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Day 10

Day 10

by Rev. James M. Long on October 19, 2021

Day 10

October 19

we have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul...

In the Letter to the Hebrews, the writer describes Jesus as the “pioneer” of our salvation, a merciful and faithful high priest who intercedes for us with God. He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, having persevered as he was tested in every way as we are tested, yet without sinning. In 6:13-20, it says that Abraham was promised by God that he would be blessed and multiply. God sealed this promise with an oath which he swore by himself.  Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. It demonstrates the certainty of God’s promises.

The high priest in the Temple entered the inner shrine behind the curtain, the “Holy of Holies” of the tabernacle, on Yom Kippur to make sacrifice for the sins of the people.  We may struggle with the image of Jesus as a high priest in the temple. However, we can hold on to the promise that “we have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered ,having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (6:19) Melchizedek’s death was not recorded.  Jesus is one who has gone before us, and his priesthood is permanent and eternal. Like Abraham, we can rely on this promise in faith.

I like the image of the end of life as piercing the curtain or veil. All of us are mortal and will learn what is on the other side of the one life each one of us has to give. The text reminds us that Jesus is the pioneer who leads the way to the promised land of life beyond life.  He is our pathfinder and advocate who gives us unhindered access to God. God’s promises are sure, and are an anchor to the soul. May we claim this promise as we live each moment in the conviction of what Paul Tillich called “the eternal now.” It is for all.


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