Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 1:1-3:27 / Hebrews 4:14-5:10 / Psalm 119: 153-160
The Jewish nation did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah because they were looking for a King who would overthrow Roman oppression and usher in a kingdom of might and dominion. They were influenced by their earthly desires and completely misunderstood the divine purpose of Christ.
Even today, our society misunderstands Christ’s interaction with mankind. He is not like Donald Trump who demands toughness, results or a greedy driven ego. He is not like a Santa Claus who gives according to our every request. He is not like an unjust judge, keeping us in terror and agony. He is not controlling, unfair or absent…He is the Great Grace Giver!
We approach Christ and prayer often times with misunderstandings of His Divine character. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb. 4:15,16) Jesus desires to give us grace – give us what we do not deserve. Jesus desires to give us mercy – does not give us what we do deserve.
Christ sympathizes with our weakness. We know the weakness of our flesh – the hungers, desires and pains that we are subject to and that fight against our wills. When we fail and are filled with shame…we are not to flee from His throne but humbly approach His throne of grace. He understands our weakness because He took upon Himself human nature and all of its weakness. He was tested as we are and in fact, was tempted beyond our breaking point yet He did not sin.
Arrogant Peter declared “I will never deny you” but Jesus said, “Simon, Simon Satan hath desired to sift you…but I have prayed for you.” After Peter’s denial, Jesus restored the broken heart and life of Peter. Giving him what he did not deserve and not giving him what he really deserved. Mercy and grace are always free to the undeserving who draws near to His throne in emptiness and repentance.
Jesus calls us to His throne of grace. No individual of the greatest political, financial or prestigious power is more approachable that Jesus. The White House office door, the governor’s mansion and the offices of the rich and famous are not accessible to us but we have access to Christ’s throne of grace! A throne that graciously forgives, mercifully restores and powerfully equips lives for today, tomorrow and eternity.
There is great hope as our High Priest has provided all things necessary for our redemption and transformation. In a spirit of grace and confidence, let us approach Christ’s heavenly throne where there is no need for an appointment or a security clearance… His throne room door is always open!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!