Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "At Even When The Sun Was Set"1 (Lyrics)
I well remember gazing at the black and white television screen, watching the careful, steady steps of Commander Neil Armstrong moving down the ladder of the Apollo lunar module to step onto the silvery powder surface of the moon on July 20, 1969. His famous words to the world were, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." We thrilled to the sight of his bounding along the moon's surface.
But there's Someone else Who passed through the heavens long before the NASA astronaut, and that was the Lord Jesus.
Hebrews 4:14-16 – Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (NKJV)
The writer to the Hebrews tells of that unique and special person, Jesus, Who is not only our High Priest, but also the only priest ever described as great, Who passed through the heavens, and Who is the Son of God. Unlike an astronaut on a temporal lunar mission, He sits on the right hand of God's throne and continues to minister there on our behalf. Jesus can identify with our weaknesses, as He suffered alongside us. He came to earth as a human, adding humanity to His deity, and lived here. He knew what temptation looked like and tasted like, and He battled with sin, but never once gave in to it. This is the wonderful Person Who encourages us to hold fast to our confession.
As believers, we are encouraged to come boldly to His throne of grace, through no merit of our own, to find sweet mercy from the One Who knows us, and to find the grace that only His forgiveness can provide. We need not be timid or scared to approach His throne in our time of need, but to come confidently, because of the loving Lord Who waits for us there.
As we search the heavens for the face of the moon this evening, let's remember the One Who passed through the heavens and invites us to come gladly and quickly to His throne of grace.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, today, we lay our troubles at Christ's feet and praise the Lord of history Who holds all in His hands: disease, strife, and even death. We ask for Your help in our time of need, grieving for what You endured for us, but proclaiming the good confession that through Christ's death and resurrection, You have gifted us with an unshakeable hope. Amen.