Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jesus, the Son and Heir, is greater than the angels (chap. 1). Jesus, the Man, is like us (2:17; 3:6), and has faced all temptations (4:15). Jesus is greater than Moses (chap. 3). Jesus, the Word, cuts deeply and truly (4:12; see John 1:1-5). Jesus, our Helper, gives us His mercy and grace (4:16).
The high priest held a position of supreme importance in the Hebrew nation. Through him they could, as a nation, secure and retain an acceptable relationship with God. The high priest also was to be a representative from God to the people.
Once every year, on the Day of Atonement, Israel's high priest passed through the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies where the glory of the presence of God dwelt. This was symbolic of Christ, who passed from the presence of His disciples up into heaven — the ultimate Holy Place of the presence of God (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11).
Jesus. . . . took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted (Heb. 2:9,16-18). For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (4:15).
Christ, the all-sufficient, great High Priest for both Jews and Gentiles, offered Himself on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of those who accept Him as Savior. To them gave He power to become the sons of God (John 1:12). Therefore, we are invited to come boldly unto the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16) — into God's presence — with our prayer requests, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (4:16). Let us therefore come literally means that we may "keep on approaching" the throne of grace to receive wisdom and strength to meet every need. We are assured that God . . . is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (11:6), and that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us (I John 5:14).
Having been given such wonderful truths, we should never doubt that God will answer prayer! Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith) (Heb. 4:14).
Thought for Today:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).
For Heb. 1:3: See Ps. 110:1. Heb. 1:5: See Ps. 2:7; II Sam. 7:14. Heb. 1:6: See Ps. 97:7. Heb. 1:7: See Ps. 104:4. Heb. 1:8-9: See Ps. 45:6-7. Heb. 1:10-12: See Ps. 102:25-27. Heb. 1:13: See Ps. 110:1. Heb. 2:6-8: See Ps. 8:4-6. Heb. 2:12: See Ps. 22:22. Heb. 2:13: See Is. 8:18. Heb. 3:7-11: See Ps. 95:7-11. Heb. 4:3: See Ps. 95:11. Heb. 4:4: See Gen. 2:2.
Heb. 2:17 behoved =was necessary for, was imperative for; 4:8 Jesus =not the Lord Jesus, but Joshua; 4:12 quick =living.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Nancy Thunberg and Lois Holmquist • Government Officials: Rep. Steve Kagen (WI), Rep. Joe Sestak (PA), and Sec. Tom Vilsack (Dept. of Agriculture) • Country: Nigeria (113.8 million) in western Africa • Major languages: English and Hausa • Government permits all types of religious activity • 45% Muslim (largely Sunni); 40% Christian; 9% Indigenous; 6% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Diligently seek the guidance of the Lord (Prov. 8:17).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 18:34