Some church traditions include a priest who acts as an intermediary between the church members and God. When there is sin to confess, this is made to the priest who then offers forgiveness.
However, there is a better way. Instead of priests who sin themselves, Jesus “has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for His own sins and then for those of the people, since He did this once for all when He offered up himself.” (Hebrews 7:27)
To those who have a personal relationship with Jesus, John wrote, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1) This means that I can go to Jesus, my High Priest, to confess my sin and receive forgiveness. He is my intercessor with God.
The Bible gives more reasons for Jesus as High Priest. One of these is that He lives forever, therefore is always available to sinners of every generation, no matter when or where we live.
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but He holds his priesthood permanently, because He continues forever. Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:23–25)
I love that word “uttermost” — which means full-ended, completion. If I confess my sin to another person, he might be able to assure me that God forgives sin because of the sacrifice Jesus made for me, but only Jesus can forgive AND remove that sin.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
This is a lifetime process, yet cleansing is a reality. The more willingly I draw near to God, the more He is at work in my heart. He changes the way that I think and how I respond to others. He takes away bad attitudes. He replaces my grouchiness with a thankful heart.
Confession can be humiliating. Sin is difficult to admit to a loving, forgiving God, never mind another person who may not be as gracious. Yet because of Jesus, I know that God never turns His back on me. He is always ready to listen to my confession, forgive my sin, and change my life.
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 4:16)