The New and Living Way
X.—19. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter Into the Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by the way which He dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that Is to say, His flesh;
22. Let us draw near.
The Holiest of All is opened for us to enter in and appear before God, to dwell and to serve in His very presence. The blood of the one Sacrifice for ever, taken into heaven to cleanse away all sin for ever, is our title and our boldness to enter in. Now comes the question, What is the way that leads up and through the opened gate, and in which we have to walk if we are to enter in 1 This way, the only way, the one infallible way, is a new and living way, which Jesus dedicated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh. The boldness we have through the blood is the right or liberty of access Jesus won for us, when we regard His death as that of our Substitute, who did what we can
never do—made redemption of transgressions, and put away sin for ever. The new and living way, through the rent veil, that is, His flesh, has reference to His death, regarded as that of our Leader and Forerunner, who opened up a path to God, in which He first walked Himself, and then draws us to follow Him. The death of Jesus was not only the dedication or inauguration of the new sanctuary and of the new covenant, but also of the new way into the holy presence and fellowship of God. Whoever in faith accepts of the blood He shed as His boldness of entrance, must accept, too, of the way Ho opened up as that in which he walks.
And what was that way 1 The way through the veil, that is, His flesh. The veil is the flesh. The veil that separated man from God was the flesh, human nature under the power of sin. Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, and dwelt with us here outside the veil. The Word was made flesh. He also Himself in like manner partook of flesh and blood. In the days of His flesh, He was tempted like as we are; He offered prayer and supplication with strong crying and tears. He learned obedience even to the death. Our will is our life. He gave up His own will to the death to seek God's will alone. Through the rent veil of His flesh, Hia will, His life, as yielded up to God in death, He entered into the Holiest. Being made in lilceness of men, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him. Through the rent veil He rose to the throne of God. And this is the way He dedicated for us. In the death to our own will we live to God and His will. The very path in which, as our Substitute, He accomplished redemption, is the path which He opened for us to walk in, the path of obedience to the will of God. "Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that ye should follow His steps." Christ our High Priest is as literally and fully Leader and Forerunner as He is Substitute and Redeemer.
His way is our way. As little as He could open and enter the Holiest for us, except in His path of suffering and obedience and self-sacrifice, as little can we enter in unless we walk in the same path. Jesus said as much of His disciples as of Himself: Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth alone. He that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. Paul's law of life is the law of life for every believer: Bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body. The way into the Holiest is the way of the rent veil, the way of sacrifice and of death. There is no way for our putting away sin from us but the way of Jesus; whoever accepts His finished work accepts what constitutes its spirit and its power; it is for every man as for the Master—to put away sin by the sacrifice of self. Christ's death was something entirely new, and so too His resurrection life, a life out of death such as never had been known. This new death and new life constitute the new and living way, in which we are to walk—a new way of living in which we draw nigh to God.
Even as when Christ spoke of taking His flesh as daily food, so here, where the Holy Spirit speaks of taking the rent veil of His flesh as our daily life, many say: This is a hard saying; who can hear it 1 Who then can be saved f To those who are willing and obedient and believe, all things are possible, because it is a new and living way. A new way. The word means ever fresh, a way that never decays or waxes old (viii. 13), but always retains its first perfection and freshness. It is the way which Jesus opened up, when He took away the first, that He might establish the second (x. 9), and showed how not burnt sacrifices, but the sacrifice of our own will, to do God's will, is what delights God. A living way. A way always needs a living man to move upon it; it does not impart either life or strength. This way, the way of obedience and suffering and self-sacrifice and death, however hard it appears, and to nature utterly impossible, is a living way. It not only opens a track, but supplies the strength to carry the traveller along. It acts in the power of the endless life, in which Christ was made a High Priest. We saw how the Holy Spirit watches over the way into the Holiest, and how He, as the eternal Spirit, enabled Christ, in opening the way, to offer Himself without spot unto God; it is He whose mighty energy pervades this way, and inspires it with life divine. As we are made partakers of Christ, as we come to God through Him, His life, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, takes possession of us, and in His strength we follow in the footsteps of Christ Jesus. The way into the Holiest is the living way of perfect conformity to Jesus, wrought in us by His Spirit.
The new and living way through the rent veil into the Holiest. We now know what it is: it is the way of death. Yes, the way of death is the way of life. The only way to be set free from our fallen nature, with the curse and power of sin resting on it, is to die to it Jesus denied Himself, would do nothing to please that nature He had taken, sinless though it was in Him. He denied it; He died to it. He gave up His own will to seek nothing but the will of God. This was to Him the path of life. And this is to us the living way. Accept God's will in every providence. Obey God's will in every command of nature as His word. Seek God's perfect will in every leading of His Spirit. Say, I am come to do Thy will, 0 God. And let God's will be the one aim of thy life. It will be to us as it was to Him, though it lead through death—the path to God and to life. As we know Him in the power of His resurrection, He leads us into the conformity to His death. He does it in the power of the Holy Spirit. So His death and His life, the new death and the new life of deliverance from sin, and fellowship with God, which He inaugurated, His death to His own will, and His abiding in God's will, work in us, and we are borne along on the will of God, as He was, to where He is. Having therefore boldness to enter in by the new and living way, let us draw nigh.
1. When first a believer (walls himself of the boldness he has in the blood, and enters Into the Holiest, he does not understand all that is meant by the new and living may. It is enough if his heart is right, and he is ready to deny himself and take up his cross. In due time It mill be revealed what the full fellowship is with His Lord in the way He opened up, of obedience unto death.
2. The new and living way is not only the way for once entering In, but the way for a daily walh, entering eoer deeper into God's lone and wilt.
3. The way of life is the way of death. This fallen life, this self, is so sinful and so strong, there is no way of deliverance but by death. But, praise God! the way of death is the way of life; In the power of Christ's resurrection and Indwelling we dare to walh In It.
4. Let each who longs to dwell In the secret of God's presence all the day, now, at once, and once for all, accept and enter on the new and living way: Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, will keep and lead you in It.