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. (Heb. 4:14-16 ESV)
Adam had one law to keep—don’t eat the fruit. Christ, the second Adam, had the entire Old Testament law to keep and he kept it all. He was tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sin. Christ lived thirty-three years on earth as a human which means the three temptations in the wilderness by the devil would not have been the only time Jesus was tempted. That’s what the author of Hebrews is telling us. As a human, Jesus would have been tempted in all the ways humans are tempted but never violated a single law of God. Never lied. Never stole anything. Never entertained an impure thought. Never took a second look at a beautiful woman. Christ, the second Adam, born not in the pristine and perfect world of the garden of Eden, but born into the harsh environment of Bethlehem of Judea, born in a barn and lain in a trough, comes into the world and does what Adam failed to do for all his physical descendants—Jesus kept the law of God, all the laws of God, perfectly.
Why does that matter? (v.16) “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.” Because of Christ’s perfect obedience for all his spiritual descendants, for all who have faith in Him, for all who are born of God, we now have access back into the presence of God to live with him eternally. Christ, in his birth and in his perfect life of obedience, does for his spiritual descendants what Adam failed to do. And that is—at least in part—what we are celebrating this Advent season.
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