“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrew 4:16
Jesus the Son of God is our Great High Priest. He has offered His one sacrifice, whereby He hath forever perfected them that are sanctified (Heb. 10:14). His offering has been accepted, and He Himself acknowledged of the Father. He has passed within the veil; He has gone into the heavens as our forerunner, to appear in the presence of God for us; He has taken His seat upon the Throne of Grace, the Mercy Seat above! This “High Priest of our profession” (Heb 3:1) is altogether such an one as we need. Both His office and His character make Him most suitable for sinners. In His office there is pardon and cleansing proclaimed to us; and in His character there shine forth the irresistible attractions of grace and love. He is an High Priest of good things to come (Heb 9:11). He is a “merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Heb 2:17). He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way (Heb. 5:2). Such is the High Priest of Whom the Apostle speaks.
Seeing, therefore, we have such a friend above, such a condescending, compassionate, tenderhearted brother, now at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens, let us no longer stand afar off, but, laying aside our guilt and fear, let us boldly approach the throne of grace, whereon this gracious one is seated, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. The throne is erected, the High Priest is there; the way is open; the veil is rent; every necessary provision has been made; nothing is wanting for the sinner’s assurance; access to God is free; everything invites us. Then let us approach, let us go up to the mercy seat, with reverential feelings, yet with calm and trustful hearts (John 4:10). Jesus is there, why stand aloof? Jesus is there, why fear and doubt? Jesus is there, why be afraid to lay our whole case before Him? Does He not say, “Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid” (Mar 6:50)?
Looking then within the veil, we see a throne, and behold, it is a throne of grace! And for whom is it reared? For sinners. And how are they to come? Boldly. And what gives sinners such boldness? The throne itself. And what do they obtain by coming? They obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1. The Throne of Grace
The throne is a throne of grace. Elsewhere it is called a “mercy seat.” And it is placed in the holy of holies, the immediate presence of God, to show us that His mercy and His holiness flow from the same deep fountain, and that in order to get grace we must come as near God as to obtain holiness (Ex. 19:4-6). Many speak as if grace were dispensed by God only at a distance from His holy presence, but here we are taught that its dwelling is the secret of His tabernacle, the innermost shrine of His temple, the very holiest chamber of His secret presence. It is into these we must enter if we would have grace; and these are all thrown open to us through the precious blood that is sprinkled upon the threshold (Eph. 2:13). It is called a throne because it is the seat of rightful authority, the place where government is administered, so that whatever is done here is done by the authority of the King, and in a righteous way, according to the strictest laws of the kingdom.