Hebrews 6:19-20 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest for ever, in the order of Melchizedek.
When we come to the realisation that we are lost, helpless sinners, totally incapable of pleasing God by our own efforts to be ‘perfect as he is perfect’ (Matthew 5:48), or even just ‘good’, and therefore to EARN the right to spend eternity with him in heaven when we die, it is only THEN that we can start to understand WHO Jesus is, and WHY he came into the world to DIE ON A CROSS to SAVE us. And when we DO turn to him in repentance-and-faith, accepting him as the ONLY Saviour, and OUR Saviour, THEN AND ONLY THEN can we have assurance of the GIFT of eternal life.
Why can’t things be more ‘flexible’ than this? Why can’t we just fall in with the popular belief that sincere people of every religious belief system, and every person who has lived a ‘good’ life, will go to heaven when they die? It is because this is what God, our Creator and Judge, has decreed and declared plainly in his infallible Word.
The whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation tells a consistent story of why Jesus came among us for this very purpose. As the Apostle Paul declares, “if [the] righteousness [required to qualify us for a place in the presence of a HOLY, righteous God] could be gained through [keeping] the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21). We can be sure that God would NOT have subjected his beloved Son to the pain and cruel suffering he did if there was any OTHER way to save us. Jesus himself made it clear that his life, death and resurrection were the fulfilment of the whole OT story. Luke reports a conversation Jesus had with two discouraged disciples on the road to Emmaus after he was raised from the dead: ”He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in ALL the Scriptures CONCERNING HIMSELF. (Luke 24:25-27)! Using Temple imagery, the author of Hebrews can speak confidently about our hope as a firm and secure anchor for our souls because Jesus has broken through the heavy curtain that separated sinful man from his holy God, entering into God’s very presence on our behalf. In Jesus, we have an access to God that CANNOT be taken from us, and that CANNOT be obtained in any other way – a gift of his grace that we could never earn but must only receive as an inheritance. We do not need an earthly priest to mediate for us because Jesus “has become our high priest for ever”. It is no wonder that this same author asks at the beginning of his letter, “… how shall we escape if we IGNORE such a great salvation?” (2:3a)!
And perhaps “Remembrance Day” is a good day for us to REMEMBER, and REFLECT on, the great and unique sacrifice JESUS made for US, and for our salvation.