JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More acts as a high priestThe high priest was the most powerful priest in the temple in Jerusalem. The high priest Caiaphas held the office during the trial of Jesus. Later, in the New Testament book of Hebrews, the role of merciful high priest is ascribed to the resurrected Jesus. More, but one who understands human weaknesses. Because Jesus is sympathetic to the human experience, we can boldly draw near to graceGrace is the unmerited gift of God's love and acceptance. In Martin Luther's favorite expression from the Apostle Paul, we are saved by grace through faith, which means that God showers grace upon us even though we do not deserve it. More.
Hebrews identifies Jesus as a compassionate high priestA priest is a person who has the authority to perform religious rites. In New Testament times priests were responsible for daily offerings and sacrifices in the temple. More. A high priest is someone who is appointed to deal with human beings in relation to God. People are weak and sinful and stand in need of help and grace. The one best positioned to offer help is someone who completely understands the depth of human need. Readers can be assured that Jesus knows the full extent of human weakness, since he endured the kind of testing that other people face. Because of the agony that Jesus suffered, people can turn to him with confidence, knowing that they will find someone who has shared the experience of suffering and can offer merciful help.