A New Confidence
19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
These words caused me to draw in a deep, refreshing breath this morning, after all the theological overload of the last few days of study. The path laid out here is encouraging and uplifting. We’ve studied the Great High Priest and His final, once for all sacrifice and here we see the benefits and blessings of that work. As I read and re-read these words, a clear path emerges and one that is in a decidedly positive direction.
There seem to be several admonitions here, beginning with a declaration of confidence. We are now free to enter God’s holy presence; something the ancient Hebrews were not allowed to do except for the High Priest once a year. We are free to draw near. That curtain that once blocked us from being in God’s holy place was torn in two at the death of Jesus for the price of our holiness had been paid. The most graphic description finds its place here – through the curtain of His flesh. That’s just an amazing image. His blood washed us clean – and that is particularly true of our hearts. Now we are called upon to hold fast to hope in that cleansing and stand with confidence before our Holy God. The result of that new freedom is that we are to stir up love and good works. This brief paragraph has it all.
So what are the good works that I can be about today? How can my life display what God has so graciously done through His Son? Probably important questions to ask myself everyday.