Does the Throne of Grace have a place in worship during the remembrance meeting on the Lord’s Day?
The term “the Throne of Grace” is used only once in all the New Testament in Hebrews 4:16. In context, the term sits as a bridge between the topic of rest for the believer in chapters 3 and 4 and the subject of the priesthood of Christ in chapters 5 through 7. The throne is suggestive of the authority of “Jesus, the Son of God” who has passed through the heavens in triumph (4:14), while also reminding the believer of the grace that enables each one to approach boldly (i.e. with “freedom of speech”) to present his or her appeal to such a sympathetic high priest.
Whenever a believer approaches God, there must be included, in that very attitude of drawing near, the realization that the Throne of God conveys an atmosphere of sovereignty and supremacy. We, therefore, approach only by grace. We have no grounds to come near to God other than that. Our attitude should be similar to that of Queen Esther as she drew near to the throne of Ahasuerus in Esther 4:11. The “holding out of the sceptre” was an act of grace on the part of the king. The worship that arises during the remembrance meeting can, and should, comprehensively express our enjoyment of the Lord’s Person and work. The contemplation of our Lord must, of necessity, include some consideration of the fact that His finished work entitles Him to sit upon the Throne. We may look at it as “the throne of glory” as Hannah did in 1 Samuel 2:8 (the first mention of the Messiah is in that prayer). We might think of His triumph as enabling Him to sit as our High Priest “on the right hand of the majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1). As the Victor in the race, He is “set down at the right hand of the Throne of God” (Heb 12:2), but the greatest evidence of His victory is the sight of the freshly slain Lamb standing “in the midst of the Throne” in Revelation 5:6.
There is no question that the Throne of God is a unique place in all the universe. Lucifer desired to imitate it (Isaiah 14:13) in pride and vainglory, but the Lord Jesus has been given the right to it by virtue of His humiliation and suffering. We cannot approach it any other way, except in the consciousness that we have no right to be there other than by God’s matchless grace. As we meditate upon the fullness of that throne that our Lord so triumphantly occupies, we rejoice in His victory, while at the same time realizing that it is grace that finds us free to draw near with boldness and confidence. We should express our appreciation of that privilege at any and all times.