Jaysun's Journal

Independent Baptist

THE VEIL AND THE ANCHOR


THE VEIL AND THE ANCHOR

 

 

Men differ on who the writer of Hebrews was; personally, I believe Paul dictated the words as someone wrote it down under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Hebrews 5:11 – the writer had been comparing Christ and Melchisedec and in essence said, ‘I’d love to get a little deeper but you couldn’t handle it!’ (Vss. 13-14) – he tells them they should be eating solid food by now but they were still sucking on bottles spiritually. (Vs. 6:1) –whether we can handle it or not, he’s going on to the grown-up food. And since we’re doing that, he says, we’re not going to talk much about: repentance, faith, baptism, and so on, because those are all first things.

(Vs. 11) is kind of a key verse to this chapter. It may not be the most memorable, but it gives us insight into why these things are being told to us. It says, “And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:” God simply wants us to believe Him and Paul gives us some good reasons why we should trust Him in (Vss. 13-15). “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”

They say you shouldn’t swear to God and I believe that. But if you want to get technical, in (Vs. 13) we find God swearing to God! He’d already given Abraham His word and that was enough. But to help Abraham believe the promise, He went even further and gave Him His Word with an oath! And that’s not strange because in my life and probably in yours too, God has often gone to extremes to show how much He loves us and cares for us. (Vs. 18) – “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:”

When he talks about refuge in (vs. 18) no doubt he’s alluding to the O.T. cities of refuge. They didn’t have policemen back in Bible days, but God did provide a place to run to when you were in trouble called a city of refuge. There were six of these cities all equally distributed throughout the land of Israel. If a man had caused the death of another by accident – he could flee to this city of refuge to find protection from that person’s family members. And he could stay there as long as the high priest was alive. When the high priest died, the case was considered closed, the person was declared innocent of all charges, and set free. We have a High Priest Who died that we might be set free. But He’s alive that we might still live with Him! (Vss. 19-20) – “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” TWO THINGS ABOUT OUR HOPE: (1) IT’S AS AN ANCHOR and (2) IT’S INSIDE THE VEIL!

First of all, our hope is anchored inside the veil…

I. THE VEIL.

I was teaching my Sunday school class about John the Baptist the other day. John’s daddy was a priest named Zacharias. Zacharias was carrying out his duties as a priest one day when he got an angelic visit. This angel told him that his wife – Elizabeth – was going to give birth to a son. Zacharias said, ‘I don’t believe it!’ And the angel made him a mute so he couldn’t tell anybody else he didn’t believe it. In Luke 1:22, when he came out – he couldn’t speak – but the Bible said he “Beckoned unto them!” The people understood that something was going on, but since Zacharias couldn’t speak, the events could not be fully articulated. That illustrates the difference between the Old Testament priesthood and Christ’s. Even with all its ceremonies, symbolism, and typology, all the Old Testament can do is beckon to us. It remains speechless. It gives us a shadow of things to come but Christ gives us substance! Without the New Testament and without the gospel, we may “see,” as Paul said, but we “see thru a glass darkly.” All those ordinances and ceremonies and even the law itself was just a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ!

Between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies was a vail. The vail was a curtain of sorts that separated the Holy place from the Holy of Holies. The purpose of the vail was to teach Israel that SIN had separated between them and God. The priests came into the Holy Place Daily. But only once a year could the High Priest lift up the vail and enter into the Holy of Holies. 364 days a year God might as well have hung out a sign that said, “Closed!

But in Mark 15:38, after Jesus had cried, “It is finished,” He bowed His head on a lifeless chest – gave up the ghost. “And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” NOTICE: The veil wasn’t folded up and put away so it could be used later – God rent it – tore it two! We know God was the one who did it because it was rent – not from bottom to top, but from top to bottom! It wasn’t a small tear – just big enough for us to get a peak at salvation! It wasn’t even just big enough for small sinners to get in. It was big enough for all!

When God gave Noah a blueprint for the ark – He gave measurements for everything – except one! There were no dimensions for the door of the ark! From a giraffe to a gerbil – it was big enough for everybody! And when God rent the temple vail from top to bottom He was saying, “Whosoever Will,” May Come! (Rev 22:17)

You’re familiar with Hebrews 9:22: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” It takes BLOOD to satisfy God and to cleanse from sin. “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!” And because it takes blood to cleanse sin, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” (Heb 9:23)

But wait a minute – does that mean that things in Heaven are defiled? Well, they would be if man ever went there without atonement. That’s why the OT saints didn’t go to Heaven when they died. They went to a place called “Paradise” (Lu 23:43). As one preacher said, ‘They could only go as far as the blood had gone!’ The blood from all those years of sacrifices had never left this earth and neither did the souls of men. But when Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice, something changed! Why? “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” (Heb 9:24)

And what’s He doing in the presence of God? The Book of Hebrews says, “He ever liveth to make intercession for us!” (Heb 7:25) The Apostle John said, “…He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2:2) There were no seats in the tabernacle because the priest’s work was never done! “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” (Heb 10:12) The Old Testament priests had to bring the blood of bulls and goats every year. But Heb 9:12 tells us that Jesus, “…by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

II. THE ANCHOR:

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul…” (Heb 6:19) If this world is like a sea: then the affairs of this life must be the winds and waves. We’re like tiny ships that, like it or not, are subject to its changes. And since God doesn’t want us “…carried about with every wind of doctrine,” (Eph 4:14) He’s given us an anchor. That, when everything else is changing around us, we can have something that’s sure and steadfast! Something that’s “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb 13:8)

Several things about anchors: (1) An Anchor Will: Keep You From Shipwreck. When your skies are blue and there’s a gentle breeze blowing – you may not need an Anchor then. But when there’s trouble all around you – When the storms of life come –And they will – That Anchor Is Worth Its Weight In Gold!

(2) An Anchor: Keeps You from Losing Any Headway You’ve Already Made. Without the anchor: A man couldn’t keep his boat in one place and fish at the same time without drifting back down the river. And without our Anchor: We’d have gone back to our old ways Some of us would be in jail tonight. Our homes would be broke up; our lives would have gone down the drain a long time ago; had we not been anchored to the Rock of Ages. I don’t know about yall but sometimes I wonder why God would even bother messing with me!

After all He’s done for me – it seems like I should be more thankful – more grateful. But still I find myself wanting to drift away from Him. Like the old song:

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love

We’re all prone to get backslid: but Thank God for something that keeps us from drifting too far away from Him! “We have…an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast…” That Anchor is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ! He is our Hope and He has entered “into that within the veil.” (3) The Ship Holds The Anchor By A Chain. But just the same (4) The Anchor Holds The Ship and the more the wind rages the more you feel the anchor holding you. Thank God salvation doesn’t depend on me holding on or holding out! God didn’t tell Noah to nail eight pegs to the Ark and try his best to hold on. No, “…the LORD shut him in.” (Ge 7:16)

(5) The Anchor Is Unseen. An anchor you can see probably isn’t doing you much good. But if you cast it into the water – as it sinks down into that veil of water – you lose sight of it. But though you can’t see it, you know its still there! How? You can still feel tension on the line. While an earthly anchor pulls downward our Anchor pulls upward. To illustrate that: A little boy was flying his kite in low clouds one day and lost sight of it for a little while. A friend asks him how he knows his kite is still there. He says, “I can still feel the tug!” Like that kite our anchor is unseen but not unrecognized! He may not return to us, but He’s drawing us to Himself. I’ve never thought about it in this context, but Jesus said, “…If I be lifted up…(I)…will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32)

Our anchor has gone up into Heaven, and no, we don’t see Him but we can still feel Him tugging at our hearts! And over the years it seems like our cable gets shorter. When loved ones pass on and you begin to have fewer ties to this world – it seems like Heaven beckons us home. Paul wanted “to depart, and to be with Christ; which” he said, “is far better.” But like a sailor who wouldn’t dream of pulling up his anchor before the job was done, Paul said, “Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Php 1:23-24)

Christ has saved us from Hell and for Heaven. But since He’s left us here, there must be something He wants us to do! We’re left here to keep the home fires burning. We are the light of the world! We’re to be a lighthouse in this sin-darkened world. A lighthouse can’t save anybody – but it can tell a weary sailor that “If you’ll just come this way, You can find a Haven of Rest, Calmer waters, and Peace of mind.”

Have you anchored your soul in the haven of rest? Can you say, “My Beloved Is Mine And I Am His?” (Song 2:16) Don’t set sail without an anchor. Make sure you know how to use the anchor! Even if you have an anchor, it’s worthless if you don’t know how to use it! Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me...” (Mt 11:29) Have you in this sense, studied “…to shew thyself approved unto God?” (2Ti 2:15) I pray you have. The Emergency Room is a bad place to try and patch things up with the Lord. We must dig the well before we are thirsty. Otherwise we risk dehydration. “If you would have God hear you when you pray, you must hear Him when He speaks.”[1] “…Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Lu 6:46)

[1] (Thomas Benton Brooks)


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October 28, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

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