19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Confidence . . . Do you walk in confidence? I hear too many folks say, “I hope I get to heaven someday.” Jesus wants more for us than a wishful thinking kind of faith. He wants us to have confidence.
I am confident I will enter the Most Holy Place (ie: Heaven)–not because I’m good enough or I’ve accomplished some saintly feat. My confidence lies in Jesus and His blood. My Savior is now the High Priest, not temporarily, but forever.
A heavy curtain once separated the Most Holy Place (some call it the Holy of Holies) from the Holy Place, but when Jesus died, that curtain was torn in two–top to bottom. Now His body is the curtain, the only thing that keeps us from seeing the Most Holy Place, but after I accept Christ’s sacrifice, His broken body becomes the way into heaven.
Christ wants us to draw near to Him. He wants us to sit on His knee and feel His embrace, but too may people stay away. They feel unworthy or still hold God at an arm’s length. Some think they can never be good enough. They have no confidence in the cleansing power of Jesus blood.
Yet, the writer of Hebrews insists we should not second guess our place at Jesus’ side. He uses words and phrases like confidence, full assurance, and hold unswervingly. Jesus blood has cleansed our guilty conscience. He has washed our sinful bodies. We no longer say “I hope I get to heaven.” Now we cling to the promise we have and the faithfulness of Jesus becomes our hope.
While Hebrews was being written, Christians were being persecuted, tortured for their faith. Even so, they were encouraged to gather at least weekly to study the ancient text and the letters from the apostles. Today, people skip community worship for much more feeble excuses than someone might catch me here and kill me. I think it’s because they don’t have the confidence that comes from fully accepting Christ’s forgiving sacrifice.
If you are in your car to pick up groceries more often than you are in worship, then perhaps you don’t appreciate the scars Jesus took on your behalf. Maybe you don’t realize His blood made a way for you to be in heaven with your Gracious Father.
Don’t give up meeting with others who love Jesus. Otherwise it becomes too easy to lose hope and lose heart.
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