Agonizomai: Heb 10: 19-23 - Christ - Faith in the Faithfulness of God in Christ

Friday, March 05, 2010

Heb 10: 19-23 - Christ - Faith in the Faithfulness of God in Christ

Heb 10 - 19-23 - Christ - Faith in the Faithfulness of God in Christ

Heb 10:19-23 Therefore, brothers, (Or brothers and sisters) since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let 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. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

The Hebrews (and we other saints) can confidently come to God because acceptance in his sight does not depend upon them. God has done it all. He has reconciled to himself all who believe. (And they believe because he has reconciled them). Salvation is truly of the Lord and he, alone and unaided by man, delivers. {Jon 2:9}

The reference to a curtain here is a harkening back to the curtain that divided the holy place from the holy of holies in the tabernacle. Nobody was allowed past that curtain except the high priest once a year. Now the true and eternal High Priest, Jesus, has rent, torn or opened that curtain so that we may have access to God - direct, personal access. The old high priest always entered with much sprinkling of blood and not without the fear that he might be consumed for some unconfessed sin or impiety of heart. The new - the true - High Priest enters as a man on our behalf absent the fear of being consumed because he is sinless. He enters and he intercedes eternally as the representative of redeemed mankind. In Him we can enter into the very presence of God also absent the fear that guilt would bring.

Note that it is "through his flesh" that the way was opened for us. His "flesh" was more than just his body. It was His humanity. It was His incarnate nature. It was His total identification with the race of men. This is why the denial of His incarnation as a fully human being is so fundamentally heretical. Were He not representative man, entering as a pure High Priest into the very presence of God to intercede for His people, then we ourselves could not enter. We would be consumed. "If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous." {Ro 5:17-19}

So long as we never miss the point that He was not only man, but also God living as a man; He was all God and all man at one and the same time. And in the Holy of Holies before God He is still all man and all God at one and the same time. But unless He had become incarnate in the way He did, and unless He had lived the life He did and died the death He did there would never be any coming into the presence of God for any of Adam’s race.

So the representative ablutions of washing with water and being sprinkled with blood are replaced by the spiritual realities of identification with Christ in His death through baptism (washing) and the application to our selves through faith of His sacrifice of His own life of perfect obedience. If we died with Him and if we are raised with Him to newness of life then in Him we are acceptable to God forever. This banishes the fearful expectation of punishment and replaces it with familial care. God chastises His own, but their punishment has already been paid. His every thought towards them is for their good and that they should prosper (in spiritual things). He has planned their pathway and prepared their mansion and they must walk in their salvation, in the Spirit, by faith.

And right there is the part of the saint - to hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering. Not to act “righteous” and keep ourselves saved, but to abide in the already provided salvation through the righteousness of Christ and by hope and trust in God alone to keep us. It clearly states that "He Who promised is faithful." We trust in His faithfulness and never in our own. Trusting in His faithfulness produces gratitude, hope and faith in us.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home