approach God’s throne with confidence. We can’t go before him because of anything we did. We stand before him because our perfect advocate, our great High Priest, has sacrificed on our behalf and stands before God in heaven as our representative.
Today as we think more of Christmas, let us praise Him for the birth of the new law of Grace and the confidence we can have in his sacrifice!