Day 10: Hope that is Certain
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf”
I make no excuse for taking us back to these verses again. They have so much in them. There is so much here for us, whether we are going through tough times or times when everything seems to be going well, in a pandemic or not in a pandemic.
Now here’s a word I have a bit of a problem with. Because my use of the word hope is often different to the Bible’s definition!
As a child on holiday the weather forecast would say 99% chance of rain tomorrow, but we would hope that there would be sunny weather and we would be able to go to the beach. So I often use the word hope to mean something that is highly unlikely to happen!
In contrast biblical hope is steadfast, certain, unshakeable, firm, strong. There is a world of difference between hoping that it’s not going to rain tomorrow and knowing it’s not going to rain! Biblical hope is certain hope.
A Better Covenant
The main focus of the book of Hebrews is to explain how much better the new covenant is than the old covenant. In Hebrews 8:6 the writer describes it as a “better covenant with better promises”. We often look at the old covenant promises and see how marvellous they are. But the new covenant has even better promises!
He writes about how under the old covenant the high priest was only able to enter the most holy place once a year and that every year he had to make sacrifices before doing so both for himself and the people. But now we have Jesus – he has gone through the curtain/veil that separated humanity from God, the curtain that separated us from the inner sanctuary. The curtain was torn in two when he died on the cross. Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf and so now we can enter in. The old covenant kept us outside but the new covenant enables us to enter in.
Anchored Into His Presence
And so the writer says we have this anchor for the soul – an anchor for our very being. An anchor that means whatever our circumstances externally our soul is anchored into God’s presence. In the old covenant temple where the curtain separated mankind from God, the most holy place was the place of God’s presence. Anybody who went in there would expect to die! Under the old covenant the people were separated from God’s presence but in the New Covenant we are both welcomed into his presence and anchored in to his presence.
God’s presence is not far off and inaccesible, we are anchored in to it. It is the place of the mercy seat. It’s the place of grace. It’s the place of authority. The writer in Hebrews 4:16 says “come boldly to the throne of grace in time of need”. In other words come boldly to the place that you are anchored into.
The writer doesn’t say “you can get this anchor if you need it”. He says “you have this anchor”. You are anchored in. It doesn’t depend on you. It depends on what Jesus has already done.
Are you in a time of need right now? Are you in need of God’s favour? Are you in need of God’s blessing? Are you in need for him to intervene? If so you are anchored in to the throne of grace right now so you can come boldly. Even if you think you are unworthy, you are anchored in because Christ is worthy.
An Anchor in Times of Shaking
The writer speaks later in Hebrews 12:27 of the whole world being shaken so that what is unshakeable may remain. I think that we have all been shaken in one way or another over this last year. It’s at times like this that we need to really know the hope that is the anchor for our soul. Our sure and certain hope – that in every circumstance we have access to the very throne room of God.
Why not thank God now for this strong and certain hope, for access to his throne, that you are anchored in. And now at the throne of God ask him for the things you need in your life right now -whether it’s healing or comfort or strength or wisdom. Whatever your need, bring it before the throne right now.
Ps Nick Reynolds
Campus Pastor, Workington