The Letter to the Hebrews: a commentary & meditation
"Where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf"

Scripture: Hebrews 6:9-20
9 Though we speak thus, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." 15 And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise.

16 Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, 18 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchiz'edek.

Meditation: God made a promise to Abraham and then confirmed it with an oath (see Genesis 22:16-18). His promise was that all Abraham's descendants would be blessed. This blessing came true in Jesus Christ.

Our hope in God is based on his promises and on who God is. The author to the Hebrews uses the image of an anchor to describe hope. An anchor kept a ship secure and upright in a storm and from being dragged onto rocks. People instinctively choose various things as anchors for security -- often wealth, fame, or relationships. The Christian possesses the greatest anchor of hope in the world--Jesus Christ. That hope enters into the inner shrine where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf. The most sacred of all places in the Temple was the Holy of Holies. There God's presence dwelt in a special way among his people. Only one person in the whole world could enter that place, once a year on the Day of Atonement, and that person was the high priest.

Jesus is the true high priest, whom the high priests of the Old Covenant foreshadowed, who has now opened the way for all to enter into the house of the Lord into his very presence. Jesus is called the forerunner who rushes ahead of us into the very presence of God to make it safe for us to enter also. Jesus offered his own blood as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and thus purified us so that we might come freely and confidently into the presence of God.

"Lord Jesus Christ, free me from sluggishness and complacency that I may love and serve you zealously and persevere in faithfulness to the end."

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(c) 1999 Don Schwager