Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus… (Hebrews 10:19)
The holy places do not inspire confidence or swagger. A person who understands his sinfulness doesn’t confidently stroll into the holy places of God.
When the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai he told the people of Israel, “Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death.” (Exodus 19:12)
Nadab and Abihu were consumed by holy fire when they offered unauthorized fire to the Lord (Lev. 10). Uzzah was struck dead when reached out to catch the Ark of the Covenant from falling (2 Sam. 6).
When Isaiah caught a glimpse of the Holy One upon his throne, he called out for divine judgment to fall upon him. (Isaiah 6)
The high priest, and only the high priest, entered the most holy place in the temple on time per year, and he did so with the utmost care.
Entering the holy places should fill a sinful man or woman with dread, not confidence.
But now, through Jesus Christ, we have confidence to enter the holy places. We have confidence to stand in the presence of the God who is described as a consuming fire. We have confidence to draw near and make our requests and petitions of the Most High God. We can enter the presence of God with thanksgiving, rather than dread.
Confidence is the last thing that we should take into the holy places. But through the gospel, we go confidently into the places where angels fear to tread.
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