Jesus is not distant or removed from our humanity; there’s nothing we go through that He can’t understand and relate to.
In ancient Israel, the high priest was a religious leader who was responsible for performing certain rituals and sacrifices on behalf of the people. The most important of these were the rituals of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), which were believed to cleanse the people and the Temple of their sins. The high priest would enter the Holy of Holies, the innermost sanctuary of the Temple, once a year, on the Day of Atonement, where he would offer sacrifices for the sins of the people, making atonement for their sins and ensuring the continued presence of God among them.
Jesus, as the great High Priest, performed the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of humanity. Unlike the high priests of Israel, He is sinless, eternal, and His sacrifice is sufficient for all time, so there is no need for repeating sacrifice (Hebrews 7:20-28).
Read Hebrews 4:14-16:
- How confident are you when you pray? What can make you feel more (or less) bold at these times?
- What does it mean that Jesus can “sympathize” with our weaknesses?
- Why would God want us to be confident when we come to Him?
Read Hebrews 5:1-6:
- How does Jesus compare to human priests?
- What are some ways that our neighbors attempt to connect with God in ways other than through Jesus?
Read Hebrews 5:7-10:
- How is Jesus’ obedience different from what we experience?
- What can we learn from Jesus’ obedience and sacrifice?
Taking it Home:
- How can you strive to imitate Jesus’ obedient perseverance through suffering?
- Is there someone you know who is struggling in ways you don’t easily relate to? How might you follow Jesus’ example to be better able to empathize with and support them through their difficult times?
Ways to Pray:
- Adoration: Praise Jesus as our High Priest who understands our weaknesses and temptations.
- Contrition: Confess any ways in which you have not sympathized with the struggles and suffering of others.
- Thankfulness: Give thanks to God for Jesus’ sacrifice, which made atonement for our sins.
- Supplication: Ask for the strength and guidance to obey God, even in difficult times.
Additional Scriptures to Engage with this week:
- Psalm 22
- Isaiah 53
- 1 Peter 2:18-25
- Romans 8:18-39
- Psalm 103
- Hebrews 9:11-28