Going Deeper 04.01.2021

Today we consider the second reading for Good Friday (tomorrow a reading from Easter)... Hebrews 10:16-25

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,” he also adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

This text begins by recalling words we heard recently from the prophet Jeremiah, words of a new covenant, concluding with a promise of profound grace: "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more."  The writer of Hebrews (unknown) then ties the ancient promise to a new reality: by the blood of His willing sacrifice, Jesus has reconciled us to God.  We can now approach our God without any barriers to overcome.

The references to "sanctuary", "the curtain", and to a "priest over the house of God" would carry great meaning to those who had grown up in the Jewish religion.  These were barriers preventing common, sinful folk from gaining direct access to the presence of God.  But remember, the curtain separating the "Holy of Holies" within the "house of God", which only the High Priest could pass through, was torn in two (from top to bottom!) at the moment of Jesus' death.  Now access to God was/is available to all!

The fact that all barriers to our Creator Abba have been removed through the death of Jesus on that "Good Friday" is the most important Good News of all.  Our sin no longer separates us!  We no longer need a priest to serve as an intermediary... Jesus has taken care of this.  Our Abba is One we can now "approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith."  

This Friday is called "Good" because of this truth.  What appeared to many to be a defeat was in truth a victory.  Jesus has opened the door to salvation, once and for all!

With You in His,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"