“For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside
because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect);
but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.”
I draw near to God not because of my righteousness, not by good works or proving myself to Him – but through Christ. Jesus is the better hope through which I draw near.
He has done what the Law cannot do (Romans 8:3).
The Law made nothing perfect.
He makes us perfect and complete. He makes us holy. He clothes us with pure garments. One of my favorite Old Testament passages clearly conveys this role of Jesus, silencing our accuser and covering us with His righteousness:
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?’ Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ And to [Joshua] he said, ‘Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.’”
Our iniquity has been taken away. And while our purification is a process, to be completed when we are presented before the throne of our Lord, even now we can draw near to our holy God through Christ. For His righteousness has been conveyed to us. When we confess our sins before Him, God is not wrathful – He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, because we take refuge in the cross of Christ that took on God’s wrath for us (1 John 1:9). In this, He is also faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Reaching out His healing hand to wash us whiter than snow. Cleansed to our very core. Transformed into the likeness of Christ.
The Father Himself loves us (John 16:27). He desired our reconciliation, that we could come into His presence. Our sin made that impossible, but He made a way.
Through Jesus Christ.
Through the horror, the agony, the shame of the cross (Colossians 1:20). Through the glory of His victorious resurrection, disarming the authorities and silencing our accusers forever (Colossians 2:15).
This is our better hope: Jesus silences our accusers, takes our iniquity away, and cleanses us in righteous power. The burden of our salvation is not on our shoulders; it was laid on His. And He accomplished it all. In this new, living hope we stand. Taking refuge in Christ, we now walk in His light, for we have been changed and brought out of darkness.
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Hebrews 8:10). It is relational, for He will be our God. It is transformation to the depths of who we are. Mending our brokenness, cleansing our sin, filling us with His light through His Spirit of peace, and writing His laws on our hearts, that we might see His love poured out for us and walk in the freedom of His righteousness.