Heb. 10:19-22¶ 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.
This passage is the very heart of the book of Hebrews. This church in Jerusalem had once known the pentecostal power of God like no other. After all, this is where it all started. This was the church with tongues of fire on everyone’s head and stammering lips and other tongues in every mouth. This was the epicenter of that explosion that had spread Christianity throughout Israel, Syria, Northern Africa, Asia Minor, and even to the shores of Europe. That explosion had happened a long time ago. Those that were still alive when Hebrews was written remembered those early days but the next generation really had no clue. It had been over thirty years since that initial outpouring and tradition and formalism now replaced the spontaneity of the pentecostal experience. Paul was begging them to return to their roots. In this passage he is reminding them that they have access into the very Shekinah presence of the glory of the Lord. Here are some thoughts from Andrew Murray on today’s passage.
“Enter into the Holiest. It is a call to the Hebrews to come out of that life of unbelief and sloth, that leads to a departing from the living God, and to enter into the promised land, the rest of God, a life in His fellowship and favor. It is a call to all lukewarm, half-hearted Christians, no longer to remain in the outer court of the tabernacle, content with the hope that their sins are pardoned. Nor even to be satisfied with having entered the Holy Place, and there doing the service of the tabernacle, while the veil still hinders the full fellowship with the living God and His love.”
The call seems especially relevant in today’s church. Many churches who had once been characterized by the power of God and the beauty and passion of God’s outpouring have settled for a quick ‘feel good’ service that just gives its participants a soothed conscience and an empty heart. We need His presence, we need Him. Let’s heed the call of the Apostle and determine that we will exercise all of our strength and passion to enter the rest found in the presence of the Lord.