Previously, I wrote about how the temple curtain was torn in two. Then just recently, I noted that the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus himself, as our high priest, was able to enter into the the Most Holy Place himself, making a way for each of us to follow him into God’s presence.
Now, we bring that conversation forward even further because the writer of Hebrews says that we, ourselves, are able to enter into the Most Holy Place as well. Jesus offered his blood, which was the perfect sacrifice, made once for all, and was so much better than the sacrifice of a bull or a goat that had been offered by the Jewish High Priests up to that point. Instead, Jesus offered his own blood in the true temple, the place where God actually lives in heaven, and that provides us entry directly into God’s presence.
You see, we no longer need to be simply represented by the High Priest in God’s presence. We don’t need to stay away and risk being fried by the fire of God if we come close to him. No, he offers us everything. Full access. But he offers it to us as a result of Jesus making the way.
In Hebrews 10, Jesus is described as the curtain which has now been torn in two. The curtain, in that sense, is described as Jesus’s body:
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.Hebrews 10:19-22
Jesus’s body is described as the curtain, which I think can be taken in a few different ways:
First, we saw that the curtain had been torn in two. It was broken, but it was broken for us to allow us entry into God’s presence.
Second, it makes the way. The curtain, or Jesus’s body, no longer represents a barrier, but a way. Through the curtain we can reach the presence of God. Through the broken body of Christ, we reach the presence of God.
This, of course, should remind us of the time that Jesus told his disciples – Thomas in particular – that he is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the way that we can enter into God’s presence. He is the way that we can come before God. And he is the only way. Unless you go through him, you cannot come into God’s presence.
So, the fact that the way has been made for us, and has been opened to us, should give us great confidence. Confidence in what? In the fact that we belong. Confidence in the fact that we are able to enter in. Through Christ’s blood and his broken body, we have been made holy. We have been given forgiveness for our sins. We have had the way opened to us, so we can enter into God’s presence.
“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.Hebrews 10:38-39
We no longer need to shrink back, as the Israelites did before Mount Sinai. We no longer need to fear. We have been given access through Christ into God’s presence and we can come into His presence boldly because we now belong. Christ’s blood has made us clean before the Lord.