Hebrews

Hebrews 10:19-25 Holding Fast The Confession.

Anytime we see a ‘Therefore,’ we need to ask what the ‘therefore’ is there for. It is a turning point for our author as he concludes this Stipulations section of this covenant renewal document. Since the Son, as High Priest-King, has offered the once for all sacrifice of Himself, and declared as Prophet that His work was finished (Jn. 19:30), we now “have boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus” (v. 19). One must understand the amazing change wrought here by the Son. The Holiest of All was only entered once a year by the High Priest with the blood of a temporary sacrifice, both for himself, his house, and the people, and it was not certain whether he would come out alive or not (5:3; 10:4 Cf. Lev. 9:7; 16:15-19). The mercy seat is where atonement was made. Mercy has always been the fountain of grace, but the sacrifice of the Son alone is our propitiation, appeasing the just wrath of God (2:7 Cf. Eph. 1:7). “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, which enters the Presence behind the veil” (6:19).

The veil was the one separating us from God’s Presence, the veil of blue, scarlet, and purple, symbolizing His threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King, that which was torn in two from top to bottom (9:3, 7, 12 Cf. Mt. 27:51; Mk. 15:38 Cf. Ex. 26:31-33). Our author calls this veil “His flesh” (v. 20). He once for all “offered up Himself” (7:27 Cf. Zech. 3:9). This brought to an end the last days of the old covenant administrations of grace, as well as sealing up “vision and prophecy” (Dan. 9:24-27). The canon closed by the time the destruction of the temple and its sacrificial system were completed, even as Jesus, our Prophet, Priest, King foretold (Mt. 24:2; Mk. 13:2; Lk. 21:6). The Son “consecrated for us…a new and living way” (v. 20). Our author also returns to his theme of the son building God’s house that will last forever (v. 21 Cf. 3:1-14). Again, he used a hortatory subjunctive, saying “Let us,” including himself in this exhortation. We can draw near because the Son consecrated the way for us (Cf. Eph. 2:18; 3:12).

We have this “full assurance of faith,” because our hearts have been “sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (v. 22 Cf. 7:19; 10:1). He also added the following: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (v. 23). In the previous passage on the house he also urged holding fast. “In another Hebrews passage mentioning “the house of God” (v. 21; cf. 3:1-14), there is a similar exhortation to be “steadfast” (3:14), and a similar assurance that Christ “is faithful” (cf. 3:5, 6)” (NGSB p. 1949). Furthermore, in this vein of exhortations he stated, “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (v. 24 Cf. I Cor. 1:9; 10:13). His exhortation was to strengthen the basics of “the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).

Apparently some had abandoned these basics and were not meeting with the people of God. Such gatherings are necessary because we need to continually exhort “one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (v. 25 Cf. Rom. 13:11). Paul also said that, “The Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5b). It is not necessary that we automatically assume that this is the second coming. “Paul may also be speaking of Christ’s abiding presence with those united to Him (1:1)” (NGSB p. 1881). It is quite possible that this Day, could be the very end he had in view-the close of the last days of the old covenant administrations with the destruction of the temple, which the Lord had predicted. “The believers had been severely persecuted (vv. 32-34). Assembling with other believers is an important part of Christian life” (NGSB p. 1949).

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