Thank you for joining us as we journey through an Easter daily devotional! Each day will include a scripture reading, a short devotional, and a guided reflection or prayer. These devotionals are intended to help prepare your heart as we look forward to Easter Sunday and what it means to us as believers. And what better way to begin a daily devotional journey than with prayer?
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)
The “Stronger Thing” Argument
This text does not stand in isolation, but is rather a summary of the argument of Hebrews 1 through 4. The writer of Hebrews uses an a fortiori argument here—a latin term that simply means “from a/the stronger thing.” It is a form of argumentation that draws on existing confidence in a proposition to argue in favor of a second proposition that is considered “weaker” than the first. That may sound complicated, but I’ll explain.
In 2007, I spent a month in Papua New Guinea with some missionaries who were living in the bush. Their youngest daughter was amazed at one of my “magic” tricks where I would cut a rope in half right in front of her, then “magically” repair it without a knot or a seam. Wanting her family to share in her amazement, she took one of the curtain tie-backs and cut it in half with a pair of scissors… right in front of her mother. Completely unfazed by her mother’s panicked reaction, she held up the two pieces to me and said “It’s OK! Will can fix it with his magic!” She had watched me do the same for a rope—certainly a curtain tie-back would be no problem!
The writer of Hebrews is trying to get us to understand that since “A” is true, then “B” is most certainly true. In other words, since Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who has passed through the heavens, and is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, having been tempted in every way that we are tempted—yet without sin—we, then, can come before the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need—and we can do so confidently!
Christian, don’t be deceived by the lies of the enemy that would have you believe that God doesn’t have time to worry about your problems, or is too big to be bothered with your prayers. Our high priest, Jesus, came to Earth to live as a man, be tempted, falsely accused, and eventually murdered on a cross—just to know you. To tear down the curtain that separated us from the holy of holies—the place where prayers and intercessions would be offered up to God for the sins of his people. He tore it down so that we can now come before him with confidence to receive mercy and grace. Enter into this season with bold prayers of big faith. Trust that God is going to do something in and through his church, and wait for it with eager expectation!
Father, thank you for tearing down that curtain, allowing me to come confidently before you with my prayers of confession, thankfulness, praise, and petition. I know I don’t pray as often as I should, and I confess that to you. Work in and through me—and your church—this Easter season. I am trusting you to do great things, and I can’t wait to watch them happen! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.