Have you ever had someone give you advice for something they have not gone through themselves? Though people may mean well, there is nothing like experiencing a situation or event yourself to accurately understand the aspects, effects, and struggles it presents.
Our God is unique in this way. Our god sent his own son to personally experience the life we live in this fallen world with all the challenges we face and all the personal frailties we must overcome. He knows the human experience first-hand.
Hebrews 4:15, 16 says: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
With all other faiths the person must do something to earn the approval of the primary deity. But that deity does not enter into the life of the person, there is no relationship, no personal experience. There is a distance, a separation from the human condition and the onus is on the person to achieve or perform to a standard to appease the diety.
Our “high priest”, Jesus, is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” and was “tempted in every way, just as we are”. He knows what it’s like to live in our world and in the frailties of our humanity. To me, this is epitomized when on the cross Jesus said: “forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34). He knows we don’t even know what we are doing when we sin. When Jesus says this he is saying that even if, or when, I am aware of my sin I don’t really even know what I am doing. I don’t truly know the depth of my depravity and the effects of sin on me and those around me and to God himself.
It is so comforting to me that I worship a god who can sympathize with my weakness. Thank you God. Thank you, that you know me this well. And thank you Jesus, that you have first hand experience with my weakness and know what it is like to be separated from God the Father. And knowing this you did for me what I could not do for myself. You volunteered yourself. You sacrificed for me, and took my rightful place on that cross, so I could go free. And, in this act of love you allow me to now approach the throne of grace with confidence and receive mercy in my time of need.