Hebrews 10:16-25 | New Living Translation (NLT)
“This is the new covenant I will make
with my people on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
Then he says,
“I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”
And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Good Friday – ironic, isn’t it – that the day that we remember that Jesus died is called “good.” Last week during the sermon, I described some of the things that Jesus went through as he died on the cross. The crucifixion is a horrible way to die – an excruciating way to die – it’s not so much dying by blood loss, but by suffocation. It is a long, agonizing way to die. It was unusual for criminals to die in three hours – but Jesus did – not because he was weak – but because he willing gave up his life. In addition, those doing the executing rob the executed of any dignity, stripping them of ALL clothing. How would like to be stripped naked – exposed – with all the marks of the beatings and whippings exposed and all of your private parts. Yet, Jesus willing did this for you and for me – for all of us, so that we could be saved from our sins.
The day that Jesus died, a New Covenant was put into place. Instead of the laws being written in stone – the Lord wrote the laws on our hearts and in our minds. Because of Jesus sacrifice, there is no longer a need for animal sacrifices. That has been done away with! Once and for all!
Because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross – the temple veil was torn in two – from top to bottom – not from bottom to top – the Lord himself tore the veil. Hebrews says that, “Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.” How cool! Hebrews talks about this great high priest of ours – who understands all about us – who rules over God’s house – over God’s people. He reigns in the place of a High Priest and we have direct access to the Father through Jesus. We are told to go boldly to the throne because of Jesus when we have sincere hearts.
The death of Jesus and the blood that was shed makes us clean and our bodies were washed with water.
This is what makes such a tragedy “good.” Jesus did die, that’s for certain…and now we hold on to a hope. So many times we want to jump to Sunday…I want to encourage you today…don’t do it. Meditate on what Christ did for you. Meditate on what the cross means.
Over the last few years, I have ended our Good Friday service this way:
We hope for the dawning of a new day. We hope for God to bring newness out of endings. But today . . . . Go home. There is nothing more to see. Jesus is dead.
I think this is a good thing to meditate on – on this day that we remember that Jesus died.