SPRINKLED HEARTS AND WASHED BODIES
Hebrews 10:19-22 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
The New Covenant between God and His children is written, not on tables of stone, but in the hearts and minds of those that obey His will. To all that enter into this covenant relationship with Him, God tells them that their sins and iniquities will I remember no more (Prev. Vs. 17). This was assured through the sacrifice of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Unlike Old Testament sacrifices, which failed to remit sins, the offering made by Jesus was for the complete remission of sins. Therefore, there is no more (need for) offering for sin (Prev. Vs. 18).
Much has been written, by the author of the Hebrew letter, to establish the fact that God's New Covenant relationship with mankind is far superior to His relationship with people of the world during the Jewish dispensation. It is superior in that it has as its High Priest Jesus Christ, the Son of God rather than the earthly sons of Levi. It is superior in that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins was made once and for all time. Whereas the animal sacrifices under the Old Covenant had to be repeated time and time again but could never take away sins (Prev. Vs 11).
The lesson text gives another reason the New Covenant with God was superior to the old. Christians are given entry into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. Jesus Christ, as our High Priest, has opened the way for the Christians to approach the mercy seat of God contained in the Most Holy Place. The vail that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies has been removed. Notice what took place when Jesus died on the cross at Calvary. Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (Matt. 27:50-51, Also see Mark 15:37-38; Luke 23:45-46). The blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ was sufficient to break down the wall of partition that separates mankind from God. With this sacrifice, Christians can follow Jesus Christ into the very presence of God. While on earth, and through the name of Jesus, all children of God can come directly to Him in prayer. And after life on earth comes to an end, all obedient Christians will be privileged to come into the presence of God in heaven - the true, spiritual Holy of Holies.
All of this is made possible by the sacrificial, atoning blood shed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was by this act that Christians were given a new and living way to come into the presence of our heavenly Father. Jesus, in His own words, told His apostle, Thomas, and at the same time told the world, that I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). Those looking for another way to come onto the presence of God, their Creator, will never find it, and, ultimately, will be excluded from the eternal salvation offered to all that obey His will. Not only is it a new way, but also it is a living way. Why? Because happiness and contentment, during life on earth, and eternal life in heaven can only be found by those that are in the body Christ Jesus, His church, and faithfully serve His cause.
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. That is to say, let us draw near to God with a pure and sincere heart - a heart that is filled with full assurance of faith in Christ as our Savior and High Priest - a heart that allows us to come boldly into the presence of God. Under the Old Covenant, the blood of sacrificial animals was sprinkled externally to bestow God's blessing on the Jewish nation. Symbolically Christians, by having (their) hearts sprinkled with the blood of Jesus, their consciences are freed from the guilt of sin. At the same time our hearts are cleansed, we are externally cleansed when our bodies (are) washed with pure water by baptism into the body of Christ for the remission of sins. Thus the whole person, either man or woman, that repents and submits to baptism for remission of sins, becomes completely purified, both internally and externally. And thus, through the act of baptism, one becomes a Christian, set apart from the sins of the world, and consecrated to the service of God, and the cause of Jesus Christ, His Son. It is the blood of Jesus that washed us from our sins (Rev. 1:5). Peter assures us that baptism is essential to eternal salvation (1 Pet. 3:21). Before heaven (the Most Holy Place) can be our eternal home, our hearts must be sprinkled and our bodies washed in the blood of Christ Jesus by baptism into His body, the church of Christ.