Hebrews 10:19-25 (NIV) 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
On verses 19-25: So far in Hebrews the author has written in depth about how Jesus is our great high priest (v21) and how through Jesus’ shed blood and sacrificed body we are able to freely enter God’s holy presence (v19-20). Now the writer of Hebrews shows how our relationships both vertically with God and horizontally with others can change when Jesus is in the mix. In particular, the writer of Hebrews tells us 5 things that we ought to do in response to who Jesus is and what He has done. Two of those five things are vertically-oriented. They have to do with our relationship with God: drawing near to God with full assurance of faith, even when we sin (v22) and holding on unswervingly to the hope we have in Jesus even in our toughest times (v23). The other three things are horizontally-oriented. They have to do with our relationships with other people, in particular other Christians: considering how we can spur one another on toward love and good deeds (v24), not giving up meeting together (v25) and encouraging one another (v25).
How are you doing in these 5 crucial areas of the Christian faith:
Worship: How much to you draw near to God with a sincere heart and a full faith? (v22)
Discipleship: How tightly do you hang on to the hope we have in Jesus, becoming more like Him in your beliefs, your attitude and your behaviour? (v23)
Evangelism: How hard do you try to reach people who are far from God with love and good deeds and encourage other Christians to do the same? (v24)
Fellowship: How much do you prioritize meeting with your spiritual family and not allowing lesser things to get in the way of your time in church? (v25a)
Ministry: How often do you use the talents and gifts God has given you to encourage and serve others in the church? (v25b)
Praise God! The cross is not only the place where Jesus died, but the cross also symbolizes the direction that a relationship with Jesus moves us in: a relationship with Jesus causes us to love God more deeply in the vertical direction, and a relationship with Jesus causes us to love others more deeply in the horizontal direction.
These verses are worth memorizing! I encourage you to memorize them and store them up in your heart.
Lord Jesus, thank You for opening up through Your body and Your blood a new way for us to draw near to God. Since You’ve opened up this new way, may we make the most of it, making the most of our relationship with the Father and our relationships with one another. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!