Thursday, June 23, 2005

It's All About Him: Hebrews -- Lesson 35

To start at the beginning of this series, click here.

The Writer of Hebrews has completed his main thesis. He has established the Son of God, who became our kinsman by taking on our nature, as:

  • A king sitting at the right hand of God
  • A greater messenger than angels and prophets.
  • Greater than Moses.
  • Mediator of a new and better covenant.
  • An eternal high priest.
  • A one time does it all offering for sin.
  • Light and substance vs. Shadow.

Where would we be without this book? No where else in the New Testament is the New Covenant so clearly contrasted with the Old Covenant.

Having established is thesis, the Writer moves to application. He begins an amazing statement. He has hinted at this before, but now he states it in plain terms:

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25)

He writes, "we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus." We can "go through the veil" and "draw near." In the Old Covenant, only one man could enter the holy place. He was the high priest and he could only enter once a year. He entered with a basin of blood to make atonement for the people. He served in the shadow.

But we who believe--men and women, young and old, servant and free, Jew and Gentile--now have access to the real holy place. The blood has already been taken in, satisfaction has been made. Now we can enter and stand before God and worship in "Spirit and Truth." We have spiritual resources that previous generations of believers could not know. This is the greatness of the New Covenant--it has truly connected us with God as His people. Everything that the Writer of Hebrews will now say flows from this truth.

He writes, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. " This is a summary statement for the rest of this letter. The greatness of the Son and the gifts that He has provided for us demand a response from us. It demands that we overcome and press on through the trials and tribulations that will come our way. To come close to these things and fall away must have consequences greater than the former times.

Test everything. Cling to what is good.

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