What I’m sharing today is very essential and precious. Let’s read Hebrews 12:22-24: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
Here the translation can be clearer. We can simply say: “There is a festal gathering of innumerable angels.”
“Who are enrolled in heaven” means there are names recorded in heaven.
“Assembly of the firstborn” refers to the church.
I find this passage very precious, and it’s the conclusion and climax of the Book of Hebrews. I treasure this book very much; I have such a great need. Today, I’d like to talk about this book. Hebrews chapter 1 tells us that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God; chapter 2 tells us He became a man. I found this extremely precious and irreplaceable. For me, the Lord became a man forever. Because He is the most High God, the infinite and everlasting One, I cannot fully express how precious it is for Him to become a man for me.
It’s so precious that the Father made an oath, and will never regret appointing His Beloved Son to be my high priest, meaning that The Lord Jesus would become a man forever and die for me. Hebrews tells us that He became a man, a mediator, a priest and even the sacrifice. He redeemed us not by the blood of a goat, an ox or a sheep, but by His own blood. He betrothed us by His blood so that we can be deeply united with Him forever.
I like to look at the mountains when I draw near to God. The lyrics of the “diamond hymns” refer to the death of the Lord on the mountain. In Shatin, you can see Ma On Shan. Its elevation is about the same height as the mountain where the Lord was crucified. I also like to look at Needle Hill. Lately, I’ve been singing songs about “Venus.” The crescent moon at the beginning of the month seems to be smiling at us. At this time of the month, the crescent moon is the closest to Venus. It gradually moves away as time passes. When I sing hymns, I like to look at the mountains and Venus, which make a magnificent scene. I wish I had a camera to capture it. It’s like a spectacular painting! Buildings at the foot of the mountains cause me to think of the Lord becoming a man for me; the mountain reminds me of the Lord dying for me. Venus is the brightest and most unique planet in the sky. It can easily be spotted: just look towards the direction of the setting sun, and you will see what appears to be a very bright star; that is Venus. Venus can appropriately represent that we are the bright star of His love dream. Embellished with the trees, the scenery is so beautiful. I wish that someone could be there to capture this scene for me. Through this, I see how the Lord became a man for me, died for me and made me the bright star of His love dream. His love dream has come true!
Hebrews talks about 12 “betters.” One of them is in Hebrews 12:24: “and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” This should be the last “better” mentioned in Hebrews, and I treasure that it is included in this passage. Hebrews tells about the Lord’s ministry. He is the priest, the mediator of the new covenant, as well as the offering. He bled for us. Where was He leading us to? “Coming before God” is written multiple times in Hebrews. This passage is also the last one to make reference to this point. He continually leads us forward. What destination is He leading us to? A destination that is the most beautiful, that never ceases to improve and always progressing. It’s so precious that this is the goal and destination of your life and mine now through eternity. And this is what I’d like to share with you today.
I sought for the meaning of life in the past. This passage tells us the meaning. Within the core of God’s plan and His precious purpose, there is the “core of the core”. Yet, they are one. The Bible shows us by many different ways what God desires most. It’s so precious that what He wants the most is also what we need the most, which can completely satisfy our hearts. His will has become the meaning of my life. His greatest desire is also mine. From the Bible, we know that God treasures His will and its core. He treasures you and me because we are the main character in His love dream. When we are clear about this, our sense of value will change. We will also change the way we spend our time. We will not waste our time and life on the futile things of this world.
This chapter is very precious. It tells us very important truths, and it corrects the misconceptions that affect how we draw near to God. This passage is short but extremely important. It clearly tells us where the saints go when they fall asleep. A very precious sister recently has gone to the Lord. Someone asked me, “Where did she go?” This passage makes it very clear to us that she has gone to New Jerusalem in heaven, because that is where the names of the firstborn are recorded. It is the gathering of the church. Jesus is also there. Paul once said that it is far better to leave this world and to be with the Lord. The Lord is there and we will be there with Him. This short passage is very clear.
Moreover, these truths help us to see our position—the position of the church in God’s heart. It clearly says that we are the assembly of the firstborn, the most honourable and glorious in the whole universe. The Father will lead many sons unto glory. This is truly precious! New Jerusalem is the ultimate destination for our life and eternity, the destination of our spirit.
This passage also helps us to mind the things from above. It’s written clearly in Colossians chapter 3 that to overcome our flesh, we need to mind and seek the things from above, where Christ is, at the right hand of God. Some brothers and sisters might not know what to think about sometimes. From this passage, we know what is in New Jerusalem. This enriches our meditation on things that are from above. Our mind is very important. To overcome our flesh, we need to protect our mind and avoid bad thoughts. Furthermore, we need to think of the Lord and mind the things related to the Lord, as well as Christ at the right hand of God. Romans chapter 8 also writes about minding the things of the Holy Spirit.
This passage helps us tremendously because it tells us who will be in New Jerusalem. It tells us the most precious truths, helping our mind not to be empty. This helps us to gain victory. It gives us joy when we behold, and our eyes of faith can also see other truths. You need to know that New Jerusalem is a large city. Its length exceeds the distance between Hong Kong and Beijing. Its height is also extraordinary. In fact, it is a garden city with mountains, a river and flowers. Revelation chapters 21 and 22 give an account of the city. And the Lord is in the city!