We have an anchor of the soul. That’s what’s resonating this morning as I read the last half of Hebrews 6. And who doesn’t need an anchor these days? Something that is sure? Something which can hold fast? But what grabs me this morning is less about what the nature of our anchor is and more about where our anchor is planted. We have an anchor behind the curtain.
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of His purpose, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
(Hebrews 6:17-20 ESV)
These ancient Hebrews weren’t dealing with pandemics, protests, and politics, but whatever it was that was creating the pressure cooker they were living in, for some it was causing them to waver in their faith. To question “the ask” of God’s call on their lives. To second guess whether following Christ was really going to be worth it all. To forsake the assembling of themselves together. To consider going back to an easier way, a way more in line with the world they used to know.
So the message to the Hebrews was, “Keep on keepin’ on!” Because Christ is better (Heb. 1:4, 2:17-18, 3:3). Because the promises are better (Heb. 7:22, 8:6). Because, when all will be said and done, the way of faith is better (Heb. 11:6). Therefore, the race to be run, though it requires great endurance, is also better (Heb. 12:1-3). And this results in a hope which is better. A hope set before us. A hope we have as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
But lest we think it is our ability to hope which provides our steadfast security, the Spirit emphasizes that the strength of the anchor lies not in us but in where the anchor is planted — the inner place behind the curtain.
No matter how heavy an anchor is, if it doesn’t become firmly planted in the ocean bed, if it doesn’t catch onto something immovable, it can hang off the boat all day long but will provide little stability in the storm. Yes, our hope is an anchor for the soul, but only because it is tethered steadfastly behind the curtain.
Behind the curtain, where the glory dwells and God is present. Behind the curtain, where our great High Priest, having made a once for all atonement, ever lives to make perpetual intercession. That’s where the anchor of our soul is fastened. Not in our ability to muster up enough hope, but in the presence, in the power, and in the promises of the One who has given us such a sure hope.
The substance of our hope is faith (Heb. 11:1 NKJV). And we all know how our faith can waver at times. Therefore our hope can waver. Our anchor, at times, less characterized by weighty iron and more like flimsy aluminum. But, praise God, it is less about the weight of our hope and all about the ground into which our hope is anchored. Holy ground. Solid ground. Ground which is behind the curtain.
Thank God we have an anchor for the soul. An anchor formed by things better than this world could ever offer. An anchor securely attached to ground more holy than we could ever imagine. A steadfast anchor of the soul. An anchor behind the curtain.
By His grace. For His glory.