Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.…
This book presents an ideal of Christ as a reconciler. Of what? It has been said that man was reconciled to God. That is correct. Men are reconciled to the law of God, but that is vagneness itself. Christ is a reconciler by revealing to us what is the real interior nature of perfectness, and what bearing it has upon imperfectness. The experience of noble souls is that discord prevails, and that with the struggle there can be no peace. There may be peace by lowering the ideal of our range of attainment, or by indifference and discouragement, but not by vital stress and strife can men have peace, when they are obliged every day to see that they come short, not of the law in its entirety and purity, but in their own conceptions in regard to single lines of conduct. Men all around are resolving to do the right and are eternally coming short of it, and then they say: "How under the sun am I going to face God! I cannot face my neighbour." The reason is, that your neighbour is not God. There is a view of God that while it intensifies the motives for righteousness, encourages men who are unrighteous, and brings about a reconcilaiation between these constantly antagonising experiences in the human bosom. It is to such that this experience of Christ is presented. Jesus Christ is the spotless High Priest who offered Himself once for all mankind. He came forth and lived among men, and He knows what their tears and struggles are, what their temptations and difficulties. Every faculty that is found in a human being was found in Christ, and yet He was without sin. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Do not come to a man who is conscious of his own infirmities, for he would not help you; but come to that Being who is conscious of absolute purity, and from whom you will get higher sympathy and a quicker succour. The moral perfectness of Christ develops sympathy for the sinful. It needed something like this in that age when the better men were the worst men, men whose righteousness was finished off by an enamel of selfishness, the men whose temperance made them hate drunkards, the men whose honesty made them hate men of slippery fingers, the men whose dried up passions made them scorn the harlot, the men who had money enough and abominated the tax-gatherers. Christ does not set Himself up on a throne apart, and say, "I am pure," but says that because He is perfect He has an infinite sympathy with and compassion for the sinful and fallen. The supreme truth that we need to know is that God is determined to bring the human race on and up out of animalism and the lowest forms of barbarism to the highest degree of intellectual and spiritual development. That is the eternal purpose of God, and in that great work He will deal with the human family with such tenderness and gentleness that He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, nor blow out the wick which He has just kindled, and He will not stop until He brings forth judgment unto victory. I think sometimes that the greatest attribute of God is patience, and one of the greatest illustrations of patience of the same kind in men is that of the music Leacher, who takes a boy to teach him the violin, and hears him and bears with him through days, and through weeks, and through months and through years, and then has to take another and go right on the same way again. Or the artist who sees his pupil smudging a canvas, and tries to teach him the whole theory of colour, and tries to develop his ideality. Any parent, teacher, musician, artist, or any one else is obliged to go upon the theory God acts on — namely, that the higher you are the more you owe, and can give, to those who are lower; and if you are going to be instrumental in bringing them up, you have got to carry their burthens and their sorrows and to wait for them, and be patient with them. It is the law of creation, and if it is the law of creation in all its minor and ruder developments among mankind, its supreme strength and scope for beauty is in the nature of Himself. Look at the sun, the symbol of God. It carries in itself all trees and all bushes, and all vines, and all orchards, and all gardens. It sows the seed and brings the summer; and the outpouring of the vital light and heat of the sun makes it the father of all husbandmen and all pomologists. And yet God's nature is greater than that. He is the life of life; He is the heart of hearts; He is the soul of souls; and the grandeur of His endowments is the life of mankind. Cast away all the old mediaeval notions of reconciliation, the mechanical scheme of atonement and plan of salvation, and all those lower forms. They stand between you and the bright light of the God revealed in Jesus Christ, a God who has patience with sin because He is sinless, who has patience with infirmity because He has no infirmities, who has patience with weakness and ignorance because He is supremely wise and supremely strong. Our hope is in God, and our life ought to be godly. Though we be faint or feeble, He will revive our courage and will give us His strength, and it will not be in vain that we endeavour to serve the Lord.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.