Chapter 48 Forerunner Into The Holiest

Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 6:20).

Our Lord Jesus Christ is for us a Forerunner entered into Heaven. We do not hear much of this, but it is vitally important. It really should read “a forerunner,” not “the forerunner.” The latter could refer back to a type, but there is no such type in the Old Testament. The idea of our Lord’s being a forerunner into the actual presence of God was something entirely foreign to the Hebrew mind. Let us be clear what such an office means.

A Representative

Our Lord entered Heaven as Representative of a people who were to follow Him there. Notice that in the title verse only the human name of Jesus is emphasized, for He entered in as the Son of man. It was never true that any Jewish high priest was a forerunner. True, these men went into the holy of holies in the Tabernacle once a year on the day of atonement, but never as forerunners—for the people of Israel as a nation could never follow them into that very holy place. Israel has no such hope.

The Lord Jesus did just that! Having made sacrifice for sins with His own precious blood, He entered into the holiest in Heaven—into the real presence of God—and did so as the Son of man. Spiritually, those who are in Christ by new birth may enter in at this present time, and enjoy fellowship and communion with the Father and the Son through the Spirit. But the thought expressed in Hebrews 6 is that of entering in all the fullness of our manhood, which means, as it did for our Lord, in a resurrection body.

Such is the lesson which this solemnity directly gives us. This is to gain much more than Adam lost. By His redemption, the Lord Jesus gains for us a heavenly inheritance. He purposes to establish us in much more than an Eden heritage. He goes before to a land of peace, where God shall be our very present God and our loving Father forever. Here is found, then, much more than was ever lost through sin. We have a sure estate. The Lord is our Representative so that we shall enter in where He is. Where He is, and all that He is, and all that He has, is ours.

A Guarantor

First of all, He is a Guarantor to God, taking responsibility that our presence there will not defile God’s holy Heaven. His presence within the veil is also a guarantee to us that we shall never be expelled. The context of Hebrews 6:20 shows that the apostle has been reminding the Hebrew Christians of a day when they fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before them in Jesus the Lord. In Old Testament days the case was possible, that man, without intent, without one evil revengeful thought, might stain his hands in human blood. The kinsman of the man slain could rise up in wrath and claim the slayer’s life. The law gave license to take blood for blood. So for the slayer, peace and security fled forever. He would be afraid in any place. But Israel’s God provided a rescue to such lasting woe. He gave cities of refuge for security, and the death of the high priest dissolved all avenging claims. The slayer was free when the high priest died. He could go forth unmolested.

The apostle was setting before these disturbed Hebrew Christians the security they have in Christ. What was their hope in so fleeing to Jesus? The answer—a security of life which gave them “a strong consolation.” That consolation was based on two immutable things: God’s word and God’s oath. This hope, therefore, became “as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil” (Hebrews 6:18-19). No image could be more beautiful and consoling. The sureness and steadfastness of an anchor depends upon its catching hold of something immovable. It will then hold a ship no matter what storm is raging.

So, we are told, is the believer’s hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. The world is a troubled sea. But let the tempest rage and howl, let the tide run ever so strong against us, our little ships will never drift on rock and make wreck of us. We shall never perish. He who is the Messenger of the New Covenant—our Surety—our Mediator—has entered into Heaven already. We have a joining chain with Him. He it is who guarantees to hold us fast and bring us safely home to glory.. What a cordial to the faint-hearted, a haven for the tempted, a kerchief for weeping eyes, a pillow for the doubting!

A Preparer

“In My Father’s house. … I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Our place has been prepared from the moment our Lord entered Heaven. We are not to think in terms of material construction as though our Lord were erecting something. The Father’s house has always been there. Our Forerunner, Jesus, entered to make Heaven ready for us, and works in us to make us ready for Heaven. We do not need a key. The door has been opened by our Saviour’s triumphal ascension, and He has left the door open for all who believe to follow Him.

When Israel journeyed in the wilderness, the ark of the Lord went three days’ journey before them to prepare a settlement. So our Lord, by His resurrection and ascension, has gone to prepare a place for us. Therefore, He says, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1). The consolation of believers cannot spring from earth. The claims of this world are worthless. Earthly toys are worse than empty bubbles. The world has nothing to give the believer.

“In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). Affliction may break upon us like a ceaseless tide. This is to be expected. It is our common lot. Sorrow will find a door to each of us, but the Lord enters along with it to support the believer in the way. “Time is short.” Sorrow is not forever. “Let not your heart be troubled.”

We have a home to go to in the Heaven of heavens. So we have to meet terminal sickness and then go through the dark valley? But we do not go alone and it is only “the valley of the shadow of death”—that is, only the shadow of it will fall upon us. The Lord Jesus has said: “I am with you,” and He will guide us safely through to the prepared home with its many mansions. Everything is fully prepared. He has done all things well.

By faith I look where Christ has gone,
And see upon His Father’s throne
A Man, with glory crowned.
His brow is marred, and on His side,
Whence flowed the cleansing crimson tide,
The marks of love are found.

I look again, and now I see
That blessed Man engaged for me,
His hands uplifted high;
Before the throne of God He pleads,
God’s great High Priest, He intercedes,
And so preserves me nigh.

What love! He washed my sins away,
Thus boldness in the Judgment Day
For me there doth remain.
What grace! now occupied with me,
He wills I should His glory see,
When He returns again!

C. E. Peglar