In Faith

By Jennifer Woodruff Tait

March 28, 2024

Scripture — Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 10:19-25 (NRSV)

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


Today brings us hope borne from a story of a man who was truly human—else he could not have understood us—and truly divine—else he could not have done what Hebrews tells us this day means, opening for us “a new and living way.”


Good Friday is a strange day.

It is a day that defies all our hopes, seems to confirm all our fears, confounds our merely human theologizing. The God of all creation cannot be dead—and yet God dies. And yet the world goes on, turning without God, and yet somehow still turning with God. The “immortal dies,” to quote Charles Wesley. The temple curtain is torn in two. Jesus cries out. And then—“it is finished” (John 19:30). There is a great silence.

In my church on this day, we read the entire crucifixion story from the Gospel of John. Rather than reprint that here—though I encourage you to go and spend some time reading and meditating on it today—I’ve turned here to the Epistle for the day from Hebrews. Like yesterday’s Epistle, today’s lesson also never changes despite the three-year cycle of lectionary readings. One of these two passages from Hebrews is always read on Good Friday. There is something here that we need to hear.

That strange something we need to hear, it strikes me, is hope; but not an easy hope, not a facile hope. It is a hard-won hope, won on a cross. It is the hope borne from a story of a man who was truly human—else he could not have understood us—and truly divine—else he could not have done what Hebrews told us this day means, opening for us “a new and living way.”

And so we approach the throne of grace. Not cheap grace. Costly grace, hard-fought-for grace, lavish grace, grace that is always there to help us in time of need. Always, always, always.

If you did not believe God loves you, believe now. If you did not believe you could approach the throne, approach now. You will find the throne to be a cross. You will find the cross to be your only hope.


What do you see and feel, know and pray, as you approach God enthroned on a cross?


How about some more Charles Wesley? And then, keep silence, watch, and pray.


(Prayer for Good Friday in the Book of Common Prayer) Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project’s online commentary. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Our Great High Priest (Hebrews 5:1–10:18).

Jennifer Woodruff Tait

Editorial Coordinator

Jennifer Woodruff Tait (PhD, Duke University; MSLIS, University of Illinois; MDiv/MA Asbury Theological Seminary) is the copyeditor of and frequent contributor to Life for Leaders. She is also senior editor of

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