2023 A New and Living Way (Hebrews 10:19-25))April 7, 2023 | Kyle Bjerga
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If you would grab your Bibles and turn to Hebrews chapter 10. Hebrews chapter 10, will be in verses 19 through 25. Tonight. So the Masters tournament started yesterday, and if you’re not familiar with the Masters Tournament is the first of the four major golf tournaments for the PGA. And it’s held every year the same place Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. And so if you’re a golf fan, Augusta is a pretty big deal. It’s a place you want to go and visit. And if you ever had the chance you would love to be able to play it. Well, there’s a guy that I know that actually got the chance to go to Augusta. And he told me about his experience. And this, this story that he has this happened years and years ago, mind you, and that’ll make sense and some of the things that happen. But he was flying down to to Georgia for a business trip. So he got in and then he got his rental car. And then he thought, You know what, the Masters I think I can’t remember exactly the story if the Masters was like starting was already happening or just ended. But he’s there at about that time. He was like, oh, it’d be great to just drive by Augusta and maybe see the course maybe see something cool and experience something that I haven’t been able to do. And so he drives that way. And something interesting happens that he gets to Augusta. He has a security guard who starts to wave at him and wave him in to the entrance of Augusta. So he follows the security guard. Why wouldn’t you? And then he sees another security guard thinking okay, this point I’m gonna be turned back, but this guy just keeps waving them in. gives him a little Hello and a nod. And he just keeps driving and he eventually gets to Magnolia lane, which if you know Magnolia lane, it’s a very long driveway. Actually, one of the most famous driveways in the country fill with these magnolias all the way down. He gets the founder circle, which is by the clubhouse, and he gets the player parking. So here he is parked at Augusta when he just wanted to drive by. It’s at this point he started thinking, What in the world is going on? Why am I here? I don’t deserve this. I’m not supposed to be here. He has no idea. But while I’m here, why not get out and check some things out. So he decided to get out of the car and wander around a little bit. It’s kind of soaking everything in saying I cannot believe that I am here standing at Augusta National. And then he sees it. As he walks back to his rental car on the side of the car was a magnet or decal that said official car Masters tournament. So what had happened because they would give courtesy cars to players and people who are going to the masters. Somebody at the car rental facility either forgot to take that off, or gave him the wrong car. But all the security guards saw was that decal on the side of the car. And that’s all they needed to say this guy belongs here. He should be at Augusta when guys like I had no right at all to be here. Isn’t that the Christian life. Jesus gives us what we don’t deserve. Access to God. Access to God, we don’t deserve it. We get out we look around. We think I’m not supposed to be here. I don’t deserve this. Now this access to God depends on this weekend. But we celebrate on Friday and Sunday. This access to God depends on Jesus going to the cross. It depends on Jesus dying, pain for our sins on the cross. It depends on him going into a tomb and then rising again three days later, victorious over death. And our response to what happened in that Friday changes the way that we then approach God. So here’s the point tonight that we’re going to see in our passage in Hebrews it is this enter in because you belong here. Enter in because you belong here. Now in order to make this possible, this access to God possible Jesus had to go through Friday. And he did go through Friday, which means we now have a new position. We have new privileges and we have new practices. And so that’s going to be our outline as we walk through Hebrews chapter 10 nomina read all of our verses tonight, this whole passage and then we’re gonna go through and look at the outline together and see these different truths that are there. So let’s read together 19 through 25. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living away open for us through the curtain, that is his body. And since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. Let us consider how we may spur one another Ron toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another. And all the more as you see the day approaching. So first we see our position in verse 19. I’m gonna read it again, therefore brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus. So the writer starts off and says, Hey, brothers and sisters, other Christians. Now these are Jewish Christians, primarily that he’s talking to, right. They grew up in Jewish homes, but at some point, they decided to say I believe in Jesus. But what this means is, they were very familiar with the law. They’re very familiar with the history of Israel. They knew the tabernacle, they knew the temple, they knew the sacrifices. And when they hear the words, you can enter the most holy place. This is radical to them. These are radical words, because anyone who knew the Old Testament knew that if you walked into the temple, into the holy place, through the curtain into the most holy place, you had a death sentence. God made it very clear in his warning, nobody enters into His presence. It is off limits, except for one person, one day a year, for one purpose. That was it. So a little bit of background, and maybe you’re familiar with this, maybe you’re not. But it’ll be helpful as we walk through this passage. But we need to understand some of the things that are happening here. When the Israelite people are delivered by God out of slavery from Egypt, and they’re in the wilderness, God gives them directions to build a tabernacle, this giant tent, and he is going to dwell there, He wants His people to see that he is with them. Eventually, the tabernacle becomes a more permanent structure in Jerusalem, the temple. And we know that there’s a couple of different temples over time because of destruction and the people coming back and building again. But all of them the tabernacle, the temple had the same layout. So you’d have this courtyard, and then you’d have the temple there. And then you’d have this room that you’d walk in, that was the holy place. And in the holy place, the priests would be working and serving all the time. And then there was the large curtain. This curtain was about 60 feet tall and 30 feet wide. And it’s separated the holy place from the most holy place. And this curtain was there for a purpose to protect the people it was a barrier between an unholy sinful, rebellious people, and a perfect holy and transcendent God. That’s what it was there for. And in this place, was the Ark of the Covenant. Do you know much about the Ark of the Covenant, you know that it housed very important things like the 10 commandments. And on that was this cover this Atonement Cover also called the mercy seat. And it was in this little space between the wings of these angels that God’s presence would dwell, where it would be where he would manifest His presence, tell his people, I am with you. And so it was here that God’s presence was, this was a big deal. This was an important place. I was trying to figure out, do we have anything remotely close to this that we could wrap our minds around? And I was thinking if we went to Washington, DC, and we saw the White House, and somebody came up to us and said, Hey, you could walk right in there? They’d be like, I’m not really sure about that. Like, no, no, no, you can walk right through that gate, you can just go in with confidence, like you’re supposed to be there, you won’t get to the gate, right? Like Secret Service is tackling you on the line, you will not get to the gate. Let’s say you get to the gate and you get inside this, it just follow a map to get there. Now your life is in danger, if you’re not supposed to be there. But the most holy place is infinitely more important, more significant, more holy than the Oval Office. But that’s as close as I could get, at least in my mind of what this might be like for these people to hear this. Because again, God is there. That’s where he is. And you’re saying I can enter this place when their whole lives have been told you can’t. The writer saying yes you can. But it isn’t a place anymore, which we’ll see soon. Okay, so I can wrap my mind around I can Okay, I can get in. But can I really come in confidently into this place? Yes. You can come in in confidence because it’s not. You’re not entering because of anything you have done. What do we see here? You’re coming in by the blood of Jesus and the blood of Jesus brings us all the confidence in the world to walk in. So what are the priests do when he walks into the most holy place and this one time of the year he would bring in blood. He’d been brought blood from animal sacrifices to seek the forgiveness of God the cleansing of the peoples Since
from the very beginning, we heard sin leads to death. And so the the blood of the animals was the symbolizes and reminded people, this should be you. This should be your life. But it’s his grace that says, I’m going to use an animal in this sacrifice to again remind you of who you are, and to remind you of who I am, as well. But we read elsewhere, in Hebrews that the blood of bulls and goats cannot ultimately satisfy God’s just wrath against sinners. But the blood of Jesus can, the blood of Jesus can forgive us. So in verse 19, we’re coming right into the middle of chapter 10. And it says, Therefore, so we need to look back in chapter 10, a little bit to get a little bit of context, understand our position and what it really is. So in chapter 10, the author is talking about the once and for all sacrifice that Jesus is. And then look at verse 17. It says, there are sins and lawless acts, I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. So then we jump into verse 19. Therefore, brothers and sisters, so what are we understanding here is that we are forgiven by the blood of Jesus, that’s our position. Now, God does not hold our sins against us any longer. We’re no longer on the outside, we are brought in. So come in, enter, because you belong here. That’s our position. That’s our position. But we also get some privileges. And we see that in verses 20, and 21. Let’s read them again. It says, by a new and living way, open for us to the curtain, that is his body. And since we have a great priest over the house of God, so the curtain was a symbol that you cannot approach God. Think back to the garden when Adam and Eve are banished, what’s put there, an angel guarding the way to the tree of life, as they are banished. It is this barrier, this reminder to say you cannot enter in the presence of God anymore. And that’s what the curtain was this constant reminder that we cannot approach him. But God makes away God makes away. We just heard it read a few moments ago, if you caught it, Matthew chapter 27, verse 51, it says, At that moment, when Jesus gave up his spirit and died on the cross, at that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. This is not a small or insignificant detail, one that we should just pass over it is extremely significant. Because God is the one who tears this curtain, from top to bottom 60 feet high, nobody else is doing this. God is the one who makes sure that this temple curtain is torn. Michael Kruger says it was a physical sign of spiritual reality. Now you can walk straight in to the most holy place. So Christ’s body on the cross is torn in his death. And the curtain is torn into making what we see here a new and living way. It’s new, because Jesus brings in the new covenant. That’s what we’re going to celebrate here at the Lord’s table when he said, This is the blood of the covenant. This is a new covenant in his blood. So it is a new way. But it’s also living. Because when Jesus gave up his life, he didn’t stay dead. He did rise, he is alive. And we have access to God now and through eternity. There isn’t a most holy place that we need to go to. But that’s not that’s not something we can find. We can go to God anytime, anywhere into His presence through the blood of Jesus. And so I want us to imagine a couple of different scenes and kind of see ourselves in the scenes and try and picture what’s happening. So the first scene that we’re gonna go into is the Day of Atonement. Okay, this is that one day, a year with one person for one purpose going into the most holy place. So you’re an Israelite for a little bit. Okay, and you’re standing with all other lizard lights, and you’re looking ahead, millions of Israelites see this one high priest, this imperfect man. And on this day, he’s gonna go into the most holy place. So he needs to bathe, he has to purify himself. So he baits then he puts on his new undergarments, a new tunic, a new sash and a turban. And he is going to go into the most holy place. And what is he going to take with him? Well, first he has to take the blood of a bull that he is offered as a sacrifice for his own sins. And he takes that blood into the most holy place after also taking some incense, some coals from the altar and going in and he takes us any sprinkles the blood On the Atonement Cover, to cleanse his sense to ask God for His forgiveness to reconcile him and God. And then he comes out and offers a goat. The goat is offered for the people. He goes back in with the blood of the goat and He sprinkles the blood and the Atonement Cover to appease the wrath of God, to bring forgiveness and reconciliation between us and God. And that’s what the people would see, every year. Listen to Leviticus 16, where we see the Day of Atonement we get all the directions for this day concludes this way. This has to be a lasting ordinance for you. On the 10th day of the seventh month, you must deny yourselves and not to any work, whether native born or a foreigner residing among you, because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you, then before the Lord you will be cleaned from all your sins. But do you see the key there, this had to be done, year after year, after year. Over and over again, blood being spilled for us. High Priests would come and go over this time. It never fully satisfied God’s wrath. Because again, the blood of bulls and goats is insufficient. We cannot actually be forgiven totally from the blood of bulls and goats. They were a shadow. So what Hebrews and Colossians says they’re a shadow of things to come pointing to something better, something greater than them. Now let’s go to a different scene. Not the Day of Atonement, but rather Good Friday. And I want to look at this from a couple of perspectives. One, I want to just the people who were there, what did they see that day? When Jesus on the cross, what do they see? And then we’re gonna look at it again, from what was actually happening that they probably couldn’t see. But that’s something that that God was doing. So first, just imagine you’re there in the crowds. And Jesus is before you nailed on the cross. And you see him and you hear every once in a while some words that he’s saying, as he’s able to push himself up and get a breath on the cross. And he says something. And he’s saying things like, forgive them. And he’s getting weaker and weaker, and the breaths are getting shallow, shallow. And eventually, you see that the life is draining from him. And in that moment, he cries out, it is finished. And then when he breathes his last, at that moment, what happens? The curtain tears into this was something people saw, something people witnessed, they’d see the remains of the curtain torn into what else darkness comes over the land, the earth shakes when he gives up his spirit. So that is what the people saw, and experiences are all things that we could see and experience if we were there in that moment. But there’s something else going on. There’s some things that the people didn’t see. And the author of Hebrew gives us an idea of what that is. So here’s what’s happening spiritually. When Jesus goes to the cross, he’s going as our high priest. He is our high priest. And he’s not taking the blood of a bull or a goat, but offering his body and his blood, getting nails in his hands and his feet. For us. He offers Himself a lamb without blemish. But here’s the contrast between the high priest and Jesus. He wasn’t offering a bowl for his sins. He didn’t have any sense. He didn’t need to do that. So what does he do instead is he takes on the sins of all of us, the world placed on him. Second Corinthians 521 says that God made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Do you see that exchange that happens? The full cup of the wrath of God poured out on Jesus on the cross. And he knew his work was done. That’s why he said it is finished. And everybody sees him take his final breath. Yes, his body was torn. But what was happening in that moment was God was tearing the temple curtain as well, to say there’s a new and living way because of what just happened on this cross. What every person there witnessed that day well, we would have seen, but not known is that the sacrificial system ended in that moment. It ended the imperfect high priests the Need for that ended in that moment.
It was over the need for continuous blood was over. The need for stone and brick Temple was over. They just missed it. They didn’t actually see what was happening on that cross. But we do we know. So what does that mean for us? It means that Good Friday was the last day of atonement. There’s the last one. Because it’s a perfect sacrifice. We don’t need a place, we don’t need a room. We don’t need a temple, we don’t need a curtain. There’s no barrier blocking our way at all, to having access to God. So how do we have this access? How do we how do we live in this we draw near to God through the blood of Jesus. That’s what Jesus is telling us. He’s saying, you belong here. Because you’re in me. So when you’re in Jesus, you are in the presence of God. And I know what some of you are thinking, I don’t belong here. I don’t deserve this. Put up the barrier again. Put up the curtain. That’s what I deserve. I’m much more comfortable having all of that up. Where is your confidence? Because it was never about you. It was never about what you did. It’s the blood of Jesus, we have all the confidence in the world to enter. It’s a new and living way for us through Jesus. John Stott knows that this is something we think about. So this is what he says. He says this about Christians and men, because many of these are things that we experience and we go through, probably oftentimes on a daily basis, and this is what he says, they are shy and timid in their approach to God and uncertain of themselves. They declare that they are unworthy to draw near. Of course they are. None of us has any worthiness which qualifies us to draw near. But what about the worthiness of Jesus Christ in His perfect sacrifice for sin? It is through Him alone that we may and must draw near. Only when we come to God through Jesus Christ who died for us, can we come with boldness instead of timidity with confidence, instead of fear? He meant to that when our position in Christ is secure, when we understand the privileges that we have in Jesus, we must now walk in them. Because we want to say, what are the steps I need to take? What does this look like? How do I live this out? We need to practice this new and living way. And that’s the last section that we have in verse 22, through 25. And I’m just gonna go through these in order because three times in these last verses, we see the phrase Let us these expectations to how to live out this new and living way. So first, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with full assurance that faith brings having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. This faith is that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. on that cross, that sacrifice of Jesus cleanse our conscience washed us with pure water washing our sins away. From crimson, red, to white as snow. You aren’t condemned anymore. You aren’t condemned anymore. He cleanses everything, every thought, every action, everything you’ve ever said, is cleansed. The things that keep you up at night, he took care of the things you still struggle with. He is there to give you cleansing to help you through it. Everything is cleansed the author here is most likely picking up something that we see in the Old Testament here I’ve got from Ezekiel, when God speaks through his ego, he says this, I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols, you see the word all all your impurity, all your idols, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. And I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh that’s what good Friday does. So Christian, you are cleansed. Put your full weight your full trust in that and draw near not in fear but in confidence. So here’s the thing when we come to God, we want to come honestly, but in confidence. So what does this look like? We don’t want to sin, but we will. So we can approach God scared and timid or we can come in competency I sin and I need your grace. I need your forgiveness. that’s coming in confidence because he says, I will forgive you. Or I don’t know what to pray for. So come in confidence to God and say, I don’t know what to pray for. We don’t want to doubt. But we will doubt. We’ll have questions. We’ll have things like, Why have some of the things happened in the last couple of weeks in this country? Why? Guess what, come confidently to God with those questions, with those doubts with those concerns. Because what the first thing he’s going to do is point you back to this moment that we’re celebrating tonight. See, I did that for you. There is a new and living way, I am doing something. So like those people there that saw Jesus died, that didn’t see everything else going on. So sometimes we see the stuff and we don’t know what’s going on. But we trust Him, we put our full weight on him. If you’re here tonight, and you haven’t heard this before, or you would like this, to have that confidence, to know what it’s like to approach God, to know that Jesus can cleanse you because he can. He can cleanse your your conscience forgive you of all your sins. There is nothing that you have done, that cannot be washed away, cannot be washed white as snow, to the blood of Jesus, nothing. Everything that you could think of in your life that you have done was nailed to the cross with Jesus. And He will cleanse you. Second thing we see the next let us it says let us hold unswervingly to the hope you profess, for He who promised is faithful. Your translation might say, Hold fast to the hope we profess. What is this hope? It’s the simple gospel message. That’s what it is. We hold fast to the truth that Jesus loved us and died for us and then was raised to new life, we hold fast to that. That’s what it means hold unswervingly to that hope that we profess. Because God promised it and he is faithful. The hope is that everything he ever did everything he has given to us everything that is coming, will come without a doubt. Because God said it. Why are Christians hopefield people because the character of our God says if he says he’s going to do something he’s going to do it he always has. He’s never lied. He’s never broken a promise everything he said that was going to happen in the Messiah in Jesus who was coming happened. And so when we think through well what is still to come, it’s worth hoping in because it will come to pass. It will. We don’t know when we don’t know how. But we can stand firm and say because his character because of who he is because he is faithful, He will do it. One of my favorite songs is called Faithful now. And there’s a line in there that says you were faithful, then you’ll be faithful now. wake up every day and say that to yourself. You were faithful then you’ll be faithful. Now. That’s what it means to hold fast to hold unswervingly to the hope we profess. And lastly, verse 24, and 25. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another. And all the mores you see the day approaching. So here’s what he’s saying just very simply, you are not meant to live these truths out alone. Especially when the day is approaching. And the day here is capitalized, you see that in the text, talking about the end that day, the day Jesus returns the Day of Judgment. So until that day, we need each other. When you try to live the Christian life on your own, it’s very easy to get by without loving without doing good deeds because no one’s with you. No one’s there to keep you accountable, nobody’s there to spur you on. And so you can kind of coast to the Christian life, you will be very ineffective if you think you can do that. And you need to examine your life to see if you’re in the faith. If you think it’s all about being alone. Because Jesus came to make a new people, community, brothers and sisters. And when you try to live the Christian life on your own instead of gathering with your brothers and sisters in Christ, you miss out on the chance to encourage and to be encouraged. You see that that’s what’s actually happening here. It says don’t do not neglect meeting together But encourage one another. So what does it mean when we get together then it’s about being encouraging to each other. So when you make decisions to neglect meeting with other Christians for weeks, or miss weeks during the month, we don’t think how often those decisions actually affect the whole body. Have you ever thought should we go to church or stay for somebody else. Have you ever thought that we should.
We should. Someone needs encouragement from you on Sunday. And you need encouragement from someone else. So when those decisions come to neglect, meeting with your brothers and sisters, remember that you belong here in Jesus, the person next to you belongs here in Jesus. So we encourage one another, we will do more damage to the enemy’s plans. If we’re together. Like the enemy is not scared of an army of one. But a whole church who’s living for Jesus who’s encouraging one another in the faith that terrifies him. Because those are people that God’s going to use to do something. And it’s going to push against his plans. We need encouragement. Now we’re going to need encouragement tomorrow. And we’re going to need encouragement every single day until that day arrives. So let’s be encouraged, standing together waiting for our Savior. Listen, God knows you don’t deserve to be in His presence. He saw you he saw me or he sees you now, trying to make your own way. Doing the old things, the things that will not work, the things that will not satisfy the things that ultimately lead to death. And he’s saying there’s a new and living way for you. You just need to turn to me. You need to believe and you need to walk in these truths. And you’ll see just how good it is. You know, my friend when he was at Augusta, he eventually had to get in his car and leave. Before he was found out that he shouldn’t be there. They’re going to ask for some other credentials, eventually. He was not supposed to be there and nothing he could he could do in that moment would change that fact. Thankfully, that is not true for us. That is not our experience. The curtain was torn forever. The new and living wave is open through Jesus forever. We never have to leave. And the good thing is for if you don’t know Jesus, yet, the invitation to come in is there tonight. The invitation to enter this new and living way is there tonight for you. So enter in because you belong here. Let’s pray.
Lord, we cannot thank you enough for your love. We cannot thank you enough for your grace. cannot thank you enough for your suffering, the suffering you endured that we should have endured to take our sins on yourself the sins that we committed the sins that you never committed on you. And we ask why? And the answer is your love for us and why would you love us? That’s a question we’ll ask for eternity, I’m sure. But we thank you for your love. We thank you for the assurance that we have in you because you are a faithful God. We place our trust and our hope in the faithful God. Jesus, we love you. We pray this in Your name. Amen.