Summary: We are called to draw near to God
Hebrews 10:19-39 Confidence: Drawing Near to God
Turn with me this morning to the book of Hebrews, the 10th chapter. We’ve been looking at this book in the end of the NT, written to Hebrews, Jews, or “Israelis” in our modern terminology. They are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are Jewish in nationality and in religion. The author, very possibly Paul, writes to a group of Jews who had accepted Christ as their Messiah - they had experienced salvation - he calls them brothers - but they were tempted to go back to the sacrificial system they had known under the Mosaic law. The author writes telling them that faith in Christ is far superior to the sacrificial system.
In chapter 1 he tells them that Jesus is greater than the OT prophets who gave messages from God - they gave bits and pieces, but Jesus is the embodiment of God’s truth; also Jesus in better than angels - who were held in high regard by the Jews - for the angels are merely servants, but Jesus is the Son.
In chapter 2 we see that although Jesus is greater than angels, he was made lower than the angels - he took on a human body - so he might suffer as a human. Why? So he would be able to identify with us and help us in our suffering.
In chapter 3 we see that Jesus is better than Moses, the one who gave the Jews the law.
In chapter 5 we see Jesus is better than any high priest, even Aaron, the first high priest.
In chapter 7 we see that Jesus is better than Abraham, the father of the Jews.
And then we talked last week about four dangers we are warned about in Hebrews.
We need to pay attention to the truth - or we will drift into error
We need to make sure our hearts are not hardened by sin
We need to make sure we are growing spiritually, not staying spiritual “babies”
We need to make sure we do not give up or become lazy spiritually
And then Hebrews goes on to talk about an image that every Hebrew in the first century would have been familiar with: the OT tabernacle. During the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, God met with the Jews in a tent that was in the center of their camp. It was called the tabernacle. Hebrews 9 mentions the different pieces of furniture that were in this tent. In this tent, only the priests went. It had two rooms. The first room was called the Holy Place; and the second room, hidden behind a curtain, was called the “holy of holies” or the “most holy place” or the “holiest of all”- depending on the translation you are using. The “holy of holies” was only entered by one person, the high priest, and only once a year on the Day of Atonement. It was in that back room where the high priest would intercede with the people before the presence of the Most High God.
In Hebrews 6:19 we read, We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. Hebrews reminds us that Jesus gives us direct access to God. He is better than any priest because Jesus has direct access 24-7 to the presence of the Most High God. When Jesus was crucified, something so significant happened that all three synoptic gospels - Matthew, Mark, and Luke - all record it. Matthew 27:50 recounts it: And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. That visible parting of the curtain showed all the Jews that we now have direct access to God through the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
So let’s look at that idea in Hebrews 10:19 - But before we read the scripture, let’s pause for prayer: PRAY - okay, let’s look at Hebrews 10:19 - Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.