We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19-20
The anchor was a very popular icon in the culture of the early church. Inside the catacombs, there are at least 60+ pictures of them. As persecuted believers fled there to hide from those who were hunting them down in an attempt to annihilate them, the reminder that Christ was their anchor in the storm gave them strength and comfort.
The writer of Hebrews says that ‘hope’ is found in the inner sanctuary, behind the curtain of the holies of holies but, in the old covenant, only the high priest was able to go there. No one else enjoyed the privilege. No one else felt the wonder of standing in God’s presence. The hope that He experienced, he hopefully passed on but that would have been second hand.
There is no comparison strong enough to really capture that but imagine that your best friend went to stand near the Matterhorn, or he stood on the shores of Lake Louise in Alberta. You’d heard about both places, even seen pictures, but you could only dream of going. Your friend returns and though you can see how it impacted him as he talks about it, and though your imagination is certainly enlarged, it’s still not the same as if you’d bought a ticket and gone there in person. The most powerful things in life have to be experienced personally to really get it.
Jesus coming removed all our limitations. Now, you and I have access that millions before us never had. I don’t have to hear from someone else what God’s presence is like. I don’t have to wonder how being near Him would affect me. I don’t have to hear a priest’s stories and yearn to experience what he experienced. I can gain the strength I need from God personally. I can go behind the veil myself, right into His presence, and talk to Him as much as I want. I can stay there as long as I want and feel the power of His indwelling Spirit filling my spiritual reservoirs. After a season in prayer, I am energized to face my life. I know that He is my anchor because I’ve felt the hopelessness of living outside of His presence.
My anchor. My eyes are on You. I hold fast. Amen