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Daily Devotional • May 19

Melissa McKinney
Familiar with Weakness
A Reading from Hebrews 4:14-5:6

14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 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. 16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

5 Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness,3 and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. 4 And one does not presume to take this honor but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest but was appointed by the one who said to him,
“You are my Son;
    today I have begotten you”;
6 as he says also in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
  according to the order of Melchizedek.”

Today we explore the humanity and supremacy of Christ. Jesus, who sits at the right hand of God, knows the frailty of humanity. We have a high priest who understands the entire human experience, from soiled diapers and hunger to aging. Jesus probably had growing pains and felt the pain of stubbing his toe. As a carpenter he probably missed the nail and hit his finger a few times and yet he did not sin with his words. His temptation which occurred while he was fasting reveals that he knows the temptation to commit sin when his needs were not met. Think of our own temptations to act counter to the household of God when we get hungry or thirsty or tired.

And yet, as the author of Hebrews writes, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (4:15).  The ascended Lord whom we have been discussing all week is the same Lord who lived a fully human experience and remained sinless. The author of Hebrews knows this is no small point. In light of the fact that we have this Great High Priest, the writer beckons us: “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” (4:16).

Prayerfully consider: Are there ways in which you are hesitant to come to the throne of grace? Is it connected to an inaccurate view of Jesus, our high priest?

Melissa Amber McKinney is a Pittsburgh native, a writer, and an M.Div. student at Trinity School for Ministry. She works as an afterschool nanny and the music leader at Mosaic Anglican Church in Imperial, Pennsylvania. 

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

Te Pihopatanga o Tai Tokerau – The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
The Diocese of Central Florida
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