Daily Readings and Thought for December 3rd. “LET US HOLD FAST”


The message of encouragement in today’s chapter in Hebrews is one of the strongest – and bluntest – in the Bible.  It is likely this letter was being circulated as Jerusalem was under threat of destruction.  After a 3 year siege it was destroyed; a destruction that included the Temple, the time when “not one stone was left upon another”, as Jesus had predicted. (Luke 21 v.6) This brought to an end all sacrifices under the Mosaic Law.

“Therefore brothers,” we read, “… we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us” [Ch.10 v.19,20]  This was so full of meaning to those who had left behind the ritual of Temple sacrifices. But thinking further, can we not see today the contrast to those who sacrifice their lives (in a sense) to the joys of the flesh in today’s godless world?  This caused us to think ahead to tomorrow’s chapter where we read of Joseph, growing up in Egypt “choosing rather to be mistreated … than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” [Ch.11 v. 25].

Now today’s chapter goes on to say, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” [v.22].  The water of baptism was (or is) our gateway into a new and meaningful life.  And now note the next verse, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering” [v.23]

Then follows a wonderful expression of positive thinking, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together … but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” [v.24,25]

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