Identity Found in God
The High Priest and the Forgiven
The High Priest
The Blood of Christ
The Living Bread
The Dwelling Place of God
Living Confidently as the Forgiven
Living Confidently as the Forgiven
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart…
Jay has mentioned how it was brought to his attention that any given person can consider all the characters of Winnie the Pooh and choose one they can identify with. Go ahead – give it a try. Who would you resemble? Christopher Robin? Tigger? Winnie the Pooh? Rabbit? Piglet? Kanga? Roo? What about Eeyore? Who would you be?
Let’s take a closer look at Eeyore. It is said that he “has a bleak outlook on life and has never shown emotions such as joy or excitement”. Do you know people like that? Or maybe that describes you? I had to think of this as I considered what I should look like as one who has an advocate, who sacrificed His life for, who has full access to God, the Creator of all things, whose bad choices, sins, are completely forgive, who has a heavenly home to look forward to, and who has the Spirit of God living in them? Sometimes we may have all of that, yet still walk around like Eeyore! I’m guilty, I have had my Eeyore moments too.
But, WOW! Seriously, what if we considered all that He has given and done for us. What should it look like? Ephesians 2:4-8 says this, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…” Now if you don’t get a skip in your step and a surge of joy in your spirit after reading that, read it again! Wrap your mind and heart around what this means. We were made alive in Christ. Maybe once we fully grasp this, we may be a little more like Tigger!
Hebrews 10:19 mentions that “since we have confidence…”. Let’s stop there a moment to consider what it means to live with confidence. Confidence, by definition is to be sure of something, to have no doubt. This is different from having arrogance or selfish pride. Sometimes I wonder if we know how to be confident as this verse describes. There are some who hold back because of fear that others will see them as boasting or arrogant. Some come across as too much, seeming to brag and be self-righteous. This reminds me of a story about our boys. Our older one, Brady, had a lesson with our youngest, Jesse, in the difference of these two approaches. They changed the lyrics of the song, “Don’t worry, be happy,” to “Don’t brag, be humble”! Sometimes I hear Jesse singing that as he plays his Legos! Be assured, we CAN have confidence as this verse mentions – we CAN be sure without a doubt.
Let’s finish the passage now, verses 19-23 says, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Every time I read that I feel like jumping up and doing a cartwheel – which I can’t do – so I won’t – but I sure do feel like it!
Our High Priest has made the way. We can draw near to God, we are cleansed and washed with pure water! We can cling to His faithful promises. These are things we can be confident of, sure of. Brothers and sisters, these are truths we can find nowhere else! Hebrews 4:14-16 describes it again, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
We can approach the throne with confidence, where we will find mercy and grace and the strength we need. You see, we are alive in Christ, but we live in this messed up world. Things will be hurled at us that could send us straight into the pit of Eeyore. But, we don’t have to stay there! Be confident in your High Priest who understands the pain of this life. Have no doubt that you can go to your God and experience forgiveness, mercy, grace – all we need in our time of need. Live a life that reflects this Christ-like confidence of who you are as a forgiven, cleansed child of God!
Take some time and visualize yourself confidently approaching the throne of God. Embrace Christ, your high-priest, who shed His blood, the Bread of Life who made a way – He is enough! You are forgiven! Live confidently as the forgiven!