Summary: In a self oriented society that couldn’t care less where should the believer turn? and what should he do?
Yesterday, I took my son and 3 years old grandson to the city dump with a load of my wife’s accumulated ’treasures.’ As I was waiting to give this message I associated that experience with the person who has the feeling that nothing is going right, problems are everywhere, coping is impossible, and in general just an emotional mess. We used to call that feeling ’getting down in the dumps.’
When you get like that, what should you do? Well, you can’t go to the society at large. Several years ago an expression was popular that defined our society which is so self oriented. "I couldn’t care less." Unfortunately, we are living in an impersonal society that has lost the art of caring. And for many chureches that lack of concern has creeped into the assembly of believers. Yet that saved have a great need for care. Just because you got saved doesn’t mean everything is coming up roses. For one thing, Satan is now your enemy. You are caught between God’s expectations and Satan’s attacks.
This passage may give us some insight into what you should do to get out of the dumps.
A. Know your Place. (19-21)
(19) "The Holy of Holies or "holiest" was representative of God. Only the High Priest could enter into it, and then only once a year on the Day of Atonement. Man had no access to God. But all of that changed when Christ died on the Cross. And it changed for you when you accepted Christ as your Savior. Now you can enter into the presence of God. As can every believer.
What provides the basis for entry? "the blood of Jesus". Because of His perfect sacrifice, God now see you as pure and clean.
(20) The old sacrifices couldn’t get anyone into the presence of God. But their is a new way that can. Who is the new way? (John 14:6) "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
"for us" Man stands unique in all of creation. God did not come to this earth for the angels or for the animal kingdom. The coming of Jesus Christ was for man personally. It was for us that Jesus died.
"veil..flesh" the heavy veil of the temple barred access to God. When Christ died, the veil was torn from top to bottom. This verse says that veil was Christ’s flesh. As long as Christ was living on earth, the way to God was barred. But when His flesh was torn the way was opened. The Good News for Moder Man version of the Bible has removed references to the blood and substituted the word sacrifice. We cannot have a bloodless religion. "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin." Our salvation was paid for with the shed blood of Christ. An uncrucified Christ cannot save.
But if He died on Calvary, how can He be the "Living way?" Because of the Resurrection. He came alive again. Christianity is described 6 times in the book of Acts as the Way. When people begin to follow Christ they begin to travel a different path - a different way in their lives.
(21) The High Priest represented the people before God. We don’t need a human priest anymore. We have Jesus. As the High Priest Jesus has access to God in His holy place. But not only did He open the way. He took us there with Him. Christ has brought us into His family, His fellowship and His presence.
B. Know your Position. (22,23)
(22) The sprinkled heart pictures salvation and the washed body symbolizes a right lifestyle. There is always a connection between a true heart and outward behavior. You can’t have a heart right and a body wrong.
The true heart is how you draw near. God said to Judah, "But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul." (Deut. 4:29)
"in full assurance of faith" has nothing to do with the amount of faith, but the object of faith, Jesus Christ. You can put a lot of faith in the wrong thing of the wrong person. But when you put your faith in Jesus, He cleanses you.
Before a sacrifice could be offered to God, there was a cleasing process that took place to make it acceptable. But the acceptable sacrifice today must be cleansed inside. (Rom. 12:1) "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
We are cleansed by the Word. (Eph. 5:26) "That he might sanctify and cleanse us with the washing of water by the word."