This is a passage of privilege. It speaks of our privilege to enter the holy place of God. It encourages us to draw near to Him. It speaks of our ability to have a sincere heart, full assurance of faith, and a conscience that is sprinkled clean from evil. I know for myself that these are all things I greatly long for. In Christ, they are things that I can possess!
Verse 19 begins with "since." It is a word with a purpose and its purpose is to point us back to the context which has gone before. Verses 1-18 of chapter 10 point us to the work and sufficiency of Christ. They tell us that the Old Testament Law and sacrifices were but a shadow of the perfect One who was to come.
We are reminded that those sacrifices had to be repeated. Over and over and over they were carried out - year after year after year. "In those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (vs 3-4).
Creature blood can't save. Christ's blood can. Therefore, we are pointed to Christ, the true high priest, the true atoning sacrifice. The great high Sacrificer became the one sufficient Sacrificee. Verse 9 reminds us that Jesus came to do the Father's will and that will was that we would be "sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (vs 10). Does not your heart leap?! Can not you sense the Father's love?! How magnificent is this message!!
The levitical priests stood daily ministering and repeatedly offering sacrifices time after time after time. "But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time sat down at the right hand of God" (vs 12). Once for all! He did the job He was sent for and when it was completed He declared "it is finished" and sat down. Duty done! Task taken care of! "For by one offering He has perfected for all time, those who are sanctified" (vs 14).
How powerful is our Savior! He saves completely! He saves to the utermost! He saves eternally! He saves effectually! He saves!
It is of these great truths that verse 19 refers. "Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus...." It is the blood of Christ that secures the privileges that follow. It is only through the work of Christ that we can obtain these things. The blood of animals could not. The religious duties of men could not. Christ alone apprehends for us that which we most need! "Our way to heaven is by a crucified Savior - His death is the way to life!" (Henry). Are we washed in the blood?
Christ is the fountain of never ceasing grace. He alone is the source of the eternally flowing gospel privileges. "Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." "Since" He has done this "let us" do these things.
Matthew Henry writes the following:
Let us draw near to Him that we may take hold of these blessed privileges and in so doing so "let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." Notice that Christ - He who promised - is the motive for our holding fast our confession. Not only that, but He is also the means by which we may hold fast. It is His faithfulness that leads to ours!!
I turn again to Matthew Henry: "Our spiritual enemies will do what they can to wrestle our faith and hope out of our hands, but we must hold fast - without wavering. Those who begin to waver are in danger of falling away. What is the reason enforcing this duty? Christ faithfulness! There is no fickleness with Him, and there should be none with us. We must depend more upon His promises to us than upon our promises to Him."
The privileges of Christ are ours. They are ours by His doing and by His giving. May we, through Him, apprehend that for which He has apprehended us.