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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 10 - Verse 20

Verse 20. By a new and living way. By a new method or manner. It was a mode of access that was till then unknown. No doubt many were saved before the Redeemer came, but the method by which they approached God was imperfect and difficult. The word which is here rendered newprosfaton— occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means slain, or killed thereto; i.e. newly killed, just dead; and then fresh, recent. Passow. It does not so much convey the idea that it is new in the sense that it had never existed before, as new in the sense that it is recent, or fresh. It was a way which was recently disclosed, and which had an the freshness of novelty. It is called a "living way," because it is a method that imparts life, or because it leads to life and happiness. Doddridge renders it "ever living way," and supposes, in accordance with the opinion of Dr. Owen, that the allusion is to the fact that under the old dispensation the blood was to be offered as soon as it was shed, and that it could not be offered when it was cold and coagulated. The way by Christ was, however, always open. His blood was, as it were, always warm, and as if it had been recently shed. This interpretation seems to derive some support from the word which is rendered "new." See above. The word living, also, has often the sense of perennial, or perpetual, as when applied to a fountain always running, in opposition to a pool that dries up, See Barnes "Joh 4:10, and the new way to heaven may be called living in all these respects. It is a way that conducts to life. It is ever-living—as if the blood which was shed always retained the freshness of that which is flowing from tho vein. And it is perpetual and constant—-like a fountain that always flows—for it is by a sacrifice whose power is perpetual and unchanging.

Which he hath consecrated for us. Marg. "or, new made." The word here used means, properly, to renew, and then to initiate, to consecrate, to sanction. The idea is, that he has dedicated this way for our use; as if a temple or house were set apart for our service. It is a path consecrated by him for the service and salvation of man; a way of access to the eternal sanctuary for the sinner which has been set apart by the Redeemer for this service alone.

Through the veil, that is to say, his flesh. The Jewish high priest entered into the most holy place through the veil that divided the holy from the most holy place. That entrance was made by his drawing the veil aside, and thus the interior sanctuary was laid open. But there has been much difficulty felt in regard to the sense of the expression here used. The plain meaning of the expression is, that the way to heaven was opened by means or through the veil that is, of his body or through the medium of the flesh of Jesus; sacrificed for sin, as the most holy place in the temple was entered by means or through the medium of the veil. We are not to suppose, however, that the apostle meant to say there was, in all respects, a resemblance between the veil and the flesh of Jesus, nor that the veil was in any manner typical of his body, but there was a resemblance in the respect under considerations—-to wit, in the fact that the holy place was rendered accessible by withdrawing the veil, and that heaven was rendered accessible through the slain body of Jesus. The idea is, that there is by means both of the veil of the temple, and of the body of Jesus, a medium of access to God. God dwelt in the most holy place in the temple behind the veil by visible symbols, and was to be approached by removing the veil; and God dwells in heaven, in the most holy place there, and is to be approached only through the offering of the body of Christ. Prof. Stuart supposes that the point of the comparison may be, that the veil of the temple operated as a screen to hide the visible symbol of the presence of God from human view, and that in like manner the body of Jesus might be regarded as a "kind of temporary, tabernacle, or veil of the Divine nature which dwelt within him," and that "as the veil of the tabernacle concealed the glory of Jehovah in the holy of belies, from the view of men, so Christ's flesh or body screened or concealed the higher nature from our view, which dwelt within this veil, as God did within the veil of the temple." See this and other views explained at length in the larger commentaries. It does not seem to me to be necessary to attempt to carry out the point of the comparison in all respects. The simple idea which seems to have been in the mind of the apostle was, that the veil of the temple and the body of Jesus were alike in this respect, that they were the medium of access to God. It is by the offering of the body of Jesus; by the fact that he was clothed with flesh, and that in his body he made all atonement for sin, and that with his body raised up from the dead he has ascended to heaven, that we have access now to the throne of mercy.

{e} "living way" Joh 14:6 {3} "consecrated" "new made"

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