09/21/T – Draw Near and Hold Fast

Ezekiel 23:1-27; Hebrews 10:18-23; Psalms 107:33-43; Proverbs 23:24

NT: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus  —  he has inaugurated for us a new and living way through the curtain (that is, through his flesh) —  and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful.” (‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:19-23‬ ‭CSB)

When Christ’s body was broken on the cross, and the last ounce of His blood was spilled out,  the heavy curtain that prevented access to the Holy of Holies in the temple was ripped in two from top to bottom. The curtain in the temple was no mere thin piece of cloth. Tradition describes it as a heavy piece of woven material about a hand breadth (four inches) thick. Imagine densely woven tapestry as thick as a 2×4. It was not easily torn, yet God ripped it in two when Christ gave His life. At that moment, a new and living was was opened to God. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” And now, because of Christ’s sacrifice, we have bold access to the sanctuary of God through the blood of Jesus. Christ is the new and living way – and we have access to that way through faith in Christ.

Because Jesus has opened for us a new and living way to God, and because Jesus Christ has gone before us to secure our entry as our Great High Priest, the writer of Hebrews invites us to take advantage of what Christ has done and draw near to God. Before a priest could approach the Holy of Holies, the priest had to wash himself at the bronze laver, a sacrifice had to be offered on the brazen altar, and the blood of the sacrifice had to be applied to the priest and sprinkled on the mercy seat. Christ, who was without sin, was clean. He offered Himself as the sacrifice, He spilled His blood on our behalf, and secured our salvation at the true throne of God. When we place our faith in Christ, we are cleansed and His blood is applied to us, giving us entry into God’s presence. We can now, not only approach God, but draw near to Him and stay near to Him in the full assurance of what Christ has accomplished once and for all.

The writer of Hebrews also challenges us to hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering. This is our hope: because of what Christ has accomplished, as we remain in Him, we have access to all the blessings of Heaven and will, at the end of days, be resurrected bodily to spend eternity physically present with God the Father and our Savior. We can hold on to that hope without wavering because God does not waiver and Christ does not waver. We can be faithful because He is faithful. So, let us draw near and hold fast until the end.

Psalms: “He turns rivers into desert, springs into thirsty ground, and fruitful land into salty wasteland, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into a pool, dry land into springs. He causes the hungry to settle there, and they establish a city where they can live. They sow fields and plant vineyards that yield a fruitful harvest. He blesses them, and they multiply greatly; he does not let their livestock decrease… Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things and consider the Lord’s acts of faithful love.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭107:33-38, 43‬ ‭CSB)

As an act of judgement, God is able to turn rivers into a desert, springs into dry ground and fruitful land into barrenness. Yet, as an act of blessing, He is also able to turn a desert into refreshing pool, dry land into ever-gushing springs, and barren land into fruitful vineyards. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. He opposes those who go their own way, but richly blesses those who place their faith in Him and submit to His word, will and ways. As the psalmist wrote: “Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things and consider the Lord’s acts of faithful love.” God is faithful to His word. He who promised is faithful – so humble yourself, place your faith in Him, draw near and hold fast.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You have opened a new and living way to the Father through faith in You. I also thank You, that I can hold steadfast and unwavering to the hope that I have in You because of Your steadfast and unwavering faithfulness. I choose to draw near and hold on to that hope. Help me, by your grace, to stay near and not let go. In Jesus’ name I pray amen.

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