The story has been told of a mother who sought from Napoleon a pardon of her son. As I read this, I imagined the dialogue like this:
Emperor: This is your son’s second offense. He obviously intends to break the law. Justice must prevail.He will go to the guillotine tomorrow.
Mother: I ask for mercy for my son, Sir, not justice.
Emperor: He does not deserve mercy, madam.
Mother: It would not be mercy if he deserved it, Sir. Mercy is all I ask. (With pleading eyes she looked up at the emperor standing over her as she kneeled below him. )
Emperor: Well then, I will show mercy.
Napoleon’s mercy reminds me of an app available to us all. Jesus is an approachable high priest that invites us in this way, “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. (Romans 4:16) I am inspired by these last verses 14 through 16 because they explain that “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.”
That is what makes Jesus approachable. He gives us this app because he lived in a human body, mind, and soul, with all their limitations except for sin. He will extend “sympathetic resonance” to us like when two tuning forks of the same pitch are placed near each other. If one is struck and set in vibration, the other will take up the vibrations sympathetically! The first is the generator, the other becomes the resonator.
In other words, when our despair, hunger, hurts, guilt, envy, or temptations create discord within us, our approachable high priest resonates with each feeling. Because we generate the weakness, he can reach out to us in “sympathetic resonance”. When a cord is struck in the weakness of our human instrument, it resonates in Him. He doesn’t see us as failures, but instead is capable of sympathizing with our weakness. I want that app!