A look at Jesus’ title CHRIST as an acronym. C-an H-ope R-emain I-n S-erious T-imes? That is the question. In serious and trying times, can Christ remain our hope. Yes, most definitely according to the word of God. We read in the letter to the Hebrews in chapter six that “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul is both sure and steadfast.”
Let’s look at this passage of scripture in Hebrews 6:13-20 (NIV)
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 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. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
It is interesting that the object used to illustrate how firm and secure our hope is just happens to be an anchor. It may even seem strange to use this object when addressing the Jews seeing that they weren’t known for being a sea-faring nation, that is with exception of Solomon’s navy (1 Kings 9:26). In fact in Old Testament, the only detailed account of a sea adventure that comes to my mind is that of Jonah. On the other hand there are objects or places to the Hebrews that might of have seemed sure and steadfast, but were lost, removed or destroyed. For example the ark of the covenant, stolen one time and is now lost or hidden, the tabernacle and it’s furniture, the temple and even the city of Jerusalem and the occupation of their land. And yet those who ventured the waters knew the firm hold the anchor would give. Fishermen would know of it and also travelling Jews, like the account of Paul on his stormy journey to Rome in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 27:29)
Let us look at the anchor as a symbol for a firm and holding hope.
Here are a few metaphors and their parallels and departures that I have gleaned from Benjamin Keach:
- An anchor is a good stay and security to a ship in a storm. – So hope in God through Christ, is a most excellent stay for the soul of a believer, in a day of trouble and persecution. In Romans 8:24 it states we are saved by hope.
- An Anchor takes hold of something which is out of sight. – So Hope, the Anchor of the soul, takes hold of something which is not seen with carnal eyes, which is within the veil.
- An Anchor, when it takes hold of a rock, or firm ground fastens and stays a ship more steadily, preserving it from suffering shipwreck. – So Hope, the Anchor of the soul, taking hold of Christ, who called a Rock (1 Cor. 10:4), stays the soul in a perilous time firm and steadily, so it is safe from spiritual shipwreck.
- An Anchor would be of no use without the cable to which it is fastened. – So Hope, without faith is of no use, nor can avail the soul any thing in the time of need; those two graces always co-operate and work together for the help of a believer.
- An Anchor, that it may be of advantage to a ship, requires skill rightly to cast it.- So Hope, the Anchor of the soul, must be rightly cast, or else it will not profit a saint any thing in the day of trouble. It must be „Cast within the veil, whither the Fore-runner is for us entered, even Jesus.
And here two departures:
- An Anchor is cast down into the sea, river or water. – Hope, the Anchor of the soul, is cast upward; the saint’s hope is in heaven.
- An Anchor may let go it’s hold, or be broken, and so become useless to the ship, by which means the ship may be lost. – Hope, the Anchor of the soul, is sure and steadfast, unmovable and unchangeable; hence it is said, “Hope maketh not ashamed.“ (Rom. 5,5)
Our Hope is firm and secure for it is founded on the promise and oath of God as we have seen in the passage that we have read concerning Abraham. We also find in the Psalms (Psalm 89:20-36) that the LORD promises and swears to David His sure mercies to which the Apostle Paul refers to as he quotes Isaiah 55:3 when preaching in the synagogue at Antioch in Asia Minor.(Acts 13:34-39). The promise and the oath are unchangeable for “It is impossible for God to lie.“
HOPE is sure and steadfast because of where it is fastened, in heaven behind the veil, in the holy of holies, in the very presence of God, where it can not be moved or shaken.
Hope is certain and sure because our Forerunner, Jesus is unchangeable just as the priesthood of Melchizedek changes not. As it is stated in Hebrews,“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.“(Heb. 13:8)
In Christ, our hope remains no matter how serious the times may be.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. Psalms 31:24
The Hope we have is the H-old O-f P-romised E-ternity!
— Gary A.