SUMMARY.--Diligence Needful to Enter the Rest. A Rest for the Saints. God's Rest a Type. Old Israel Did Not Find the True Rest. There Remaineth a Rest.
12, 13. For the word of God. The Israelites came short because they refused to hear the word of the Lord. If we could enter in, we must take heed to the word. It is living and active (Revision), sharper than any two-edged sword. Cutting keenly and in all directions. Dividing of soul and spirit. It not only gives life, but slays, as was the case with the Israelites who fell in the wilderness, and pierces to the soul and spirit. It reaches the very fountains of life. A discerner of the thoughts. It lays bare the thoughts and the intentions. 13. Neither is there any creature. In Christ appears the Word in personal form, while in the gospel we have his spoken word. Here the reference is to the personal Word. Every creature is manifest before him, and all our deeds and thoughts are open to his eyes.
14-16. Seeing then that we have a great high priest. As has been shown Our high priest now makes intercession in the true Holy of Holies. 15. For we have not a high priest, etc. A high priest must be in sympathy with those for whom he ministers. Christ, who took upon himself our infirmities, is such a high priest. He was tried and tempted as man, but remained sinless. 16. Let us therefore come boldly. Because our high priest can be touched by our infirmities.
The throne of grace. The Jewish high priest interceded before the mercy-seat. We may come boldly to the mercy-seat, knowing that our loving Elder Brother is our high priest in the heavens. Hence we may always have confidence when we ask for grace to help in time of need.
The practical lesson of the chapter is that the True Rest promised remains. It was not the Sabbath day, nor was it Canaan. It is the heavenly rest of which these are types. Unbelieving disobedience excluded the Israelites from the typical rest of Canaan. So, too, it will exclude those who have started to enter into the heavenly rest if they refuse to hear Christ through unbelief. The believing Joshua and Caleb entered into Canaan. So, too, the true and faithful believers who follow Christ will enter into the rest above.