Summary: The first readers of the book of Hebrews were Jewish believers, in danger of deserting their faith and reverting to the old system of law. The author was challenging them to be faithful to their faith in Jesus Christ. That challenge is now given to us as
The book of Hebrews teaches us about the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way to God. God spoke in the past many different times and in many different ways. God’s final revelation was through His Son, Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ consists in who Jesus is and in what he has done for us. We have seen that Jesus, through the blood of his cross, has opened the way to God for us.
Under the Old Covenant only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies. He entered into the holiest by sacrifices he had made for himself and then for the people. Jesus is our great high priest. He entered into the heavenly Holy of Holies. He entered in with His own blood, not that of bulls and goats. Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, you and I now have access to the very presence of Holy God.
"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......" A new and living way has been opened for us by the blood of Jesus.. Christ’s way is “new” because he opened it by His death. By His resurrection from the dead, he made the “way” a “living way.”
The “curtain” refers to the veil that stood between the holy place and the Most Holy Place. In Hebrews the “veil” speaks of the life of Jesus. He is the “veil” into the presence of God.
The author proceeds to give an exhortation to his readers. The first readers of the book of Hebrews were Jewish believers, in danger of deserting their faith and reverting to the old system of law. The author was challenging them to be faithful to their faith in Jesus Christ. That challenge is now given to us as well.
I. LET US DRAW NEAR TO GOD IN FAITH
How are we to enter into God’s presence? This speaks of PRAYER. How are we to draw near to God.
A. WE ARE TO ENTER IN WITH A SINCERE HEART. We do not enter in as they did, by offering a sacrifice. Jesus has already made the supreme sacrifice for us. Jesus our High Priest invites us to enter into His presence. We are to come with a sincere heart. This calls for genuine devotion rather than hypocrisy. Some translate it a “true heart” or “a pure heart.”
B. WE ARE TO DRAW NEAR IN FULL ASSURANCE OF FAITH. this demands a bold confidence that God has provided full access to His presence through Christ alone.
Hebrews 11:6 says that "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Biblical faith, however , is not a blind leap into the dark. In is built upon the Biblical foundation of God’s Word. The word says, that the way to God is now open for us in Jesus Christ. Let us draw near. Our conscience has been cleansed, our bodies washed, all because of the blood of Jesus. Let us draw near to Him.
C. WE ARE TO HAVE OUR HEARTS SPRINKLED FROM A GUILTY CONSCIENCE. This demands constant confession of sin and openness to God.
D. WE ARE TO HAVE OUR BODIES WASHED WITH PURE WATER:. This may be a reference to baptism as an outward commitment to Christ, or it might be symbolic as in the previous reference to hearts sprinkled with blood. If it is symbolic, the hearts sprinkled from a guilty conscience would picture our salvation, and our bodies washed would symbolize a righteous lifestyle. In this new state of purity made possible by Jesus, believers can come boldly to God and claim His grace and mercy.
II. LET US HOLD UNSWERVINGLY TO THE HOPE WE PROFESS.
The writer of Hebrews has presented several warnings in this letter. It seems some were in danger of giving up on their faith in Christ. Persecution, criticism, etc. The writer warned about the danger of drifting, unbelief, immaturity, drawing back, etc. All the warnings were designed to encourage the readers to keep their eyes upon Jesus.
Don’t give up when the going gets tough. We live in a dark world. A world that is becoming increasingly evil, more and more fearful. I see a spirit of fear plaguing God’s people now. Don’t lose hope. (Heb 12:1-2)
Note some translations use the word “faith.” However, the Greek word means “hope.” W. E. Vine describes the believers hope. The word is elpis and means “a favorable and confident expectation.” It has to do with the unseen and the future. The word “Hope” describes:
(a) the happy anticipation of good (the most frequent significance), “Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and athe acknowledgment of the truth bwhich accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who ccannot lie, promised before time began,” Titus 1:1-2