We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. Hebrews 6: 19, 20
Today I was working on one of the lessons in my New Testament Survey class, the book of Hebrews was the topic. The teacher is Gary Stanley, who has been on the Campus Crusade staff for many years. He taught that there is a lot that is unsure about Hebrews: who wrote it, who it was written to, and where it was written from are all unknowns. I learned that it is written in the finest Greek of the New Testament and its purpose is to encourage Jewish Christians from turning back to Judaism. Whew. Interesting stuff…
BUT then he gave an explanation of some of my favorite verses in Scripture, Hebrews 6:19, 20. I love the part that says “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, ” but I always left off the next verse: “It enters the sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.” I always left it off because…I didn’t know exactly how it fit into this nautical anchor analogy. I understood the veil and the curtain, which separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple. I knew that when Christ died, the curtain was torn, allowing us access to God through his sacrifice. But it still didn’t seem to fit.
THEN Gary explained one of the words in the verse. The word “forerunner” is not exactly about running ahead in this instance. He told us that in Greek, the word used is “prodromos” and its only used here.
Gary reminded us that if you look at a map of Greece, you see that it is filled with peninsulas jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea. There many natural deep harbors are found between these peninsulas but sometimes they are difficult to maneuver through to reach the docks. So the Greeks had a “prodromos,” a small rowboat and they would attach it to the ship with a rope and send it into the harbor. Because it was small, it could make its way around the obstacles and into the port where it would be tied up to the dock. Then the ship, although not yet in the harbor, was safely moored.
We have this hope, as an anchor for the soul. Jesus, our prodromos has anchored me to heaven. My hope is secure and safe. I live outside of that safe harbor, but my soul is anchored there. I am tossed and driven by the winds of life, I am motionless on a calm sea, or bullied by waves, but I am anchored in heaven. Sometimes I have no control over the events of my life, sometimes it feels like I just have no energy left to do the work that moves my ship. But my life, my hope, my eternity, remains anchored with Jesus, where it is safe.
I have this hope as an anchor for my soul, firm and secure.