“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 6:19–20, KJV 1900)
Years ago, I purchased a 16-foot 1959 mahogany boat. I spent time restoring it and put it in the water. One of the things I purchased was an anchor. This was for two reasons. First, I purchased it to keep the boat from drifting when I wanted to fish on a specific spot. The second, was so that if the motor quit working, I could anchor the boat in place and call for help. For, without a working motor and an anchor the boat could drift helplessly into the Atlantic Ocean shipping lanes, which would not be a good thing. Having a solid anchor keeps us secure. It keeps us from drifting away.
The author of Hebrews gives the recipients of this letter a picture that they, as Jews, would readily understand. He states that believers have a solid anchor for the soul, a hope that has entered the inner place behind the veil. The picture is that of the high priest who would enter the Most Holy Place in the Temple one time per year on the Day of Atonement. He would go in and present the blood of the sacrifice, first for himself and then for the people for the atonement of sin. (I will cover this in more depth later as we go through Hebrews.)
The writer further indicates that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that was sacrificed, entered that place behind the curtain as a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Jesus entered the holiest place in the very presence of God, which the earthly Temple foreshadowed.
Year after year the high priest would enter the holiest place to make atonement for the sin of the people, but his work was never done. The high priest could only stay in there long enough to offer the blood of the sacrifice and then leave, not to return for another year. Moreover, he would have to repeat this every year. The work was never done. The high priest could never provide a permanent anchor for the soul.
Yet Jesus entered the holiest place having offered the perfect sacrifice once and for all. The Scripture states that He as our great high priest entered the holiest place and sat down at the right hand of God. The imagery of Jesus being seated at the right hand of God is a picture of His atoning sacrifice on the cross being completed in full. He did not have to leave this place as soon as the offering was presented and continuously repeat the process, because His offering was perfect and complete. Nothing more was needed forever. Thus, He serves as sure and steadfast eternal anchor for our souls.
Since we are anchored in Jesus, that anchor is so firm, that we who are true believers, will never drift away. He is our high priest after the order of Melchizedek. (I’ll get into the importance of Melchizedek starting tomorrow.)