“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” (vv. 19–20).
Ezekiel had a clear vision that the Lord would make His presence manifest again in the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem (Ezek. 41:1–4), but what he did not see as clearly was how this was going to take place. It would be left to the New Testament to explain just how it is that the Israel of God would be able to meet with its covenant Lord once more in the Most Holy Place.
Today’s passage is one of the clearest explanations of this reality in all the New Testament. Instead of coming back to an earthly Holy of Holies where only a select few could ever enter, the Almighty instead sent His only Son to open the way for all of His people to meet with Him in the heavenly Holy of Holies. Having already established that we have a hope in the heavenly Most Holy Place behind the curtain (Heb. 6:19–20), the author of Hebrews makes clear in 10:19–25 that our hope is Christ Jesus Himself, whose death tore the veil that formerly blocked access to this place. The allusion to the tearing of the veil in the temple at the death of Jesus is unmistakable (Luke 23:44–49). It was an earthly event that depicts a heavenly reality. With sin finally atoned for, the barrier between the holy God and those who trust in His promises no longer stands. By faith we can now enter into that place in heaven of which the earthly Holy of Holies was but a copy. Formerly, entering that earthly place would have brought us death, but now a new and living way into the heavenly place enables us to enter and seek life.
In his exposition of Hebrews, A.W. Pink notes that this way, “because of its perpetual efficacy . . . is not a lifeless thing, but has a spiritual and vital power in our access to God.” Jesus “always lives to make intercession” for us, so we need not fear that any sin can separate us from the Father if we live a life of repentance and faith (Heb. 7:25; see Rom. 8:28–39). On the contrary, the Lord delights for us to come near Him so that He might see how we trust Him, hear our needs, and receive our worship (Zeph. 3:17).
We will sin and forget that Jesus fulfills God’s purpose in the temple by opening up the way into the Most Holy Place. And so we must surround ourselves with believers who encourage us to keep on entering the Holy of Holies. Let us therefore not neglect our opportunities for corporate fellowship and worship (Heb. 10:24–25).
Coram DeoLiving before the face of God
In this life it is easy to fill our schedules with activities that can get in the way of regular participation in corporate worship. While these activities in themselves may be perfectly fine and fruitful, we should make sure never to forsake the gathering of our brothers and sisters in Christ. And let us also be willing to encourage other believers never to treat the assembly as a negotiable element of faithfulness to our Lord Jesus.