After being absorbed in the pictures of the sacrifices and the holy of holies, I tried to read chapter 10 like a person who had grown up under the law might read it. The author continues to remind the readers that the sacrifices were only a temporary solution that has now been permanently solved. He shows us Christ, victorious at the right hand of God. In verse 16 and 17 I feel the comfort of those words, and the permanency. That His law should be written on our fickle hearts and minds. How good it is to have His word engraved on our wandering souls. Then, that he will remember our sin no more. No more the constant reminding of death as we watch innocence bleed and die on the altar. No more covering over without truly being made clean. But then verse 19 stops me in my tracks. A verse I’ve read time and again and taken for granted. But somehow now in the context it seems audacious. Almost offensive. That we could come with boldness, boldness into the holy of holies. Surely it should say, trembling and fainting and wringing our hands! The place where Christ walked to offer Himself for us? We should go there boldly? How can we place our feet in his precious bloody footsteps and approach the Father. But vs20 tells us how. “By a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say his flesh.” What a humbling thought. That Christ consecrated the way to God for us by tearing the veil, his own body. Then vs 22 goes on to tell us we can indeed draw near with full assurance, because our hearts are clean and our bodies washed. That is such a beautiful incomprehensible thought that I need to sit for a minute to take it in.
Some verses in the rest of the chapter do make me tremble. The author gives a stern warning to those who would reject the true sacrifice for the old shadow. To “trod underfoot the son of God” that is a truly sobering thought. Although I’m not tempted to start observing Old Testament rituals I often turn to myself for strength or good works. Even worse I take credit for the good in my life by judging others. As though I have accomplished something or made something of myself. It’s like saying I’m worthy to come to God on my own, foolishly showing Him my filthy rags as though they were something to be proud of.
The chapter closes with encouragement to be patient, because He is coming soon. That is a sweet thought when I remember the perfect unity we have and will have with him for eternity.