The Entrance into the holiest.
X—19. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter Into the Holy Place; 22. Let us draw near.
Enter into the Holiest. With these words the second half of the Epistle begins. Hitherto the teaching has been mainly doctrinal. The glory of Christ's person and priesthood; of the heavenly sanctuary which He, through His own blood, has opened and cleansed and taken possession of for us; of the way of obedience and self-sacrifice which led Him up to the throne; has been unfolded. Now comes the practical part, and our duty to appropriate the great salva tion that has been provided is summed up in the one thought: Having boldness to enter into the Holiest; let us draw near. Access to God's presence and fellowship, the right and the power to make that our abiding dwelling-place, to live our life there, has been provided in Christ: let us draw near, here let us abide. God does in very deed mean that every child of His should always dwell in His presence.
Enter into the Holiest. It is a call to the Hebrews to come out of that life of unbelief and sloth, that leads to a departing from the living God, and to enter into the promised land, the rest of God, a life in His fellowship and favour. It is a call to all lukewarm, half-hearted Christians, no longer to remain in the outer court of the tabernacle, content with the hope that their sins are pardoned. Nor even to be satisfied with having entered the Holy Place, and there doing the service of the tabernacle, while the veil still hinders the full fellowship with the living God and His love. It calls to enter in through the rent veil, into the place into which the blood has been brought, and where the High Priest lives, there to live and walk and work, always in the presence of the Father. It is a call to all doubting, thirsting believers, who long for a better life than they have yet known, to cast aside their doubts, and to believe that this is what Christ has indeed done and brought within the reach of each one of us: He has opened the way into the Holiest I This is the salvation which He has accomplished, and which He lives to apply in each of us, so that we shall indeed dwell in the full light of God's countenance.
Enter into the Holiest. This is, in one short word, the fruit of Christ's work, the chief lesson of the Epistle, the one great need of our Christian life, the complete and perfect salvation God in Christ gives us to enjoy.
Enter into the Holiest. What Holiest! To the reader who has gone with lis through the Epistle thus far, it is hardly needful to say, No other than that very same into which Christ, when He had rent the veil in His death, entered through His own blood, to appear before the face of God for us. It is the Holiest, in which God dwelt, in which the priests, and even the high priest, might not dwell, into which Jesus entered for us, in which we now are to dwell. That Holiest of All is the heavenly place; but not heaven, as it is ordinarily understood, as a locality, distinct and separate from this earth. The heaven of God is not limited in space in the same way as a place on earth. There is a heaven above us, the place of God's special manifestation. But there is also a spiritual heaven, as omnipresent as God Himself. Where God is, is heaven; the heaven of His presence includes this earth too. The Holiest into which Christ entered, and into which He opened the way for us, is the, to nature, inaccessible light of God's holy presence and lovo, full union and communion with Him. Into that Holiest the soul • can enter by the faith that makes us one with Christ. There it can abide continually, because Jesus, as we saw in chap, vii., abideth continually. The Holy Spirit, who first signified that the way of the Holiest was not yet open; through whom Jesus shed the blood that opened the way; who, on the day of Pentecost, witnessed in the heart of the disciples, that it was now indeed open; waits to signify to us what it means to enter in, and to bring us in. He lifts the soul up into the Holiest; He brings the Holiest down into the soul. In the power of the Holy Spirit we can now dwell in the nearness and presence of God.
Enter into the Holiest. Oh, the glory of the message. For fifteen centuries Israel had a sanctuary with a Holiest of All, into which, under pain of death, no one might enter. Its one witness was: man cannot dwell in God's presence, cannot abide in His fellowship. And now, how changed is all! As then the warning sounded: No admittance 1 enter not t so now the call goes forth: Enter in t the veil is rent; the Holiest is open; God waits to welcome you to His bosom. Henceforth, you are to live with Him. This is the message of the Epistle: Child! thy Father longs for thee to enter, to dwell, and to go out no more for ever.
Oh, the blessedness of a life in the Holiest! Here the Father's face is seen and His love tasted. Here His holiness is revealed, and the soul made partaker of it. Here the sacrifice of love and worship and adoration, the incense of prayer and supplication, is offered in power. Here the soul, in God's Presence, grows into more complete oneness with Christ, and into more entire conformity to His likeness. Here, in union with Christ in His unceasing intercession, we are emboldened to take our place as intercessors, who can have power with God and prevail. Here the outpouring of the Spirit is known as an ever-streaming, overflowing river, from under the throne of God and the Lamb. Here the soul mounts up as on eagles' wings, the strength is renewed, and the blessing and the power and the love are imparted with which God's priests can go out to bless a dying world. Here each day we may experience the fresh anointing with which we go out to bo the bearers and the witnesses and the channels of God's salvation to men, the living instruments through whom our a
Blessed King works out His will and final triumph.
0 Jesus! our great Iligh Priest, let this be our life!
1. "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwelt in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple." Here this prayer is fulfilled.
2. "Did not Jesus say, 'I am the door of the sheepfold'? What to us is the sheepfold, dear children 7 It is the heart of the Father, whereunto Christ is the gate that is called Beautiful. 0 children, how sweetly and how gladly has He opened that door Into the Father's heart, into the treasure-chamber of God I And there within He unfolds to us the hidden riches, the nearness and the sweetness of companionship with Himself."—TAULER.
3. We have read of a man's father or friends purchasing and furnishing a house for a birthday or a wedding gift. They bring him there, and, handing the keys, say to him: "This is now your home." Child of God I the Father opens unto thee the Holiest of All, and says: "Let this now be thy home." What shall our answer be?