Andrew Murray: Let Us Draw Nigh!
Our Hearts Sprinkled
10:22. Let us draw near… our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.
In verse 19, we had boldness through the blood of Jesus, as one of the four precious things prepared for us by God. It is that actual liberty or right which the blood of Jesus gives, apart from any use we make of it. Along with the opened sanctuary, and the living way, and the great Priest, the blood and our boldness in it is a heavenly reality waiting our faith and acceptance. Here the blood is mentioned a second time, and our being sprinkled with it as one of the things God asks of us. It is in the personal application and experience of the power of the blood we are to draw nigh. The sense of the cleansing of the heart in the blood may be, must be, an unbroken consciousness; so shall we abide continually in God’s presence. This second mention of the blood is in accord with what we had in chapter 9. of its twofold sprinkling.
First, Christ entered with it into heaven to cleanse the heavenly things and fulfill the type of the sprinkling on the mercy-seat. It proved its power with God in putting away sins. And then we read of its cleansing our conscience. The blood which has had its mighty operation in heaven itself has as mighty power in our hearts. It makes us partakers of a divine and eternal cleansing. In heaven, the power of the blood is proved to be infinite and immeasurable, never-ceasing and eternal, giving boldness to enter even as Christ did. As the soul learns to believe and rejoice in this heavenly power of the blood, it will claim and receive the very same power in the heart; Jesus washes us in His blood with a washing that is not at times or intervals, but, in the power of the endless life, a continuous experience, and we know by faith what it is to have, in a heavenly reality, a heart sprinkled from an evil conscience. We walk as those whose garments have been washed and made white. And grace is given, even for the life on earth, to keep our garments undefiled (Revelation 3:4).
There will ever be harmony between a home and those who dwell in it, between an environment and the life that is sustained by it. There must be harmony between the Holiest of All and the soul that is to enter in. That harmony begins with, and has its everlasting security in, the blood of sprinkling. The ever-living and never-ceasing energy of the blood, ever speaking better things than the blood of Abel, and keeping heaven open for me, has a like effect on my heart. The blood has put away the thought of sin from God; He remembers it no more for ever. The blood puts away the thought of sin in me too, taking away the evil conscience that condemns me. The better things which the blood speaks in heaven, it speaks in my heart too; it lifts me into that heavenly sphere, that new state of life and intercourse with God, in which an end has been made of sin, and the soul is taken in to the full and perfect enjoyment of the love of God.
The action of the blood in heaven is unceasing—never a moment but the blood is the delight of the Father and the song of the ransomed. Draw nigh when thou want, the blood is there, abiding continually; not a moment’s interval. And even so will it be in the soul that enters in. The difficulty that staggers the faith of many lies just here; they cannot understand how one who has to live amid the cares and engagements and companionships of his daily life can every moment maintain a heart sprinkled from an evil conscience. They do not know that, if once, with a heart sprinkled, they enter in, they are in an inner sanctuary, where everything acts in the power of the upper world, in the power of an endless life. They breathe the inspiring, invigorating air of the Holiest of All; they breathe the Holy Spirit, and enjoy the power of the resurrection life. The Minister of the heavenly sanctuary is also the Mediator of the new covenant in our hearts. All He does in heaven He does each moment on earth in our heart, if faith will trust Him, for the blood of sprinkling is the blood of the covenant. The abiding continually is possible and sure because He who is our High Priest abides continually.
And what may be the reason that so few Christians can testify of the joy and the power of a heart at all times sprinkled from an evil conscience? The answer is that in the apprehension of this, as of every other truth, there are stages according to the measure of faith and faithfulness. See it in Israel. There you have three stages. The Israelite who entered the outer court saw the altar and the blood sprinkled there, and received such assurance of pardon as that could give him. The priest who was admitted to the Holy Place not only saw the blood sprinkled on the brazen altar, he had it sprinkled upon himself, and might see it sprinkled on the golden altar in the Holy Place. His contact with the blood was closer, and he was admitted to a nearer access. The access of the High Priest was still more complete; he might, with the blood for the mercy-seat, once a year enter within the veil. Even so, there are outer-court Christians who trust in Christ who died on Calvary but know very little of His heavenly life or near access to God or service for others. Beyond these, there are Christians who know that they are called to be priests and to live in the service of God and their fellow men. They know more of the power of the blood as setting apart for service, but yet their life is still without the veil. But then come those who know what Christ’s entering with His blood implies and procures, and who experience that the Holy Spirit applies the blood in such power, that it indeed brings to the life in the inner sanctuary, in the full and abiding joy of God’s presence.(1)
1. “The blood contains life (John 6:53). The blood not only removes death (judicial and spiritual), but it gives and preserves life (judicial and spiritual). It quickens. We are not only to be sprinkled with it outwardly, but we are to receive it inwardly, to drink it. As with the water, so with the blood. They are for inward as well as outward application.”—H. Bonar. And because the twofold application is essentially one, the sprinkling is in a power that purifies and quickens the whole inner life.
Let us draw near, with a true heart, in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience. Oh, let us not bring reproach upon the blood of the Lamb by not believing in its power to give us perfect access to God. Let us listen and hear them sing without ceasing the praise of the blood of the Lamb in heaven; as we trust and honor and rejoice in it, we shall enter the heaven of God’s presence.
1. “Wherein is the blood of Jesus better than the blood of goats and bulls, if it cannot free us from the spirit of bondage and the evil conscience, if it cannot give us a full glad confidence before God? What Jesus has perfected, we can experience and enjoy as perfect in our heart and conscience. You dishonor your Savior when you do not seek to experience that He has perfected you as touching the conscience, and when you do not live with a heart entirely cleansed from the evil conscience.”– STEINHOFER
2. A true heart—a heart sprinkled: you see everything depends upon the heart. God can do nothing for us from without, only by what He can put into the heart. Of all that Jesus is and does as High Priest in heaven, I cannot have the least experience, but as it is revealed in the heart. The whole work of the Holy Spirit is in the heart. Let us draw nigh with a true heart, a sprinkled heart, our inmost being under the heavenly power of the blood, entirely and unceasingly.