Summary: The New and Living Way is contrasted with the Old and Dead Way under the Law. In the New and Living Way we can Draw Near to God and Draw Near to Each Other.
A New and Living Way
SCRIPTURE READING: Hebrews 10:19-25
On Easter morning, everyone tends to think about new life. It’s springtime. New leaves are budding (of course for those of us with Live Oak trees, that means old leaves are falling!) But for Christians, Easter has a much deeper meaning. On Resurrection Sunday, we are celebrating a new and living way that was opened up for us when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. In order to understand the new and living way described in Hebrews 10, we need to take a look at the old and dead way that was being replaced.
1. The Old and Dead Way Hebrews 10:1-4
The original readers of Hebrews were very familiar with all the sacrifices and ceremonies of the old way. Hebrews10 describes the particular sacrifices that the Jews performed on the Day of Atonement. When you study Hebrews 10 this week, it will make a lot more sense if you know that …
o Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept.
o After He went in, the curtain was immediately closed behind him. This was no ordinary curtain! It was several stories high and 3 inches thick. It symbolized the separation that existed between the Holy God and the sinful people.
o The first thing the High Priest did after he entered the Most Holy Place was to sprinkle the blood of a bull on the altar. This sacrifice was to cover his own sins and the sins of his Priestly family.
o Then the High Priest sprinkled the altar with the blood of a goat that had been sacrificed for the sins of the people.
o After the Priest left the Most Holy Place, and the curtain was again closed --- until the next year when he would enter again.
The first verse of Hebrews 10 explains why this old and dead way needed to be replaced by a new and living way.
1The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never --- by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year --- make perfect those who draw near to worship.
2. The New and Living Way Hebrews 10:5-20
In His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ fulfilled ALL the Old Testament sacrifices and ceremonies. Those sacrifices would never be needed again because His sacrifice gave us true and lasting Atonement.
o Jesus served as the FINAL sacrifice, taking the place of all others, whether lambs or bulls or calves or goats.
o As our Heavenly High Priest, Jesus sprinkled His Own Blood on the altar and our sins were removed forever.
o When Jesus died, that massive Curtain that blocked entrance to the Holy of Holies was torn in two. Hebrews 10:19-20 says: 19Therefore, brothers, we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body …
Let me ask you on this Easter Morning, Have you entered the Most Holy Place by the new and living way? The first step is to DRAW NEAR TO GOD.
· Draw near to God Hebrews 10:22-23
A missionary in Paraguay tells about a time when a Maka Indian named Rafael came to sit on his porch. The missionary went out to ask what he could do for the man. He responded, "Ham, henek met." Later, he asked again what Rafael wanted, but again the answer was "Ham, henek met." The missionary knew that "Ham, henek met” meant "I don’t want anything; I have just come near." But he did not understand the significance until a veteran missionary explained it.
The veteran missionary said, “This was Rafael’s way of honoring you. He really didn’t want anything; he just wanted to sit on your porch. He found satisfaction and pleasure just being near you."
When the Lord asks you, “What can I do for you, my child?" Can you answer “Ham, henek met”? I don’t want anything more than to draw near. Hebrews 10:22 tells how you can DRAW NEAR TO GOD.
o 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart … We cannot come near to God with any pretence or hypocrisy. President Lincoln said “You can fool most of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people most of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time” Well, let me tell you, you can NEVER fool God. Don’t even try it, because God looks straight into your heart.