Hebrews 10:19–25 is the central passage of Hebrews. It speaks about a new and living way that Jesus inaugurated for us to enter into the immediate presence of God and live there permanently. This was God’s plan for man and this is our privilege in the new covenant. “We now have confidence, brethren, to enter into the Most Holy Place, (first of all) by the blood of Jesus and (secondly) by a new and living way that He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.” The veil was torn in the temple when Jesus died. And that veil symbolised His flesh – that is His selfwill – which was rent (crucified) every day of His earthly life, so that He might do only His Father’s will at all times (John 6:38). This way is called the new and living way. “New” means “ever-fresh”. In Revelation 5:9, we read that they sang a new song in heaven about Jesus’ death on Calvary. How could that possibly be “new” song? It is fresh for all who sing it. It is as if they are hearing about Christ’s death for the very first time. This is how the Holy Spirit makes the death of Christ living and fresh for us constantly. In the same way, the way of following Jesus is also fresh and exciting for us every day. This is the ever-fresh way of the cross, the way of death to Self and to our own will, offering our bodies to do God’s will alone every day. We don’t have to rend the veil now, for Jesus has already rent the veil and opened the way. But we have to walk along it to live in God’s presence constantly.
Jesus has inaugurated this new road for us to walk in. It was not easy for Jesus to walk this way. He had to pay the price of death to Self every day for 33½ years to inaugurate this way. This is the highway of holiness that Jesus now invites us to walk in (Isaiah 35:8). But we must be careful not to be taken up with the way itself – the way of the cross. Our eyes should always be on the goal. Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before Him of fellowship with the Father. If you are travelling from Chennai to Bangalore by a newly-made, excellent road, you will not spend your time admiring the road. Then you will never reach Bangalore. The road is only a means to reach your destination. So also, the way of the cross is only a means to enter the Father’s presence and to dwell there every day. Many believers keep talking only about putting the flesh to death. But they are gloomy, miserable, judgemental of others and critical – proving that their flesh is still very alive!! Thus they never make any progress in their lives. After twenty years, they are still talking about the road and never seem to get any closer to their destination – they do not become any more Christ-like. Our goal is Christlikeness and a closer fellowship with God.
We are not to run the race looking at the way but at Jesus (Hebrews 12:1,2). Runners never look at the road they are running on. They are always looking in front towards the finish line. People who look down at the road and run will come last in the race. If you are merely gripped with the message of the cross you are not holy. But if you are gripped with the Person of Jesus Himself, then you are holy
The Lord has opened the way of the cross for us to walk in – and He is our High Priest and Forerunner. So we can now “draw near to God with a sincere heart in the full assurance of faith, with our hearts cleansed from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22). That last phrase means that every sin that we committed with our bodies has been set right. We have apologised to all the people we hurt in any way, we have returned money that we cheated people of, etc. Thus our tongues and hands are cleansed from those defilements. We now “hold fast to the confession of our hope and do not waver”. We now think of our fellow-believers and “consider how to stir them up to love”. We no longer live for ourselves; and we seek to “fellowship with other people as often as possible”, awaiting the return of our Lord eagerly (Hebrews 10:23–25).
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon