Summary: So Jesus is superior. What difference does it make?
“The Road to a Better Life: Major in Perseverance”
They were having a hard time deciding. Should they follow the old, familiar, comfortable religion or the new, unfamiliar religion? Should they follow the Jewish faith or the Christian faith? It was a tough, emotional struggle. So the author to the Hebrews, in chapters 1-10, laid out the better road - the superiority of Jesus and the Christian faith over the old Jewish faith. At 10:18 he finished with this theology, so in 10:19-21 He gave one final succinct summary. Jesus is superior because: He gives us confidence to approach God; He opened the way to full, total, unhindered access to God; and He is still now, and always will be, our Great High Priest, interceding for us.
But so what? What’s the big deal? What’s it all for? What difference does it make? What’s his point? On the Merv Griffin Show years ago, one of the guests was a body builder. During the interview, Merv asked, “Why do you develop those particular muscles?” The body builder stepped forward and flexed a series of well-defined muscles from chest to calf. The audience applauded. “What do you use all those muscles for?” Merv asked. Again, the muscular specimen flexed, and biceps and triceps sprouted to impressive proportions. “But what do you use those muscles for?” Merv persisted. The body builder was bewildered. He didn’t have an answer other than to display his well-developed frame. The author of Hebrews did not want his readers to think that just knowing about Christ was all there was to Christianity, or to be left wondering about the practical affects of the superiority of Jesus. So “Therefore…Let us…” Since life is tough, let’s take what we know and meet life head on! HEBREWS IS A CALL TO PERSEVERE IN AGGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN LIVING. This aggressive Christian living is outlined in the text by following the words “Let us”.
First of all, verse 22: “…let us draw near to God…” RUN INTO GOD’S PRESENCE IN FAITH. Verse 19 sets the stage: “…since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place… let us draw near to God…” The word ‘confidence’ in verse 19 can be translated “boldness.” Because we’re forgiven and clean, we can enter God’s presence with boldness –In other words, don’t be shy! To have ‘boldness’ indicates we have freedom of speech, permission to approach authority without fear, with plainness and openness, and without anxiety. So the invitation to draw near to the most holy place is, in reality, an invitation to run boldly into the chamber of innermost communion with God – to get as close to and as intimate with God as possible! It’s important to note that the word “draw near” is in a tense that means to keep on doing it – be regular at it. MAINTAIN A POSITION OF CLOSENESS. Get in God’s face – up close and personal. After all, this is the whole purpose of Jesus taking on flesh and dying on the cross – to re-establish our relationship with God. Use the new way to God – Jesus Christ – to build your relationship with God. God allowed us to see His heart on the cross – He opened up His heart of love to us – and now He invites us to open up to Him. Let God be your confidant. Since Jesus went to all the work to open up the way into God’s presence, let’s take full advantage by repeatedly, regularly, faithfully, running into God’s presence; get face to face and heart to heart with God.
And we do so by ADOPTING A POSTURE OF CONFIDENCE. “…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.” We have this full assurance because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. As Paul wrote (2 Tim. 1:12): “…I know whom I have believed and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” Like Paul, we give our lives to Christ and stop worrying! He will take care of all the things that are beyond our control. Our task is to stay close to Him and TRUST IN THE UNIMAGINABLE POSSIBILITIES OF THE LIMITLESS GOD. As Paul wrote, “God is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us…” (Eph. 3:20) God is more than able to accomplish what concerns us today – all it takes is our faith and trust. Faith and trust form the channel through which God releases His power and does His work.
There was a farmer who had three sons: Jim, John, and Sam. No one in the family ever attended church or had time for God. The pastor and church members tried for years to interest the family in the things of God, but to no avail. Then one day, a rattlesnake bit Sam. The doctor did all he could to help Sam, but the outlook for his recovery was dim. So the pastor was called. He decided to draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith by praying: “O wise and righteous Father, we thank Thee that in Thine wisdom thou didst send this rattlesnake to bite Sam. He has never been inside the church and it is doubtful that he has, in all this time, ever prayed or even acknowledged Thine existence. Now we trust that his experience will be a valuable lesson to him and will lead to genuine repentance. And now, O Father, wilt Thou send another rattlesnake to bite Jim, and another to bite John, and another really big one to bite the old man. For years we have done everything we know to get them to turn to Thee, but all in vain. It seems, therefore, that what all our combined efforts could not do, this rattlesnake has done. We thus conclude that the only thing that will do this family any real good is rattlesnakes. O Lord, send us bigger, and better rattlesnakes. Amen.”