People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

The writer concludes by affirming the security of the Christian’s foundational truths.  God has spoken and given his oath.  Thus he has made the “unchanging nature of his purpose” very clear.  God’s promise is “an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  The anchor chain which links us to the promise stretches beyond the sanctuary curtain.

This last image is of vast significance for Jewish Christians.  Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest entered the inner sanctuary of the temple which was blocked off by a thick curtain.  There, in the presence of God, he offered a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people.  The writer is saying clearly that Jesus’ priestly ministry, fulfilled when he went before God with the offering of his own blood, has forged an unbreakable chain, linking the believer with Jesus who stands today in the very presence of God.

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