Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 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. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not 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.Hebrews 10:19–25
We have a majestic “therefore” on our hands. Our author has just finished explaining the fact that Jesus’ self-sacrifice is the once-for-all, final sacrifice necessary for the salvation and sanctification of the elect. The work is done; our High Priest now sits. And so, “therefore,” we have three “let us” statements for us to consider as we reflect on that sacrifice:
- “Let us draw near” (22): Remember, there was no “drawing near” under the old covenant. There was a curtain between the presence of God and those in the temple to keep people from accidentally drawing near and dying. But now, we are as clean and as purified as the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, thanks to Christ. We can come into the presence of God, the Creator of the Universe and the King over all!
- “Let us hold fast” (23): If we know that our salvation is sure, and that no eternal, lasting harm can come to us, why would we waver in our steadfastness? Our proclamation of the truth must be steady, unwavering, and rooted in the fact that our role in the process of being saved is to receive the great gift.
- “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (24): We have a great hope, and it is not ours to keep. We are to share this hope with each other. Each of us will have good days and bad days, but the beauty of gospel fellowship is that we can spread the good days out over the entire body of Christ. When we meet together (even over Zoom!) one of our main goals should be to encourage and exhort one another to carry on and persevere. That is the goal, that is the mission. The ultimate encouragement we have that we remind one another of is the finished work of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Don’t forget the implications of what Christ has done for you! These three should keep you busy, but can you think of more? Praise God for his inexpressible gift!
The “Isolation Introspection” series started as an opportunity for me to encoruage members of our Bible Study with daily reflections from the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan during the 2020 “Stay at Home” mandate in Los Angeles. I’ve moved them here so that they can be shared easily, and perhaps benefit others. I hope you enjoy!