Hebrews 10:21–22, “and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
After laying out the superiority of Christ in chapters 1–10, the author of the letter to the Hebrews begins telling his audience how they should live in light of this information. The doctrinal content of the epistle is given not only for the sake of knowledge, but so that it will produce certain results in faith and life.
The preceding section of this epistle that complained the audience was dull of hearing and unskilled in the Word of God (5:11–14) may have made the people afraid to come to God in confidence. Their yearning for the old covenant ways that did not allow them direct access to God’s presence shows that they had some significant doubts as to whether they had the right to approach God at all.
However, these doubts were completely unfounded. For Christ’s high priesthood enables His people to come to the throne of grace with confidence. As today’s passage says, “since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near …” (vv. 21–22).
In light of Christ’s priesthood, all that are His must draw near. We must not stay away from Him, but run to Him in our times of doubt and need. And not only are we to draw near in times of doubt, but in all seasons of our lives. For the author includes himself in the exhortation — and he was not doubting the promises of Christ. “Let us draw near” he says in verse 22. All of us must draw near to Jesus and let nothing keep us from Him.
Verse 22 says that we are to draw near with full assurance of faith. We must remember that our assurance is not based on how we are feeling about Christ on a particular day. Rather, our assurance is based on our knowledge and confidence in His superiority. The author bases our assurance not on us but on the fact of Christ’s priesthood (v. 21). We can be confident in drawing near only because of this great truth. Thus, full assurance is only possible as we take our eyes off ourselves and look to Christ as revealed to us in His Word. Full assurance is only possible as we look at His unchanging character.
Not only do we draw near with assurance, but we also draw near with hearts clean from evil consciences. We have such hearts today if we trust, no matter how weak this trust may seem to us, in His blood that cleanses our consciences (9:14).
Are you afraid to draw near to Christ? If you are, do not be afraid to draw near in times of doubt or sin because He has opened up the way into the presence of God. Come boldly before His throne today, not because He owes you, but because His work of sacrifice and intercession truly and graciously enables His people to enter in.