Our Lord’s Entrance within the Veil
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”— Hebrews ix. 12.
UNDER the old covenant the Lord was set forth to the people as dwelling apart, within the veil. A thick tapestry hung before the most holy place, and thus concealed the light which symbolized the presence of God. Within the inner sanctuary Jehovah dwelt apart, and none entered the sacred precincts save one man, and he but once a year. The great teaching was— God is hidden from men; sin has made a division between man and God; the way of approach is not yet made manifest. Yet even then there was a hint given that an entrance would be made manifest; for the division was not a piece of brickwork, nor even an arrangement of cedar overlaid with gold: it was a veil which, once in the year, was solemnly lifted, that the high priest might pass beneath. This hinted that sinful men were yet to be permitted to draw nigh unto the Most Holy God, through the Christ of God. That, I say, was implied, if men had faith enough to spy it out. Three hundred and sixty-four days in the year the teaching was, “No admission”: one day out of the three hundred and sixty-five the teaching was, “A way of access will yet be shown.”
Now, beloved friends, the priests of old, the holy and the most holy place, were only “patterns of things in the heavens”; they were not the things themselves. In them we see instructive types and symbols, but nothing more. How greatly we may rejoice as we read the eleventh verse of the chapter before us! It begins with “But”; and, oh, what a blessed “but” for you and for me! Up till then religion dealt with externals, such as meats, and drinks, and washings, and carnal ordinances, and priests who could only offer the blood of bulls and of goats; but the coming of the Messiah changed all this. We pass from shadow to substance.
“Finished all the types and shadows
Of the ceremonial law.”
Now have grace and truth come by Jesus Christ.
Read on: “Christ being come.” How the joy-bells ring out— “Christ being come”! It was the music of Bethlehem— “Christ being come.” It was the song of Anna and Simeon— “Christ being come.” This will be the joy of the whole earth when once earth understands her truest privilege— “Christ being come.” The good things were still to come for many a year; but now “Christ being come,” we have them in possession. No son of Aaron stands before us, but the Christ, the truly Anointed One, commissioned of the Lord to introduce man to his offended God. Anointed by the eternal Spirit without measure, the Lord Jesus Christ appears in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and then to destroy the separating veil by going in unto the Father. If I had to tell you to-day that a Saviour would in due time be born, and would offer a sacrifice for sin, there would be great joy in the news: but we have something far better; for the Anointed One has appeared, and fulfilled his course. He has been here among the sons of men the Incarnate God: “Immanuel, God with us,” the true High Priest for men in things pertaining to God. Again, I say, let the joy-bells ring out— “Christ being come.”
He is “an high priest of good things to come.” Things which were in the olden time “things to come,” are things present at this hour; for Jesus has brought to light the precious things of the covenant, which kings and prophets desired to see. Yet even now there are good things in the future. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” The Lord Jesus has brought all good things to those who believe in him, that they may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Good things to come find their way hither by the Mediator. God himself has come among men in the person of the Lord Jesus, who has taken our nature into union with his Godhead. Our Immanuel was born at Bethlehem, he dwelt at Nazareth, he died on Calvary, and he has now gone up on high because his work is finished, and the reward of it is given.
The striking point to which I call your attention is this: while our Lord was here, he was comparable to the high priest when he stood on the outside of the veil. I want you to recollect that fact. Outside is the place of sinful men. Did the holy Jesus ever stand there? He did. His sacrifice was of necessity offered without the veil, and as a sign thereof “he suffered without the gate.” The fact is evident that our Lord suffered by being forsaken of God. The veil hung thick between him and God till his great sacrifice was accepted: in testimony whereof hear you not that bitter cry, the bitterest that ever came from human lips, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Our High Priest then stood on the outside of the veil. But after he had presented his sacrifice, after it had been consumed with fire, he passed within the veil, and rose to the throne of the eternal God. He entered heaven as a priest, in all the solemnity of accomplished sacrifice. “By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.” Upon that august entrance I shall try to speak this morning; but I am very conscious of my want of power to do so. Thought is shallow, speech is stammering in the presence of a theme so high, so deep. Come, Holy Spirit, and in thine infinite compassion reveal our great High Priest to all thy waiting ones now!
I. First, beloved, I shall call your attention to THE SACRIFICE OF HIS ENTERING. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in.”
We have this morning taken for our lesson the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus: may I ask you all to study it with care? There wo saw that the high priest, once in the year, entered the most holy placer but “not without blood.” Our Saviour, as God and man in one person, standing in the sinner’s place, could not enter within the veil until first he had presented a sacrifice. By blood even he must enter; that blood must be his own. Let us think about his sacrifice.
We note concerning it, first, that the sacrifice presented by our Lord was unique. It was “his own blood” that he offered— blood from the veins of a man; but what a man! Remember how he himself said it: “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not: but a body hast thou prepared me.” The body of Christ was specially prepared of God for this great sacrifice. Though we rightly speak of our Lord as “clothed in a body like our own,” yet we may not forget that, in some points, his humanity was peculiar. He was without spot. In his birth he received no taint of original sin. Was it not said to the virgin, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”? Thus the person of our Lord was unique among men, and it is that pure personality which was presented as an offering to the Lord. He was pure and holy, and therefore able to bear the sin of others, since he had none of his own. God especially prepared his body for the indwelling of the Deity, and he stands before us as a personage, the like of which neither heaven nor earth containeth. God is pure spirit, but this sacred Person has a body: man hath no pretensions to divinity, but this glorious One counts it not robbery to be equal with God. He is God and man in one person, by a marvellous unity which we believe but can never comprehend; and as our Mediator, by the eternal Spirit, he offered himself without spot unto God. This singular sacrifice deserves our singular faith.
The sacrifice of our Lord was, in the highest sense, substitutionary. The penalty of sin is death; and Jesus died. All through the old law there is no atonement except by the death of a victim. Indeed, this is what God hath said from the beginning, even in the garden. Still is this the sentence of the law: “The soul that sinneth it shall die.” Sin necessitates death. The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to earth to make a reconciliation by the holiness of his life, or by the earnestness of his teaching, but by his death. The text saith, “By his own blood he entered in.” He must die in the room, and place, and stead of guilty men, before he could enter heaven on their behalf. Just as the calves and the bullocks in the type were slain, and their blood poured out before God, so must Jesus be slain in the sinner’s place. O beloved, let us cling to the great truth of the vicarious sacrifice, which is the chief teaching of this sacred Book. Take this away, and I do not see anything left in the Bible at all which can be called good news. The very soul of the doctrine of Christ is atonement by his death.
“He bore, that we might never bear,
His Father’s righteous ire.”
The victim was killed, but it was also consumed, by the holy fire, upon the altar of God. Our Lord offered up himself unto God, not only by the death which came from the cross, but by the consuming of soul which came from the horror of bearing human sin. The tempest of sin’s consequences burst upon the innocent head of the great Substitute: the thunder-cloud emptied its dire contents upon his soul. He, voluntarily putting himself in our place, bore the result of that substitution. Out of infinite love, Jesus became an offering for sin. Not of compulsion, but of his own sacred choice, he became the sin-offering for the sinner, that the sinner might be made the righteousness of God in him. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” This we know, and in this great truth we steadfastly abide. . What other hope have we?
The sacrifice which our Lord presented before he went within the veil was personal. Stress should be laid upon the word “own” here. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood.” The Lord Jesus did not bring before God the sufferings of others or the merits of others, but his own life and death. “He poured out his soul unto death.” I will repeat the text which I quoted just now, for it is well worth repeating a thousand times. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” “He loved me, and gave himself for me.” Aaron could not do this: the blood he brought was not his own; and if he could, by any strange imagination be supposed to bring his own blood, yet it could only have been for himself, since his death was due to God as the punishment of his own individual sin. Our Lord owed nothing to the justice of God on his own account: he was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners”; and, therefore, when he took our place, it was that he might voluntarily offer up his own sacrifice, of personal suffering, and personal death, yielding up his whole being as a sacrifice in our stead. When he hangs naked upon the tree, I dare not look; but, with tears in my eyes, I worship. I own with deepest love how absolutely he gave up everything on my behalf, reserving not even a rag for himself, nor an atom of himself. “He saved others; himself he could not save.” It was, in the most emphatic sense, a personal sacrifice. In that sacrifice none could share, and in the after-entrance none could have a part at the time. Head Leviticus xvi. 17: “And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.” Even in sympathy we cannot enter the inner shrine of his sacrifice; in their innermost depths they are unapproachable. Jesus treads the wine-press alone. Gethsemane!— who can stand in the garden, and view the bloody sweat, and hear the deep groanings of that mighty heart? Even the favoured three are overcome with sorrow, and fall asleep.
“Who can penetrate through thee,
Lonesome, dark Gethsemane?”
But as for Calvary, where the darkness was denser still, till midday turned to midnight, as an emblem of what was going on; into that awful blackness we cannot peer. “Thine unknown sufferings” still remains one of the best descriptive expressions concerning that which can never be described. All this, I say, was his own sole, personal grief for sins in which he had no personal share: this was his sacrifice of entrance.
I cannot dwell long on any one point; but, I pray you, treasure these truths, which are more to be valued than the much fine gold. This sacrifice of his was of transcendent value. Think who he was that was offered. The Son of the Highest offered his own self unto God. There was never such another as he, as we have already said, for he was God and man in one person; and it was this Divine Person that was offered up a sacrifice without the veil, that he might enter within it. I cannot imagine a limit to the value of the sacrifice of Christ: I hope none of you will ever try to do so. When he gave himself up as a sacrifice, there was a greater recompense made to the justice of God than if the whole human race had been consumed. When God himself comes here to stand in the sinner’s place, the law obtains a fuller vindication than if worlds of guilty ones had borne its penalty. When the Law-giver himself bears the penalty of the law-breaking, the law is made honourable, and it is plainly demonstrated that God will not spare the guilty, but that every transgression must receive its penalty. When even the innocent Substitute is made to die because sin is laid upon him, we are sure that sin is exceedingly hateful to God. Hence the sacrifice of our Lord was of transcendent value.
This sacrifice, let men nowadays say what they will, was made in reference to human guilt. The passage I read to you in Leviticus insists upon this. The blood was sprinkled in the holy place “because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins.” Our Lord Jesus has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. His death was not merely an example, nor simply a display of divine love. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” His death dealt with our uncleanness: it cleanseth us from all sin. “Once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
And this had reference to God. The sacrifice of the day of atonement was not seen by the people, and its blood was not sprinkled where they could look upon it: it was for the Lord only. God, the infinitely loving One, because of the very infinity of his love, cannot look upon sin without displeasure, seeing it is man’s worst enemy. He must punish the sinner when he dares to break the perfect law. The sacrifice is, therefore, needed, to show the Lord’s hatred of evil, and his resolve to be just. Jesus did not die to make God merciful, as some falsely say that we teach; but because God was merciful Jesus died, that there might be a clear passage for divine mercy, without the violation of divine justice. Jesus did not die to make God love sinners, for he always did love them; but that his love might be exercised in consistency with holiness it was needful that the law should be vindicated, and the threatening against sin should not become a dead letter.
You see, then, the entrance offering which our Lord presented outside the veil. Come and partake in its cleansing effects.
II. Let us now notice THE MANNER OF HIS ENTRANCE. We are told in the text, “He entered in once into the holy place.” Much emphasis is to be laid upon that word “once.”
It has been done, then, once. Once has he offered up himself without spot unto God; once has he lifted the veil, and passed into the holy place of fullest fellowship with God on our behalf. It has been done! Oh, clap your hands for very mirth! Let your harps ring out loudly and sweetly with excess of joy. Jesus has entered in. Our Head and Representative is with God. It is not a thing to be wrought in the future, but it has been accomplished. His sacrifice had an immediate efficacy. On the spot it availed to open the kingdom of heaven. From the cross the Forsaken One entered into his kingdom as the Beloved of God. To prove how complete was the effect of his sacrifice, he went into the heaven of God at once. “It is finished.” The proof is that Jesus entered in once within the veil.
It means, however, that it was only once. Once only has Jesus made entrance officially into the heavenly places; for, by that one entrance, he has made the way open and manifest. His offering has been made once, and no more; and so it is written, “Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” No, there is not a repeated offering of Christ to God, nor a repeated taking possession of heaven on our behalf. “Once for all” the work is done. Jude tells us that “once for all” the faith was delivered to the saints: it is a final act, which is so complete that it needs no repeating. The entrance of our Lord once for all into the holy place has secured the entrance of his people. It was once, and it cannot be twice, because it was so effectual; and this is set forth by the Evangelists, for when our Lord entered the holy place, the veil was rent. The holy of holies was laid open: its enclosure was thrown down. What if I say that the inner shrine has expanded itself and taken in the holy place, and now all places are holy where true hearts seek their God? Had our High Priest merely lifted the veil and passed in, we might have supposed that the veil fell back again: but since the veil of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom, there can be no need for a new entrance; for that which hinders is taken away. No veil now hangs between God and his chosen people: we may come boldly to the throne of grace. Blessed be the name of our Lord who has entered in “once”!
And now, beloved, he has entered into the holy place once in the sense that he has entered in the fullest and most complete manner. When the High Priest went up to the mercy-seat, he drew near to the symbol of God, but not necessarily near to God himself. But our Lord Jesus Christ, as Mediator, came so near to God that no nearness could be greater. He always was in his Godhead one with the Father: but as God and man in one person he is now for ever with God. He saith, “land my Father are one.” The nearness of the God-man Christ Jesus to his Father is something to think upon with reverent pleasure; for, remember—
“In the person of his Son
We are as near as he.”
Christ has gone into the glory of the Father, and he has made a way for us to enter into like nearness. The road is open, the access is free: God meets us, and invites us to meet him. He waits to speak with us, as a man speaketh with his friend.
I wish I knew how to put this before you; but I fail. I pray you to think it over. Let these feeble words suffice to suggest to you the manner of his entrance as set forth by the word “once.”
III. But now, thirdly, let us consider THE OBJECTS OF HIS ENTRANCE. What did our Lord Jesus Christ do by his entrance within the veil? What comes of it?
It means, first, that he made atonement within the veil. He cleansed the heavenly places. Read the twenty-third verse of the chapter before us: “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” How it startles us to read such words! Was the heavenly place itself defiled? No, that cannot be; but if you and I had gone there without atonement by blood, heaven would have been defiled. Look at the crowds of once sinful men and women who are daily entering there to dwell with God. How could they come there if the heavenly places had not been prepared for them? Look at the multitude of our prayers and praises that are daily going up there! Are they not all in a measure impure, and would it not have defiled heaven to accept them? But the Lord has gone there, and has sprinkled his blood upon the mercy-seat, that so our prayers and praises, yea, and ourselves also, may enter without let or hindrance. Albeit that the guilty are taken up to dwell with God, and our poor prayers are accepted of God, neither we nor our prayers carry any defilement into the holy place, because the atoning blood is there beforehand. After heaven hath sucked up into itself so much of the sinnerhood of earth, it remains as pure as it was when only God and his holy angels dwelt therein. While men that were once steeped in sin are permitted to come and sit at the right hand of God, God remains as rigorously righteous as if no guilty one had been forgiven: the great sacrifice has secured this.
Then, next, he enters there to appear for us. Read the twenty-fourth verse: “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” He hath gone there to put in an appearance on our behalf. As in a court of law, when a man appears by his attorney, or legal representative, he is in the court, even though he may be miles away; so are we, to-day, in possession of our eternal inheritance through him, who has put in an appearance for us. God sees his saints in heaven in the person of their glorious representative. In him we are raised up together, and made to sit together in the heavenly places. Is not this a subject for quiet enjoyment? The Forerunner has for us entered upon the purchased possession.
He is there, next, to perfect us. Look at the tenth chapter, and fourteenth verse: “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” His one sacrifice hath made the comers thereunto perfect; and to show their perfectness, they enter into the holy place. His work is done, else he would not be within the veil; his being there is proof that everything is complete, and that his people are complete in him. The set-apart ones are accepted, for he in whom they stand is accepted. As when Adam was driven out of the garden, we were all driven out of the garden; so now that the second Adam is in the Paradise of God, we are there, too, in him.
He has entered in once also that he may abide there. Look at the twelfth and thirteenth verses of the tenth chapter: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” Jesus is with God in glory, and always must be there till the purposes of grace are accomplished. He holds a permanent session at the right hand of the Father in everlasting triumph. Till our Representative is expelled from heaven, we cannot lose it. As that can never be, look up, O believer, and see where you are, and where you always must be; accepted in the Beloved, made nigh by the blood of Christ!
Once more, he is there to admit us to the same nearness. Read the twenty-first verse: “Having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart.” Behold, the Lord Jesus meets us when we pray and praise, and he presents our worship. When we fall asleep, and wake up in another state, he will come and meet us— at heaven’s wide entrance, and through the rent veil admit us into the glory. What must it be to be with him on his throne; to behold his glory, and that for ever! It will not be long before we reach that felicity. Some of us are within hearing of the eternal song. Wherefore, let us cheer up, and if the way be rough, let us remember that it cannot be long. Since He has entered, by whom we are everywhere represented, this guarantees our entrance into the glory of God. Therefore has he gone before that he may welcome us home.
Turn these thoughts over, and surely you have heavenly manna to feed upon— food for faith, and material for songs. Thou art gone in before us, Lord; and because we love thee we rejoice.
IV. But now, lastly, let us review THE GLORIES OF THIS ENTRANCE. We have seen the sacrifice of our Lord’s entrance, the manner of his entrance, and the objects of his entrance; and now let us muse upon the glory of his entrance, which is this: “having obtained eternal redemption.” The words, “for us,” are supplied by the translators, and therefore we leave them out. Our Lord entered the most holy place “having obtained eternal redemption.” When Aaron went in with the blood of bulls and goats, he had not obtained “eternal redemption”; he had only obtained a symbolic and temporary purification for the people, and that was all.
Our Lord enters in because, first, his work is all done. We do not read, “he entered in that he might obtain it,” but “having obtained.” Some read, “having found eternal redemption.” He found it in himself, for he could have found it nowhere else. Neither in heaven, nor earth, nor hell could there be found a redemption for the souls of men; but our Lord found the ransom in his own great sacrifice, and he entered into glory with this amazing “Eureka” on his tongue. “Deliver him from going down into the pit, for I have found a ransom.” O glorious Finder, thou couldst well find it, for it was hidden in thyself! Thou hast obtained eternal redemption.
That which he had obtained was redemption. There is no getting redemption out of the Bible. I bless God for this. Many cannot endure the word, but it is there; and it is redemption by price, too— “a mercantile transaction,” as they profanely speak. “Ye are bought with a price.” Redemption is deliverance through payment: in this case, ransom through one standing in another’s stead, and discharging that other’s obligations. Brethren, when the Lord Jesus Christ died, he paid our redemption price; and when he entered within the veil, he entered as one who not only desired to give us redemption, but as one who had “obtained eternal redemption.” He has won for us redemption both by price and by power. We do not fully know what the word “redemption” means, for we were born free; but if we could go back a few years, and mix with the negro slaves of America, they could have told us what redemption meant, if ever, by any good fortune, any one of them was able to buy his freedom. You that have groaned under the tyranny of sin, you know what redemption means in its spiritual sense, and you prize the ransom by which you have been made free. Brethren, we are to-day redeemed from our far-off condition in reference to the Lord God: we do not now stand outside the veil. This is a great redemption. Wo are also delivered from guilt, for “He hath washed us from our sins in his own blood.” This is a great redemption. We are rescued from the power of sin that we should not live any longer therein. We overcome sin through the blood of the Lamb. This also is a great redemption. We are now saved from the curse of sin; for he was “made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” This is, indeed, a great redemption. We are redeemed from all the bondage that ensued from sin. We are no longer the serfs of Satan, nor the slaves of the world, neither are we subject to bondage through fear of death. That last enemy shall be destroyed, and we know it. The Son hath set us free, and we are free indeed. He entered into the heavenly places with this for his everlasting renown, that he has obtained redemption for his people.
And now think of the nature of that redemption; for here is a grand point. He has obtained “eternal” redemption. If you carefully study the verses around the text, you will find the word “eternal” three times: there is “eternal redemption,” the “eternal Spirit,” and an “eternal inheritance.” Why is redemption said to be eternal? It is a long word, that word “eternal”: notwithstanding all the squeezing and cutting that men give to it nowadays, they cannot make it into a limited period, do what they may. He has obtained eternal redemption— a redemption which entered into eternal consideration. I speak of the Lord God with great reverence, when I say that redemption was from eternity in his thoughts. What if this world was first created myriads of ages ago, as it probably was; yet in the succeeding epochs neither plant nor animal was created without respect to the divine ultimatum, which is redemption! Not a fossil lies in the rock which has not been moulded with a relation to the Lord Christ and his eternal redemption. Christ is the image of God, and all things bear traces of that image. From every act of Deity a finger points to Jesus, the atoning sacrifice. Redemption is the drift of creation, and the hinge of providence. The undertone of all the voices God has created is God in Christ Jesus. In him the transcendent splendour of the Godhead was best beheld, as, veiled in manhood, he bore human guilt, that he might abolish it, and bring to God a blood-washed church. Things created serve as a platform for things redeemed: the temporal creation gives way before eternal redemption. In the everlasting covenant the Lord had always an eye to its seal, which is the blood of its Surety. In the divine decrees everything is shaped and fashioned according to the work of that wondrous Person in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. The eternal councils of God have ever had an eye to the everlasting righteousness, and to the everlasting redemption of the everlasting Son of the Father. Redemption is no new thought with God, no expedient to snatch the world from an unexpected accident, no patching-up of a broken-down purpose. Redemption is the centre of the divine plan; the focus of the manifestation of God, the summit of the mountain of revelation. Herein is love! Herein is God!
When our Lord entered in, he had by his sacrifice also dealt with eternal things, and not with matters of merely passing importance. He offered himself by the Eternal Spirit, and by that offering he took off the mortgage from the eternal inheritance, and bade us freely enter upon the predestinated possession. Sin, death, hell— these are not temporary things: the atonement deals with these, and hence it is an eternal redemption. Let me cheer the heart of anyone here who is burdened with sin, with this reflection, that the redemption of Christ deals with the whole of past sin. How far back can we trace evil? We may follow it back to the first apostate angel; but as far as we are concerned we trace it to father Adam, and thus our sin runs back in muddy streams to that primeval fault which has brought a taint into our nature. Eternal redemption has removed from us whatever of evil consequences might come on us, because of our portion in the fall. The stain of heredity is washed out by our being created anew in Christ Jesus. From every soul that has by faith part and parcel in this redemption, all the olden curse of the race is gone. You have no cause to fear the ancient past; nothing lies buried there which can ever rise to accuse you. Who shall lay anything to the charge of him for whom Christ has obtained eternal redemption?
Now, look forward into eternity. Behold the vista which has no end! Eternal redemption covers all the peril of this mortal life, and every danger beyond, if such there be. You know not how much you are to be tempted and tried before the end cometh. Peradventure, you will live to extreme old age, and you dread the decay of intellect, and the increase of infirmity; and well you may. Nevertheless, be glad that he has obtained eternal redemption for you. You cannot possibly outlive the redemption of Christ, neither can any temptation for which he has not provided by any possibility assail you.
Leap to the end. Think of the future of prophecy. Anticipate the blast of the seven trumpets, the pouring out of the dread vials! You need not fear any of these, seeing your Lord has obtained eternal redemption. We are being informed that great events will happen on such a day and hour. I believe these predictions as much as I believe in the prophecies of the Norwood gipsy, and no more; but if they were all true, what occasion is there for fear to a believer? Our Lord has obtained eternal redemption for his people, and we shall rest contented even though the star Wormwood should fall, and the waters should be turned into blood, and all these things should be dissolved.
When prophecy is all fulfilled, and we pass into the dread future, we fear not death, since our Lord has obtained eternal redemption. “Eternal punishment” is a word of unspeakable terror; but it is met and fully covered by “eternal redemption.” Be not afraid, O ye that put your trust in the Lord Jesus as your Sacrifice and Priest! There is nothing in the mystery of eternity that need appal you. Fearlessly you may launch into the deep, and quit the shores of this present being, since you bear with you eternal redemption. How shall you be lost, for whom an eternal ransom has been paid? Oh, leap for joy, ye believers in Jesus; for he has obtained eternal redemption for you! He would not go within the veil unto his Father till he had fully wrought out your redemption. He stayed here till he could cry exultingly, “It is finished”; and then, but not till then, he gave up the ghost, and entered into his Father’s presence. Rejoice that ye have no trifle here, but an eternal redemption. This is no thing of to-day, or to-morrow, but of the eternal past and future.
I have done, but let me ask my beloved hearers, one by one, Have you this eternal redemption? Do you believe in the Lord Jesus? He that believeth in him hath everlasting life, and that is the outcome of eternal redemption. Dost thou believe in the Son of God? Faith in him is the greatest of all works, even as our Lord said, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” All other works are like the chaff on the threshing-floor, if we refuse to believe in God’s grandest deed of love and wisdom. God’s noblest deed rejected, we reject God himself. He has manifested himself in the sacrifice of Christ as nowhere else; and if we turn our backs upon the cross, if we refuse to believe in the Incarnate God dying for human sin, we show a rebellion of heart against God which must destroy us. No sin can equal the sin of refusing God’s way of mercy. If you come confessing sin, and if you accept the great Sin Offering as presented for you, you shall be brought nigh to God. If you, too, by faith can dip your finger in this blood, and sprinkle it upon the mercy-seat, even as Christ, your High Priest, has sprinkled it, then you, too, shall stand within the veil with Jesus. Into the holiest of all you may enter; nay, you have entered there already in Jesus, and you are there permanently, because he abides there for ever. Your Substitute, your Covenant Head, your Representative is in the glory, and there thou shalt be ere long. Wherefore, if thou believest in Jesus Christ the Son of God with all thine heart, comfort thyself with these words. Since the veil is rent, hide not thyself from God who unveils himself to thee. By-and-by thou shalt be with him where he is. Rejoice that even now he is with thee where thou art. The Lord bless this congregation, and may we all meet within the veil around the great Forerunner, whom we love and adore! Amen.