- Chad Werkhoven
Hebrews 4:14-16 - Miracles Matter
Christ's virgin birth is more than just trivial doctrine. Your confidence depends on it!
Read / Listen
Read Hebrews 4:14-16
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 35
Q. What does it mean that he
“was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary”?
A. That the eternal Son of God,
who is and remains
true and eternal God,
took to himself,
through the working of the Holy Spirit,
from the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary,
a truly human nature
so that he might become David’s true descendant,
like his brothers in every way except for sin.
We've often ended up here in the book of Hebrews this year as we've been reminding ourselves what our only comfort in life and in death is: the fact that in life and in death we belong to Jesus Christ. One of the key themes of this book, and the reason it has the name Hebrews, is that it shows how Jesus fulfilled all of the requirements the Old Testament priests (remember, Jesus is anointed (christos) as a prophet, priest, and king). As our high priest, Jesus is our perfect mediator - He stands between us and God, so that when God looks at you, He sees Christ!
Often skepticism grabs ahold of us with the temptation that since Jesus was so perfect, and never fell into sin, that He really doesn't know what it is that you're struggling with on a day to day basis. Be sure to memorize v15, so that when this doubt sets in, these words will remind you that your Savior does empathize with you, since He faced the same temptations that you do.
This verse is given to comfort you, not to intimidate you. Jesus knows first hand the difficulty you face every day, but yet He doesn't just leave you to try and work through things on your own. Rather, He invites you to confidently approach God's throne of grace so that you can overcome trials and temptations in His strength, and through His grace and mercy.
The fact that Jesus had no earthly father may not seem as important as the fact that He was resurrected from the grave, but it really is. If Jesus had descended from Adam, as every other human being has, then He would have inherited Adam's sin, just as every other human being has. If that were the case, He wouldn't be qualified to pay for the sins of others, since He also would have been born sinful, and His death and subsequent resurrection really wouldn't matter.
But Jesus didn't descend from Adam. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, is a brand new Adam. Because 'He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary,' He was born holy and blameless. Although He suffered great temptations, He never succumbed to them, and instead lived the sinless, perfect life that God had originally commanded Adam to live.
Jesus didn't become man just to prove that He could live sinlessly even though everyone else couldn't. He didn't come to Earth just to give an example so that you could live perfectly like Him if you would just try harder.
He did it so that He could give you the one thing that you need more than anything else, and the one thing that you'll never attain on your own as a descendent of Adam. When you put your trust in Him, you go from being in Adam to being in Christ. He gives you that perfect righteousness that God demands that only He was able to accomplish, so you can confidently approach God's throne!
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who sits on the throne of grace where we can receive mercy and grace.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that you have a Savior that can empathize with your weakness, and ask for the strength you need to overcome it as He did.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - James 5