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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

AN ANCHOR OF THE SOUL

Hebrews 6:19-20 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

The hope we have is explained in verses preceding the lesson text. It is the hope of eternal salvation promised by God through the Seed of Abraham, that is through Jesus Christ, and confirmed by God's oath to be immutable, in that it cannot be changed (See Heb. 6:13-18). It is this hope that serves as an anchor of the soul. The soul of mankind inhabits the physical body. During life on earth the physical body may experience many trials and tribulations. The author of this letter to the Hebrew Christians compares these life experiences to a ship that sails the seas. At times the ship must sail through, and withstand dangerous, tempestuous seas. When the sea becomes too perilous to continue, the anchor is cast out, and the ship, although buffeted by winds and waves, is able to withstand all storms, protect their valuable cargo, and save the members of the crew from a disastrous fate.

So is the hope of eternal salvation. It secures the soul, and, like the anchor of a ship, makes it both sure and steadfast;our hope of eternal salvationisable to withstand, and ride out, the raging storms of life. The temptations and persecutions that Christians must face each day, are like the winds and waves that endanger ships at sea. The stronger the anchor, and its mooring cable, the safer the ship. Likewise, the stronger one's faith in God, and the saving power in His Son, Jesus Christ, the more sure and steadfast is the anchor of the soul. It is through faith that Christians are able withstand the troubles and hardships of life, and be safely led to the haven of rest that awaits one after the trials and temptations of life are over.

The hope of eternal rest in heaven, and the peace and serenity it, offered to the weary Christian traveler, is compared to entering the Holy of Holies of the Jewish tabernacle. There in the presence of God we shall find a refuge for the soul. The "vail" referred to in the lesson text refers to the vail that separates the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies. It was in the Most Holy Place that the Chief Priest entered once a year, on the Day of Atonement, to offer blood sacrifices for himself, and for all people of the Jewish nation. This portion of the tabernacle is a type of heaven, and it is heaven that our High Priest, Jesus Christ, re-entered, and there intercedes for all faithful Christians before the throne of God. It was His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary that served as the atoning blood for mankind, which was given once and for all time. It is within the safety of this sanctuary that the Christian finds peace and consolation from the rigors of life. This, too, is a harbor of rest. In Christ we are safely moored, as close as we can possibly come to God during life on earth, and here we are comforted by the hope of eternal salvation.

Jesus Christ, our Savior was born, and lived, on earth even as all human beings like you and me. He died a cruel death of crucifixion, was buried, but arose from the grave on the third day, and later ascended into heaven. And there, His Heavenly Father gave Him the kingdom of heaven and earth, and it is from His throne at the right hand of God that He rules today. In this, He has given us the hope of eternal salvation and has provided the way it may be attained. Jesus Christ is, indeed, our example - He is the Forerunner of all Christians. He is not the first human being to be born, live, and die. But He was the first human being to be resurrected from death. He blazed the pathway by conquering Satan, and the finality of death; He proved that all men and women shall someday be raised from the grave. He is our Forerunner because He is the first to ascend into the spiritual Holy of Holies - into heaven. In His own words He told us this about heaven: In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know (John 14:2-4).

Jesus Christ is our example; He is our Forerunner whom we are to follow. He is the Author of eternal salvation, ...an High Priest after the order of Melchisedec (Heb. 5:9-10). He is the anchor of our soul, and baptism doth also now save us, ...by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism, then, is the cable by which we become, and remain, secured to our Anchor, Jesus Christ. In Him we have the hope of eternal salvation, and in Him we have an Anchor of the soul.