Scripture: Hebrews 4:11-16
Key verse: (15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.
Reflection: The high priest was the chief religious leader in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The high priest was the only person who entered the Holy of Holies (the inner sanctum of the temple) on the Day of Atonement to make atonement for his own sin and the sin of all the people.
When the letter to the Hebrews was written, the author applied the role of the high priest to Jesus Christ. Jesus was the chief religious leader who was able to intercede between God and humanity to bring about atonement (notice that it is at-one-ment as we are received into right relationship with God).
In this season of Lent, we recognize that we depend on Jesus to be our Lord and our Savior. Jesus was fully human and fully God. He understood human struggle and knew the realities of human weakness. When we look to Jesus as our high priest, we aren’t longing for some distant spirit to help us but we are entrusting ourselves to a God-Human who knows what our lives are like. God isn’t far removed from us but, in Jesus, God chose to be human among us.
Prayer: God of gracious power and powerful grace, deepen our trust in you. Remind us of your love and care for us. Cleanse us of sin and transform us to live as your people. We pray this through our high priest, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].