Saturday, April 17, 2010
On March 9th, as I stood on the beach of Israel's ancient port city of Caesarea, I gazed out on the Mediterranean Sea and could almost imagine the ship coming in that would take the Apostle Paul to his judgment before Caesar in Rome. Knowing his life was ultimately in the hands of God, regardless of Caesar's judgment, he went with confidence and trust. His life was like that ship which came for him. It would face storms, but he would have an anchor that would hold him in spite of all.
A story that sailing traditions on the Mediterranean speak of, relates to the practice that ships used in securing themselves to the harbor when entering it is not possible. If a reef or breakwater prevented the ship from entering the harbor at low tide, a small craft would be launched with a "forerunner" sailor to carry the anchor and line within the harbor to secure the ship until high tide would allow it to be towed into the safety of the port. This illustration very well portrays the essence of the writer's intent in Hebrews 6:19-20: "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."
Just as the sailor took the anchor and secured it within the safe harbor, Jesus is both the anchor and the forerunner Who bears it through the veil which separates us from the eternal safe harbor of heaven, and there on the right hand of God keeps our ship steady until God's high tide call pulls us home to Him. His sacrificial death on the cross for our sin, His victory over death through the resurrection, and His ascension into heaven as our High Priest assures us of our "anchored" connection.
While we may never face the kind of storm that Paul did for his faith and ministry, and who is to say but what may indeed be on the "horizon" for even us in this day, we do face storms in life that threaten to "sink" us in waves of despair and loss. It is here that we can take hope and faithfully trust in our "anchored" security.
You may ask, "How can I know that my anchor will hold out?" Consider what Hebrews 6:10 tells us. "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."
One who has placed his faith in Christ has a secure "line and anchor" tied to heaven, with the absolute promise of a God Who cannot and does not lie nor forget. His very nature as God makes this a secure anchor of hope. But not only IS HE a secure hope, but God, Himself, takes an oath to seal the promise. "Because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself." (Verse 13). Thus, "by two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie." (Verse 18), His promise and His oath, our ship is secure and already safe, even though not within the veil of that heavenly harbor.
Oh, Christian brother and sister, be encouraged that God will not forget you through every storm you face. One day you will stand forever secure in His safe harbor.