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Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
Jenny and I use Hebrews 4:16 often when we pray together. Most mornings before we leave the house we ask the Lord for grace. Just ten minutes of prayer and Holy Communion does it for us, and Hebrews 4:16 will undoubtedly be used in our prayers. Aren’t we spiritual people? Lol. Roll your eyes.
A gospel purist would argue that New Covenant Christians are already (present tense) at the throne of grace, that we are seated with Jesus in heavenly places, that we are at the right hand of the Father, and Hebrews was written to Jews who needed instruction on the contrasts between the Old and New Covenant. I concede.
I had a look at the Greek word for to and saw something interesting. The Greek word for to is eis, which means to or into. To or into are prepositions and in the Bible are often used interchangeably. I then replaced “to” (come to) with “into” (come into) and the scripture took on a different meaning.
The Oxford dictionary defines “into” as expressing movement or action with the result that someone or something becomes enclosed or surrounded by something else. Oxford’s explanation of “into” changed the picture for me. The idea is we don’t just come to a throne (place or object) but we come into—enclosed or surrounded by something else. What is that something else? It is grace. When we come into the throne, we are enclosed or surrounded by grace. The throne of grace is an “into” place.
I thought this was a fascinating way of looking at this scripture. A throne sounds abstract and impersonal, but when it’s “into” the throne of grace, it becomes personal. It means I get to meet another person. I get to meet Jesus the embodiment of grace. I get to receive what I don’t deserve. I get mercy instead of punishment and grace instead of judgment.
Jenny and I have always believed that we are like kids who wake up in the morning, run to their dad, and jump on his lap. Yes, we know who our father is, and yes, we always live with our father. But make no mistake, when we go to our Father, we go boldly. He is our Father
I also checked out the word boldly in the Greek (parrhesia) and it means freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech, free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance, all-out spokenness i.e. frankness, bluntness, freely, openly and confidently. It is not the sheepish, tail between our legs, head tilted down, face covered, and shoulders slumped approach. We go boldly.
One important reason you and I can go into the throne of grace is this—God cast Jesus out into utter darkness. On the cross, as he bore our sins, his father turned his face away from him. He lost access into the throne of grace. He could not obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Why? So you and I can come boldly into the throne of grace. He did it for us. This is the good news of grace. Outsiders (you and I) were brought in because the insider (Jesus) was cast out. This is grace.
What if you went into the throne of grace? What if you knew you were surrounded, embraced and enclosed in Gods undeserved favour? How bold would your prayers be?
Try looking at this scripture from the “into” perspective. I think it would change your whole approach in coming to your heavenly Father. You’d go boldly, unreservedly, cheerfully, loudly, freely, confidently, without a care in the world and your heavenly Father would love that.
So, go INTO the throne of grace. Undeserved favour awaits you.
That’s what grace looks like