For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. . .
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. (Hebrews 4: 12-13 & 16)
What happens between verse 13 and verse 16??
What happens that takes us from cowering in fear before you, God, as all our nakedness and secrets are exposed and our guilt is before you, to confidently walking toward you to ask for your help? The first scene is frightening. You, holy and perfect, piercing my very joints and marrow, seeing clearly all my thoughts and intentions as if I was naked before you, with nothing hidden. Absolutely everything laid bare. Terrifying!
Yet, the second scene is so welcoming, so inviting, so at rest. You, so approachable, welcoming me into your presence, calling me to come up close so I can receive what you have to give me — what you want to give me — mercy, grace, and help.
How can I move from the one into the other? How can I move past the fear of exposure to approach you with confidence? How can I believe that as I enter your presence completely stripped of my coverings and pretenses, rather than judgment and wrath, you will offer me mercy and grace to help me in my time of need?
What happens in between my fear and my confidence?
Since then 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 is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:14-15)
My fear is gone and I can come into your presence because of what is in between! For you have given me a Great High Priest! You have provided Jesus to make sacrifice and intercession on my behalf. You have sent Jesus to draw us near to you. Through Jesus, though you still see me for who I am, you look on me with eyes of love, offering me mercy, grace, and help.
Oh, God, you have done all things well! I will not be afraid. I draw near to you now — unguarded — inviting you to see me. See all of me, Father, and work your grace in me.
And on That Day when I enter your presence in my body, you and I seeing one another face to face, I will come with no fear. Yes, I will be laid bare, all my faults exposed, but I am certain that you will see me with eyes of love, for you have covered me with your Son Jesus. You have sent him to be my High Priest and through him even on that day — and forever and ever more — you will offer me grace and mercy.
I thank you, Lord, for what is “in between”. Confidently I come to you to receive you grace, your mercy, and your help for my times of need.
Today and for all eternity, in your presence, I will praise your name!