“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus . . . Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb 10:19, 22). The Apostle does not take the stand of one in preeminent nearness himself to God, inviting others to draw nigh, as though he had been the priest and they the people, he on the inside, and they without; but he classes himself with those whom he addresses, calling them “brethren,” and three times repeating “Let us.” How different this is from the order of old! Moses alone was to come near, the others were to worship afar off; but now it was equal nearness, equal liberty of access into the Holiest of All.
The atonement for the holy place is “unto continuance”; it is as much once and for ever purged as is the worshipper himself. Yea, no worshipper there need fear that he could bring defilement there, because the Blood that cleanseth all sin away is there forever before God. Why are we so distant in our hearts from God? Is it not because we have so little sense of the real power of the Blood within the veil as the gracious provision from God Himself for our holy and unhindered communion with Him? “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest of All by the Blood of Jesus.”
But mark the way of access. At Mount Sinai all was distance. “And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death (Exo 19:12). This distance ever characterized the worship under the law; there were constant bounds set, to pass which would have been death. Even Aaron himself could not pass the bounds of the veil at all times “lest he die.” The outside worshipping Israelite could not pass the bounds of the curtains which hung at the door of the Tabernacle, “lest he die.”
To see God and live was impossible under the law. But now the Lord Jesus is the way, the living way, into the Father’s presence on high. To see Him is to see God and live. He is not the barrier between us and God, but the way to God. All the distance and every bound is done away in the Lord Jesus Christ. Did an Israelite on the outside gaze on the beautiful curtain, and long to pass it? But death would have been his portion had he attempted it: let him look at the Lord Jesus who says, “I am the door, by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved.
Yes, the death of the Lord Jesus is become to us the “living way” into the Holiest of All. But if, having proceeded within the curtains of the door, the veil seemed to forbid further entrance, let him again look to the Lord Jesus—and the veil, says the Apostle, is His flesh. The very God “with Whom we have to do” is thus brought before us as full of grace and truth. And if he perceived it rent, again let him look to the Lord Jesus and Him crucified, and the holiness of God invited instead of forbade an entrance. What words of blessing to the one-purged worshipper, “By a new and living way which He hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh” (Heb 10:20).
But further—not only the work of the Lord Jesus and His character inspire confidence, but He Himself is the High Priest over the house of God. His ministry is never for a moment interrupted. He is in the Holiest of All, on the very ground of atonement having been made both for the people and the place; and therefore the present is to us, one continued season of worship. How needful is this promise to give us confidence in entering into the Holiest! The High Priest has not to go into the house; He is there constantly, and has taken a place which Aaron never could take in the Tabernacle; He is over the house of His own; He is Master of it; He openeth and no man shutteth. The Lord pardon His saints for having so insulted His grace in the mode and character of their worship; and lead them by His Spirit into the only place of acceptable worship—the Holiest of All.
-J B Stoney
NOW NO CONDEMNATION –MJS