We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place beyond the veil, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf …
It has been observed by some commentators that one of the ways that the book of Hebrews stands out from other New Testament literature is in its infrequent mention of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. At least one writer has even gone so far as to say there is no mention of it at all. A survey of the book of Hebrews, however, reveals that the hope of every believer – the resurrection on the Last Day – is a theme that permeates the epistle, and that this hope is based on the resurrection’s first fruit, Jesus Christ. Even if it is not a prominent theme, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is everywhere presupposed in this epistle. This being a week when the church historically gives greater attention to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this Sunday we will survey the book of Hebrews for its many allusions to the resurrection.
First, the author assumes that the ‘resurrection of the dead,’ is among the basic doctrines of the faith (6:2). His declaration that the Son of God sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (1:3) presumes His resurrection. Clearly Christ’s resurrection is on his mind in chapter 2:14-15, where he announces how Christ destroyed the power of death and delivered those who were slaves to fear of death. In chapters 4-10, which focus on Jesus’s high priestly ministry, His resurrection is often at the forefront. The author describes Jesus as the Son of God, who has passed through the heavens (4:14); Jesus is called a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek, who was saved from death (5:6-7). We find Jesus described as the fulfillment of Melchizedek, who has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever (7:3); He became a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life (7:16). Christ is described as having entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, in the presence of God on our behalf (9:24) – which seems to correlate to the location described as beyond the veil, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf (6:19-20).
By rising from the dead, Christ secures our hope beyond the veil, in heaven itself, so that we, as the people of God, now eagerly anticipate Christ appearing a second time (9:28) to usher our new bodies into the heavenly Jerusalem and an unshakable kingdom (12:18-29).