Two weeks ago I was on a paddle board on a lake all alone with no people or technology around to distract me. For 45 uninterrupted minutes it was just me and my thoughts. I don’t know about you, but alone with my thoughts can be a scary place! As I stood paddling I was thinking about everything that has happened in the past few months and found myself feeling grateful that my family had a place to get away to where we didn’t have to interact with anyone. I felt safe. Safe from germs, safe from the news, safe from politics, just safe.
For a moment, I was able to breathe easier because of this “safety” but my thoughts inevitably turned into a countdown of how many days I had left before we had to return to our normal lives. What was once a moment of peace turned into anxiety. As I started to feel that tightness in my chest, Hebrews 6:19a came to mind: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. I found myself reciting this verse and began wondering – what exactly is “this hope” and how can it keep me stable amid uncertain times?
To know what “this hope” is we have to read beyond the first part of this verse and into the second part to realize that this hope isn’t a thing but a person, namely Jesus. This hope isn’t a wish or a desire we “hope” to see fulfilled one day, but a promise from God. Verses 19b – 20 tell us this hope “enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever…” Those who are in Jesus, have the assurance that he is our great high priest intervening and praying on our behalf.
Chapter 7 goes on to explain more about the priestly order of Melchizedek and in verse 19 we read “for the law made nothing perfect; but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced through which we draw near to God.” Because of Jesus, our better hope, we are now able to draw near to God. Where we were once separated, we are now drawn close through the cross. Jesus, being both God and man, was able to perfectly fulfill the law and through his death and resurrection, he is the guarantor of the covenant (v. 22). All the promises God made throughout the Old Testament were fulfilled in Christ. And, because of his permanent priesthood, we can rest in the promise found in verse 25, that “he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
To be honest, this past week has been especially challenging for me in terms of battling anxiety. I’m so grateful to be able to look back on my experience two weeks ago and find the comfort of Hebrews 6:19. For the moments when fear and uncertainty begin to take hold, I need to remind myself of the hope promised in this verse.
So, what is “this hope”? It’s Jesus. Sitting forever on his priestly throne at the right hand of God making intercession for us. As we wrestle with political uncertainty, the unknowns associated with the pandemic, and all the other instability that comes with living in a broken world, let’s hold fast to the hope set before us. Let’s cling to the one thing in this world that is able to provide a sure and steadfast anchor for our souls: Jesus, our great high priest.
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