The Grace to Draw Near
by Ann Higginbottom
Hebrews 4:14 - 5:10:
"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.
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,
'You are my Son,
today I have begotten you';
as he says also in another place,
'You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.'
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek."
John 1:16- 18:
"For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known."
"One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side"
Hebrews 4:14 -5:10, John 1:16-18, John 13:23
Consider a kingdom. It can be a kingdom of ancient times, or it can even be a kingdom in our present day. Either way, consider a kingdom where a king sits in total power and authority over his dominion and people. The king is not simply a figurehead, but his power rules over all. At his command, nations rise and fall, and the judgment and discipline of the people are at the mercy of his grace or wrath.
Now imagine yourself in the narrative. You live within the kingdom and in the shadow of the king’s reign. There is no direct access to the king—there are walls, doors, laws, and social parameters. There is a ladder of people above you, people who work within the walls and for the king. Yet even those with higher status than you do not enjoy companionship with the king. He is untouchable, unapproachable. The king rules but at such a distance that there is not even the semblance of relationship or the assurance that he cares for his people. The king is on his throne, but his heart is far from his people.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is not our reality. By God’s astonishing grace, we live within a Kingdom that is a far cry from the one we just imagined. The Bible gives us a picture of a very different Kingdom and a very different throne. To be certain, a righteous Judge sits upon the throne, but His rule is not marked by judgment or harshness. The writer of Hebrews calls it “the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16). And from this throne of grace, the King’s abundance flows to us in the form of mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. Our great King rules sovereignly over all. There is nothing outside of His reign and dominion. And yet His heart is close to us. He is neither distant nor unapproachable. He is near, compassionate, relatable, and merciful. He does not treat us as our sins deserve, and His love for us is so deep that He meets us in our filth and rags, yet He refuses to leave us as we are. Our Sovereign King is on His throne, and His heart is for us.
For those in Christ, this Kingdom is not a fairy tale. It is a merciful reality. We belong to the King. “Know that the LORD, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture” (Psalm 100:3). To belong to Him! What mercy! What grace!
So as subjects of a most merciful King, in a Kingdom laced with grace upon grace (John 1:16), how should we respond? With confidence! We should respond with confidence that our King looks upon us with eyes of mercy and a heart of compassion. So let us draw near. And let us do so with confidence, knowing that Jesus is on the throne, and our place is by His side. There is no barrier, and He is not far. We have His ear and an invitation to draw near to the One who has drawn near to us.
He is ours.
We are His.
We have access to His throne and belong by His side.
So let us draw near to Him with confidence as we cry, “Abba, Father!”