Today I’m writing about Hebrews 4:16, but I’ll begin with an aside. For the past few posts, when I’ve written about Scripture, it’s because I couldn’t think of anything else to write. I try to spend at least a few minutes each day reading and thinking about Scripture, so it’s easier for me to write about Scripture than to try to think of some creative way to talk about medical school or being married (as those seem to be emerging as the other two topics of this blog). But this is probably the wrong attitude entirely. Scripture is more profound than anything I could ever come up with on my own, and it’s probably more beneficial for someone to find a Scripture verse than to find me blabbering about something I find interesting. Today I’ll write about Hebrews 4:16.
“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 4:16 (ESV)
I think people tend to think of God as being either powerful or personal. Either we treat God as our best friend, or we treat him as the feared Ruler and Creator of the universe. The strange thing about Christianity is that it insists God is both powerful and personal. We often focus on only one or the other of these aspects of God.
I grew up in various Western states, surrounded by the mountains and wilderness around me. Perhaps because of this, I’ve usually thought of God as being big, powerful, and distant. But in Hebrews, the author insists that Jesus is a personal God. He came to earth as a man, and he died as a man. He felt temptation to sin, sorrow at the loss of friends, and he even felt profound guilt and failure when he hung on a cross and took the sins of the world on himself. Jesus’ ministry is profound because somehow, he allows us a personal relationship with the Creator. He is the Ruler on a throne, but his throne is a throne of grace, and he gives us help in time of need. Because he’s our friend, we can approach him with confidence in prayer.