In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:17-20 (NRSV)
Carpe Diem. This Latin phrase means, “Seize the day.” While making the most of every day is a worthy goal, as Jesus followers we are also encouraged to seize the hope.
The writer of Hebrews (who was addressing believers from the Jewish community) refers to Jesus as our high priest, an intermediary on our behalf who makes God available to us. Through Him the boundary that separates us from God is broken. We are “unholy” because we are all tainted by sin, but because of Jesus intervening on our behalf, we can enter the Holy of Holies and enter into the presence of God.
Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. Matthew 27:50-52 (NRSV)
Because of Jesus we can seize the hope. The curtain in the temple separated the Holy of Holies (the place where the Presence of God would come to earth) from the common person. Only the high priest was ever allowed to go behind the curtain, and then only at certain times to offer sacrifices and prayers. When the curtain was torn, the Spirit of God was set loose. Because of Jesus there is no barrier. There is no holding back the Spirit of God. There is nothing holding us back from embracing and receiving the Spirit of God. We have the hope that can only be found in Jesus- not just for eternal life but for life lived to the fullest, life surrendered to God and dedicated to His purpose for us.
Because of Jesus we can seize the hope- and run with it, and spread it around. Hope in action speaks words of comfort and performs acts of mercy. The things that would hold us back from living as God’s people are no longer there.
How can we seize- and share- the hope today?