"Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest of all, by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for its through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."—Heb_10:19-22
The ceremonies and sacrifices of the Levitical economy were typical of events connected with the Christian dispensation The apostle endeavors, in this epistle, to show what these sacrifices and ceremonies were intended to represent. Their numerous offerings undoubtedly were shadows of that last great sacrifice offered in the end of the world once for all. The tabernacle and temple had reference both to the church on earth and the church in heaven. The holiest place had, however, a distinct reference to the habitation of the Deity; and the mercy-seat, to the throne of the heavenly grace, from whence Jehovah communicates, through his Son, the blessings of salvation to the guilty children of men Believers are the privileged priests of the Christian dispensation, only with this advantage over the priests of old—that, while the former were confined to the holy place, believers are allowed to enter the holiest of all, by the blood of Jesus; seeing that Jesus, their High Priest, hath consecrated a new and living way for them through the veil, that is to say, his flesh, &c. Therefore, says the apostle, seeing that this is our exalted privilege, "let us draw near," &c.
We have in this interesting passage I. The Holiest Place. II. The Way of Access. And, III. The Manner of Approach.
I. The Holiest Place—
"Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest," &c.
A description of the holiest of all, or most holy place of the temple is given, Exo_25:10, and Heb_9:3-7. It was typical of that "heaven of heavens" where Jehovah dwells, and to which the Saviour ascended, and where he ever appears to make intercession for us. It may be called the holiest, as it is,
1. The special residence of the Holy Deity.
Hence he says, "I dwell in the high and holy place;" Isa_57:15. It may be called the holiest, also, as it is,
2. The scene of holy services "In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another and said. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts" &c. Isa_6:1-4; Rev_5:8.
3. It is the residence of holy beings.
Here the pure in heart only see God. Nothing that defileth can enter, &c. Rev_21:27; Rev_22:14; Psalms 15. It is the holiest, as it is,
4. From this place those blessings are communicated that make us holy.
Hence we are invited to "Come to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace, &c. Here is our Sacrifice, through whose blood we are cleansed; our High Priest, through whom we are accepted; and from hence proceedeth the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, the Sanctifier, &c.
Let us consider,
II. The Way of Access.
This is specified in the terms, "By the blood of Jesus." The highpriest entered into the holiest with the blood of the victim which had been offered. In like manner we only can have access by the blood of Jesus; "for without shedding of blood there is no remission." Every part of our salvation is by and through the blood of Jesus.
(1) Redemption and forgiveness of sin. 1Pe_1:18; Eph_1:7.
(2) Sanctification. 1Jn_1:7.
(3) Peace. Col_1:20. And as in our text,
(4) Entrance into heaven is also "by the blood of Jesus."
This entrance into the holiest by the blood of Jesus is,
1. A new way.
"By a new way." I is so as distinguished from the way of access by the blood of bulls, &c. It is so as it is the last dispensation connected with the arrangements of redemption. It is so as it shall never wax old, as the former did, nor ever be superseded by any other. Here all is new—New Testament, new ordinances, new and better covenant, &c., &c.
This way is not only new, but,
2. It is a living way.
Way of old to the holiest was by the blood of a dead victim; ours, by the blood of a risen living Saviour. Way of old was the way of certain death to any but the highpriest; and he only entered once a year, and with blood; ours is freely open to all believers, and is the true way to immortality and eternal life. Joh_3:17.
3. It is a consecrated way.
Consecrated by Jesus—with his own blood—through the veil, his own flesh. And he is within the holiest, a High-Priest over the house of God. See ver. 10-18. Consecrated for all who believe in his name. Observe,
III. The Manner of Approach.
"Having boldness to enter in, &c., of us draw near with a true heart," &c.
1. We may approach with boldness.
"Having boldness," &c., does not mean boldness of ignorance, or of presumption, or of irreverence. Signifies having liberty of access; to come confidently, without fear of divine displeasure; with freedom of speech, &c.
2. With a true heart.
That is, in sincerity and earnestness; in spirit and in truth.
3. In full assurance of faith.
In faith; no other mode of approach is acceptable. Assurance of faith; mind made up, satisfied, confident. Full assurance of faith; that is, the greatest possible degree of confidence; without the least doubt or hesitation. This full assurance of faith must respect the efficacy of the Sacrifice and the readiness of God through that Sacrifice freely to accept of us.
4. With hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.
The heart polluted requires purification. Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. This blood must be sprinkled upon the heart. In this way the conscience is delivered from evil, and becomes sanctified and pure.
5. With bodies washed with pure water.
As the highpriest was to wash his flesh with water before he put on the holy garments, Lev_16:4; Num_8:7; and as Christ, our great High-Priest, passed through the waters of baptism before he entered on his holy ministry; so believers are to be born both of water and the Spirit, before they enter the kingdom of God. It is evident the water in the text refers to baptism, by which we put on our profession of faith in, and love to Christ.
It is also worthy of observation, that gospel redemption includes both body and soul. And both are to be holy to the Lord; both to participate of eternal glory. Need we wonder, then, that Christ should appoint the ordinance of baptism, by which we so significantly, wholly, both body and mind, become the Lord's? And this agrees with the great commission, "Go ye and preach he gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved" Mar_16:15-16, &c. So Saul was commanded to "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away his sins, calling on the name of the Lord Jesus." Act_22:16. This, then, is the divinely appointed method of coming to God through Jesus Christ. With boldness; with a true heart; in full assurance of faith; with a heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, and bodies washed with pure water.
1. The gospel method of salvation. By the blood of Jesus. And here we are brought to see its expensiveness and its preciousness.
2. That there must be personal application before we can enjoy its benefits. We must draw near, &c.
3. That all who thus personally approach shall obtain mercy. And,
4. How shall they escape who neglect as great salvation?