Today, I am thrilled to be featuring a guest post from my good friend, Laura from Homemaking For His Glory! Her post is entitled “The Great High Priest Who Understands”.
Life can be tough. Medical challenges can shock us mentally and physically. Loss isolates. Rejection discourages. No matter what life throws at us, we can always turn to God with our troubles. Hebrews 4:15-16 describes Jesus as the great high priest. To fully understand the implications of that, we need to examine the historical context of high priests.
The high priest was a mediator between God and the Israelites. He entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies. Any other person who attempted to do so would die.
In the same way, we could not come to God on our own. Jesus became the mediator between God and man and created a way for us to come to God.
Moses’ brother Aaron was the first high priest for the Israelites. The position was passed down from generation to generation, and each high priest served a lifelong term. The high priest was the most important priest, and he held a leadership over the other priests. He made sacrifices on behalf of all the people of Israel.
However, sacrifices made by the high priest were temporary. When Jesus died on the cross, His sacrifice ended sin and death forever.
God could have come to earth in pomp and circumstance, as a king or a powerful political leader, but He didn’t. Instead, He chose to come as a baby. He was completely God, but also completely man. As a man, He dealt with some of the same struggles that we deal with today.
Jesus dealt with temptation
While Jesus never sinned, He did deal with temptation. Matthew 4 describes how Satan tried to convince Jesus to turn stones into bread, throw himself down from the temple, and worship him. The temptation came at a time when Jesus was vulnerable. He had been fasting for 40 days in the wilderness. Jesus did not give in to Satan’s tactics. We can pray for help to resist temptation.
Jesus dealt with loss.
Jesus was friends with Lazarus of Bethany. John 11:35, while the shortest verse in the Bible, tells us something important: Jesus suffered from grief. The verse says that “Jesus wept” when he heard that his friend had died.
Nearly all of us will lose someone we love during our lifetime. Heartbreak is, unfortunately, a part of life on earth. Jesus understands that. During the Sermon on the Mount, He said: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
Jesus knows what is like to lose someone you love. We can pray for God to give us comfort.
Jesus dealt with rejection.
“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.”- Isaiah 53:3
Jesus did not perform miracles in Nazareth, his hometown, because people did not believe in Him. The Jewish leaders rejected Jesus, scoffing at His claims of deity. They were angry that He performed miracles on the Sabbath. We can pray for God to help us endure rejection, and to remind us of His enduring love.
Jesus suffered physical pain.
Ultimately, Jesus faced the final rejection by being sentenced to death by crucifixion; the worst and most painful way to die. Crucifixion was a brutal tactic, reserved for punishing the most egregious crimes. If Jesus experienced that level of pain, how much more can he understand our physical difficulties? We can pray for God to give us strength when we are suffering from physical pain.
Temptation. Grief. Rejection. Pain. These things sound familiar, don’t they? Jesus experienced them all when He was on earth. Because of those experiences, He isn’t like the human high priests of ages past.
He is the high priest who understands.
“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 4:15-16
Laura loves her family, good books, and good coffee. She is happily married and is a stay at home mom to her infant son. Laura writes about faith, homemaking, and motherhood at homemakingforhisglory.com.
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