In the first post of this series taken from Hebrews 10:19-25, I said that those of us who are in Christ have now been ordained as a priest with Jesus Christ as our great (better than high) priest. The first part of the passage, Hebrews 10:19-21, reminds us of what we have in Jesus Christ: 1) a way into the presence of God through Christ himself, and 2) Jesus Christ as our great priest.
Because we have these things, we should respond in three ways: 1) Draw near to God, 2) Hold fast to the confession, and 3) Consider one another. This post focuses on the second response (Hold fast to the confessions) taken from Hebrews 10:23:
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23 ESV)
Several of the terms and phrases in this verse are common in the book of Hebrews: “hold fast,” “confession,” “hope,” “promise (as a verb or noun),” and “faithful.” For example, you will find this terms and phrases in the following passages (among others and not including Hebrews 10:23): Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 3:2, Hebrews 3:5, Hebrews 3:6, Hebrews 3:14, Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 6:11, Hebrews 6:13, Hebrews 6:18, Hebrews 7:19, Hebrews 11:11, Hebrews 12:26.
But, in this particular passage (Hebrews 10:23), the terms all come together to reveal more about our response as a priest to the work and identity (as great priest) of Jesus Christ.
The focus of this passage is our “confession.” In the OT, this term referred to an oath or vow that accompanies a sacrifice or offering (more priestly language). In the New Testament, the term typically refers to an acknowledgement of Jesus Christ and the gospel concerning him:
By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others… (2 Corinthians 9:13 ESV)
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12 ESV)
Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession… (Hebrews 3:1 ESV)
Thus our “hope” (to which we “hold fast”) is in the confession or acknowledgement that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. (See 1 Corinthians 12:3 and Romans 10:9 for example.)
However, it would be a misunderstanding to say that our own confession/acknowledgement is the source of our hope. Instead, as the author of Hebrews continues to explain, we are only able to hope because the one who promised (God himself) is faithful to keep his promises.
The verse is an image of us holding on to God, but we’re only able to hold on to him because he has his arms wrapped around us.