Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,…
I. THE DENIAL OF THE PROPER PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST BREAKS THE INTERESTING AND INSTRUCTIVE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. Revelation is the glow of an early morning, shining to the perfect day. The foundation of the building was laid in the patriarchal ages; and it rose to the completion when by the ascension of Christ He became the head of the corner, and gave the weight and beauty of His majesty to give stability and ornament to the building. All the Scriptures testify of Him; to Him give all the prophets witness: as our great High Priest, Christ was seen with Moses and Elias, who "spake with Him of His decease" which He was about to "accomplish at Jerusalem." They had looked forward to His day, not with curiosity merely, but with lively interest, as to the consummation of that sacrifice of which theirs were but the types, and their faith in that alone was imputed to them for righteousness.
II. As the connection between the two Testaments would be broken by the denial of the priesthood of Christ, so THE HARMONY BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT DISPENSATIONS OF .REVEALED RELIGION TO MAN WOULD BE DESTROYED. The frame-work of revealed religion has been precisely the same in all ages: that man is a sinner; that on the ground of his own right he cannot be justified; that law, though it admits of atonement and satisfaction, is inexorable in the exaction of its penalty; that the guilty can only be pardoned through the sufferings of the innocent; that God can only be approached through mediation; and that intercession for the guilty is admissible only as it has respect to sacrifice for sin. How impressive, how solemn are these truths, transmitted as they are to us by the testimony of all ages, and marked and signalised by the rites of the Church wherever she has erected her temples! This is sufficient to prove that they are the expression of the counsels of the Divine mind; that they are the axioms on which He governs the guilty race; and that, like Himself, they are unchangeable.
III. If we have not in the gospel a real sacrifice and a real priesthood, then CHRISTIANITY LOSES ITS EXCLUSIVE CHARACTER, and can no longer claim to be the religion of mankind. That the religion of Jesus Christ makes such a claim cannot be doubted; and that it was understood by its first preachers to have this exclusive character is matter of history and not of reasoning.
IV. IF WE HAVE NO SACRIFICE, NO PRIESTHOOD, IN THE GOSPEL, THEN CHRISTIANITY, INSTEAD OF BEING THE CONSUMMATION AND PERFECTION OF ALL OTHER DISPENSATIONS OF RELIGION TO GUILTY MAN, IS IN FACT INFERIOR, IMPERFECT, AND THE LOWEST IN HOPE AND CONSOLATION. Who can lay his hand upon his heart and appeal to God that he has never offended in thought, in word, in temper, or in deed? The same gospel which reveals the righteousness of faith reveals also the wrath of God from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God," No; thanks be to infinite mercy, we are not so left. We have a High Priest over the house of God. If any man sin, there is a sacrifice of infinite value: the death of the incarnate Son of God. Repentance, and a believing application to the blood of atonement, are followed by conscious pardon. The grace of the Holy Spirit is given to the humble and praying believer to realise in his experience and conduct the holiness of the gospel.
Parallel VersesKJV: Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,