There are two main ideas about the meaning of Ďthe flesh (body)í of Jesus in Hebrews 10:20. One idea is that it means the death of Jesus. The other idea is, like in Hebrews 5:7, that it means Jesusí life on this earth. But perhaps it is possible for both meanings to be correct.
In both the building called the temple, and the tent called the tabernacle, a curtain separated the most holy place. So a curtain marked the room where God was present in a special way. That curtain showed the way to God. In the same way, Jesusí life, by his words and actions, constantly showed people the way to God (John 14:6-10).
But a curtain is not like a permanent wall. You can easily move a curtain to one side. Israelís chief priest did that on the special day each year, when he entered the most holy place (Hebrews 9:7). Or, it is possible for a curtain to tear apart. That happened to the curtain in the temple at the time when Jesus died (Mark 15:37-38).
Jesus declared that he is the way to God the Father (John 14:6). By his life, he showed people how to have a close relationship with God. By his death, he made it possible for people to receive that relationship with God.
This is a new kind of relationship between God and his people (Hebrews 8:8-11). It is a closer relationship than Israelís priests knew. They could not go beyond the curtain into the most holy place. But because of Jesusí death, a curtain no longer separates God from his people. The way to God is now open. And God wants his people to have the closest possible relationship with him. They have become his sons and daughters (Hebrews 12:5).
Next part: Jesus, our great priest (Hebrews 10:21)
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© 2013, Keith Simons.