Ephesians 3:12 – In union with Messiah and through our faith in him we have the boldness to go into God’s presence with all confidence.
The reference to God’s presence that the apostle Paul uses here is an allusion to the Most Holy Place, the Holy of Holies, the compartment of the Tabernacle and Temple of God in which the ark of the covenant resided and God’s presence abode. It could only be accessed through the veil or curtain that separated it from the rest of the structure.
Access to this area was a privilege granted only to the High Priest, and that once a year on the Day of Atonement. He would enter to provide the blood sacrifice of the goat in obedience to the Word of God and in hopes of God’s forgiveness for the community of Israel for the year.
Paul is combining this imagery with union with Messiah through faith in him. This faith, Paul argues, is the catalyst that provides a strong confidence and freedom for believers to figuratively enter that sacred space without the need of any physical High Priest; faith in Messiah is equivalent to the action of a faithful High Priest.
The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews continues this line of reasoning in a long and dramatic build-up to the culmination of his reasoning in the tenth chapter.
Hebrews 10:19-20, 23 – We have, then, my friends, complete freedom to go into the Most Holy Place by means of the death of Yeshua. He opened for us a new way, a living way, through the curtain—that is, through his own body. … Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise.
And what is this promise that he provides to those who have faith in Messiah?
Hebrews 10:14-17 – With one sacrifice, then, he has made perfect forever those who are purified from sin. And the Holy Spirit also gives us his witness. First he says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them in the days to come, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds.” And then he says, “I will not remember their sins and evil deeds any longer.”
The great promise is that torah obedience from the heart would be the natural operating principle of all believers, and sins and evil deeds would no longer be remembered. Forgiveness and the ability to accomplish God’s will is granted through confidence and faith in the Messiah. This is the vast reward, the promised blessing that believers have for their consistent and ongoing faith in Yeshua.
Hebrews 10:35-36 – Therefore do not cast from you your confident hope, for it will receive a vast reward. For you stand in need of patient endurance, so that, as the result of having done the will of God, you may receive the promised blessing.
The household of God is established solely on this faith in Messiah, the one through whom God had chosen to bring to a culmination all of the promises made to his people. The eternal blessing and ongoing promise for faith in him is forgiveness from past sin and being enabled to do the will of God from the heart.
1 Timothy 3:14-15 – … I have written so that you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the congregation of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
Hebrews 3:6 – the Messiah was faithful as the Son in charge of God’s household, and we are his household if we hold on to our confidence and the hope in which we rejoice.
If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive at https://core-of-the-bible.simplecast.com/ or your favorite podcast streaming service. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.