“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.”
The Closeness of a Friend
Who in the world are you most comfortable with? Is there a particular friend who stands out to you in terms of you being able to really be yourself with them? Or is it a family member whom you most trust and are able to share your most vulnerable thoughts with? Whose home do you feel most comfortable letting yourself in, not bothering to ask, “Hey, can I come on in?”
This is the level of closeness we wish to feel in our earthly relationships with others. But what if “there is a friend who stays closer than a brother,” like Proverbs 18:24 says? And what if you’re able to be more like Him as the gospel goes forth in your life and forward in others’ lives, too?
Not Like All The Others
The approachability of Christ is what sets Him apart from other deities. He is not a God who dwells far apart from us, unwilling to bring Himself near. Instead, He is Emmanuel, God with us. He has approached us in humility and made a way for us to draw closer to Him. It’s because of His kindness and compassion for us that we are able to have access to Him and His throne of grace. Because of the confidence we have by faith, we don’t have to ask, “Can I come on in?” We can boldly and shamelessly make our way to Him who is ready to have us in His presence. Because of Jesus, we don’t have to wonder where we stand. We can know our prayers are heard.
So, if He is an approachable God and we are being made into His image, how does this impact the way we lead others to Him? Does this mean we are to be aloof and detached, unwilling and unresponsive towards the needs and questions of those around us? (We should already know the answer to this question!)
A Warm Invitation to All
Jesus is the better high priest, unlike the humans in the priestly lineage before Him. (They only had limited access to the mercy seat through the Holy of Holies, which you can read about in Leviticus 16.) Christ’s ability and willingness to atone for our sin isn’t conditional like the other priests’ capacities. And because of His perfect sacrifice, long gone are the days of our weaknesses and shame holding us back from the Father. We have the boldness to approach Him by faith, as well as the accessibility in allowing others to do the same towards us.
We serve an accessible God who is humble and sympathetic towards both our wondering and our cause. Therefore, we can allow others to approach us in similar fashion, being the example of the gospel’s warm invitation to all who would come to believe. How can you open the door for gospel conversations by making room for others’ time and questions about Jesus? Your gospel witness is a tool that God can use for His glory, as you are continuing to be made in the image of His Son.
Reflect on whether or not you are truly taking advantage of the nearness of Christ. Are you sharing your life with Him in the ways you use your time? Are you sharing your heart with Him through prayer? Do you others feel His closeness to them through your nearness in their lives? Take a moment to consider how you can be the warm invitation others need to be able to truly experience His love.