For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Comment: This would have been fairly easy for a Jewish person to understand. If we are non-Jewish in background it is harder but important to understand. The argument goes like this: –
- God made a promise to Abraham which He certified in 2 ways; Firstly, God doesn’t lie and secondly, He swore an oath on His own character which is the greatest thing there is to swear on. The promise was to have a son, and that through that line the world would be blessed. A promise of a Messiah.
- Abraham had to wait a long time but eventually did have a child (Isaac) through whom God would and has blessed the world.
- The people to whom the author was writing were after many generations experiencing the blessing which had been made to Abraham. Remember the Promise of God to Abraham was not only that, old as he was, he would have a son, but through his line the whole world would be blest. Jesus, the Promised Messiah had come.
- So God’s word and oath extended through the years to the readers (and on to us who live later).
- The truth of this is like an anchor safely attaching us to the promise of God.
- A reliable anchor for their faith (and ours) because Jesus, having died and rose again, has gone into the very Presence of God as our everlasting High Priest.
The reference to ‘the inner place behind the curtain’ refers to the fact that previously the High Priests could only enter the Holy of Holies where God was represented as living, through a huge curtain (veil). When Jesus died that veil, shutting off the Presence of God, was torn from top to bottom. Now He, Himself, has not gone into a representative place here on earth, but into the Heavens into the very Presence of God, as the High Priest for the children of God.
Prayer: Help me to come to understand that Jesus is the fulfilment of Your Promise and to trust in Him.