“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4: 14-16)

Whilst on holiday last week, we visited Oxford. I used to live there. It’s a city I absolutely adore. Steeped in history, it remains one of my all-time favourite places. I suppose that’s because I feel so connected to it. Having studied there, the colleges and libraries, museums and ancient buildings are not just of tourist interest to me. They hold precious memories.

The good thing about going back to Oxford, however, is that I have free access to so many buildings, precisely because I used to be a student there. So, whilst others have to pay entry fees, I was able to stroll around and visit favourite haunts.

Tom Tower in Christ Church. the largest college in the University of Oxford:

Balliol College, one of the oldest colleges (founded in 1263)

Keble Chapel, home of the famous Holman Hunt painting ‘Light of the World’. Keble was my own college and so holds a very special place in my heart, despite being a brick college rather than a stone one!

The Sheldonian Theatre, where students graduate (amongst other things!)

Of far greater value, however, is the free access we all have to God if we are children of God. It’s free to us, but was bought at a price – the precious blood of Christ. Hebrews encourages us to approach God’s throne of grace with confidence. It’s not because of our own righteousness or anything we have done, but we are allowed into God’s presence, washed clean, holy and blameless in His sight. That’s something we can all enjoy!