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Backstage Pass

January 6, 2016

19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:19-25

PassUnlike the old way with its system of symbols and sacrifices, presided over by fallible men, all designed to point to the person of Christ and his work, now we can boldly approach the throne of God ourselves, with free access by way of our faith in Christ’s shed blood and his torn body. If you are searching for an appropriate few verses to recite prior to partaking of the Lord’s Supper, you have them here.

For us Gentiles, who came to the party late, we cannot really appreciate what it means to now be served by one “great” priest, or to have personal access to the throne. This is a very big deal for a Hebrew, once subject to all the demands of the law. Now one can be bold in his approach to the throne, provided his conscience is clear. This is not attained by ceremonial washings, but by simple acknowledgment and confession of sin and the need of a savior. If evil is not dealt with, a face-to-face will not go well. We do this incredible thing–accessing the throne of God–all on our own, clinging only to our faith in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. This faith gives us “full assurance.”

What can be missed here is that even with this “all access” pass, we tend not to make the effort. That’s why the writer goads us to “draw near.” Imagine having a backstage pass and staying in the back row! This is possible and it need not be. We need to exercise our privilege constantly, and this is done through always praying and always praising. Here is the essence of worship; our “confession,” that is our acknowledgment of all that is true about our God and what he has done for us. The more trips to the gym the stronger we get. The more face time we spend in the throne room, the stronger our faith!

We also acquire the power to hope in God without wavering, the freedom to contemplate and respond to the plight of others in love, and a new-found desire to hang out with the like-minded, especially in an increasingly antagonistic world.

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