Read through the lesson below (if you are in a group take turns reading). Then have a discussion, possible questions are included at the end. If you are alone, try to pair up with others in a small group though texting or even a phone call.
“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. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV).
Growing up in the west you probably watched a lot of movies and TV shows showcasing the rugged individualist. The one that has been wronged, and they are out to set the world right — and in many cases take revenge (another topic for another time). In real life it never happens this way. The good guy, or semi good guy, on their own rarely prevails.
Nowadays, I like movies and shows that develop all the characters of a team, showing how their relationships unfold and drawing you deeper into the story. Because it’s all about the relationship. The same is in these passages; both our relationship with God and with others.
We read, “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.” He, Jesus Christ, has opened a way for us into God’s holy presence. Past the curtain, into the Holy of Holies, where the priest only dares go in fear and trembling once a year or so. He says come into it with Him with confidence and assurance. Our past has been forgiven, our hearts have been washed clean of sin and its vial guilt. He loves us so much He did this for us and our relationship with Him.
It is this relationship with Him, our savior and Lord, that cleanses us, transforms us, and renews us. We are made new In Him, and it is this “made new” that this passage is also telling us to share—we are compelled to do so by His love for us. We read in these passages, “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” See in real life none of us succeed on our own, none of us prevail against this broken and perverted world by ourselves. We need a team, a family, relationships around us to make it. Because of this we are compelled to reach out to others and lead them through the way He has made for us, past that curtain into the Holy of Holies, to Him; Jesus Christ.
For another example of all of us needing relationships that encourage and help each of us and others, look no further than those who are awarded the highest medals for bravery and courage. Here in the U.S. it is the Congressional Medal of Honor, in England it’s the Victoria Cross, in France it’s the Legion of Honor, in Kenya it’s the Order of the Golden Heart. I really like that name. Whatever it is called and in whatever part of the world you may be in, the common thing they all have is that they are usually given to individuals who were saving others, protecting others, helping others survive in this broken world. These are the true heroes; relational and thinking of others more than themselves.
See, it is only fiction where the Lone Ranger wins against all odds. Besides, even he had a sidekick, a kindred spirit doing right; Silver, the wonder horse that could make it from New York to the west in only 5 minutes and a pair of six guns that never ran out of bullets. Fiction is Fiction and fun to watch, but living in the real world and in real life we need God and others on our side.
1. How is your relationship with Jesus, can you approach behind the curtain with confidence in your relationship?
2. Are others around you looking for what you have found in Jesus? How can you encourage them?