Entering into the Holiest (Heb. 10: 19-25)

By | May 14, 2016

In the reading of this passage we discover that prior to the crucifixion of Christ no one was permitted to enter into the holiest except the high priest. Under the old covenant the holy God was unapproachable by defiled humanity. Through out all the centuries before Jesus came, God dwelt upon His throne above the cherubim over the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. Into that forbidding Presence came “the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people. The Holy Ghost was signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” (Hebrews 9: 7-8) For any one else to enter it meant certain death.

However, since Jesus died on the cross our approach to God is no longer through an earthly priest because He has provided a “new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.” Under the old covenant, God’s acceptance required earthly representation; but by a “new and living way” Jesus invites our participation. We are now invited to “enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” The word ‘new’ does not mean lack of age. Instead, it means ‘freshly slaughtered’ way. On that afternoon when God’s only Son, hung on the cross answering every demand of the broken law and removing the burden of sin which was too heavy for us to bear; you would have heard Him cry, “It is finished,” and there he gave up the ghost and died. Ordinarily, death by crucifixion was a long and agonizing death. While hanging on the cross the victim’s chest would slump and lungs would collapse and they would struggle to breath. The victim would strain to stand up on their nailed feet to get oxygen until the pain became too excruciating and then they would slump down again. This process often times would continue for hours until they would come and break the legs of the victim and he would die by way of suffocation.

However, Isaiah prophesied seven hundred years before the crucifixion event that no bones of the Savior’s body broken, proving once again that they did not take His life, He gave His life. They were amazed that He had died so quickly; so instead of breaking His legs they thrust a knife into His side, out of which flowed the blood and water to make sure He had died. If you had stood in the temple that day two thousand years ago, you would have witnessed another knife that rent that exclusive veil in the temple from top to bottom, that separated the holy place from the holy of holies. It signified that a Holy God was now approachable by man through Jesus, our Great High Priest. Prior to this event the people of God were never privileged to enter into the holiest while the “first tabernacle was yet standing.” It was now the glad privilege of all the people of God to enter in.

The sacrificial blood of bulls and of goats could not take away sins but now Jesus has come and “by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified.” The climax of the crimson road of animal sacrifices was reached when Jesus died on the cross. Upon entrance into the holiest by the blood of Jesus we see the golden censer, the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, and the mercy seat overshadowed by the cherubim. There were three things contained in the holy ark. They were the pot of manna, Aaron’s budding rod, and the tables of the covenant. The ark of the covenant is now no longer in the Holy of Holies but rather in man’s heart. The manna represents life as Jesus is the bread of life, the budding rod represents the fruitfulness of the sanctified life, and the tables of the covenant is the law that He has written in the hearts and minds of His people. Under the old covenant the three things in the ark were merely symbolic but under the new covenant they become substantive in the heart of the sanctified.

Jesus is the high priest over the house of God. So the people that are invited to draw near are those of His household. They are the family of God. They must be in the house before they can enter into the holiest. The veil did not hang outside the temple but inside the temple. The children of God are admonished to draw near with a true (unhidden, nothing concealed) heart in full assurance of faith. This is not the heaven of final reward it is the holy union where “He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one and He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” He further instructs us to “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering…and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” We are to stand together with the household of faith and be considerate of each other as we need the fellowship of the saints in our assembling of ourselves together. We are told that in the mountains of the high Alps travelers would often tie themselves together in a chain when going over dangerous places so that if one should fall the rest of the travelers could pull them up again. As in times of trouble, the apostle Paul would request prayer from his fellow brethren. “Brethren, hold on to me; don’t let me go, labor in prayer with me.” Even Jesus in Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion requested that Peter, James, and John ‘tarry and watch’ while He prayed. Let us consider one another and to provoke to love and good works.

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