Those in the Old Testament have died. We shall, therefore, pay attention only to those in the present time. Many people push the cross back nineteen hundred years and consider it as old, outdated, and obsolete. Although it is true that world history considers Christ’s Golgotha a historical event, in the believers’ spiritual experience the cross of Christ is still a fresh event. It is not old, outdated, or obsolete. We can consider a few verses.
Hebrews 10:19 and 20 say, "Having therefore, brothers, boldness for entering the Holy of Holies in the blood of Jesus, which entrance He initiated for us as a new and living way through the veil, that is, His flesh." In order to understand these two verses, we have to understand the things mentioned in the Old Testament. In the ancient times, the tabernacle was divided into two sections. The first section was called the Holy Place, and the second section was called the Holy of Holies. The two sections were divided by a veil. Those entering the Holy of Holies had to pass through the veil. God’s glory was manifested within the Holy of Holies. No ordinary person could enter the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest could enter it once a year. Before he entered it, he had to first offer sacrifices and make atonement for himself and the people and had to go in with the blood of bulls and goats. For us now, we enter the Holy of Holies through the blood of the Lord Jesus. This signifies the cross. Formerly the high priest entered the Holy of Holies only once a year. Now, through the cross of the Lord Jesus we can enter the Holy of Holies any time. What is the meaning of entering the Holy of Holies? It means that we can come to God to confess our sins, fellowship with Him, and be in His presence.
Those entering the Holy of Holies had to pass through the veil. The veil signifies the body of the Lord Jesus. When He was crucified, the veil of the temple was rent in half from top to bottom. If the veil had not been rent, men could not have passed through it. If the Lord Jesus had not died and His body not been broken, men could not pass through Him and could not enter the Holy of Holies. At the present time, we come to God through the death of the Lord Jesus. This also signifies the cross.
Our Bible tells us that this way through the veil was opened up for us by the Lord Jesus. Truly, He willingly gave up His life to redeem us.
We need to pay attention to the fact that this way is "new and living." The word "new" in the original language refers to something freshly offered or freshly sacrificed. Here we see the eternal freshness of the cross! The high priest could not rely on the offerings or sacrifices of the previous years. He had to have fresh offerings and fresh sacrifices. He only dared to enter and was able to enter the Holy of Holies through the blood of these animals. What about us now? We come to God by the blood of the Lord and through His body. Every time we come before God, we do not have to offer up sacrifices afresh. Our Sacrifice is forever fresh! The Lord Jesus’ cross does not turn old with the years. Its freshness is the same today and forever as it was at the time of crucifixion. Every time we come before God, we can sense the freshness of the Lord’s cross. In the ancient times, unless the high priest had fresh blood of newly offered sacrifices, he would die before the Lord. The sacrifice of previous years could not redeem him from his current year’s sins. If God did not consider the Lord’s redemptive sacrifice as eternally fresh, we would have perished long ago. Thank the Lord that the cross is forever fresh before the Lord. The Lord considers the crucifixion as something freshly accomplished.
This way is also "living." This word can also be translated as "forever living." This way is a way that is "freshly offered." It is also a way that is "forever living." Christ has died and has resurrected; He has accomplished salvation for us and has led us to God. We should know that Christ has resurrected and that His resurrection remains until today. We should also know that Christ has died and that His substitutional death continues until today. The greatest events in the earthly life of Christ were His death and resurrection. Both are not past, obsolete events. They are still fresh today. Since we have such a fresh, redeeming Savior, we should receive Him and come to God through Him to receive forgiveness and blessing.
Revelation 5 records how John saw the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven. He said, "And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as having just been slain" (v. 6). This is a picture of the future. When John saw the Lord in heaven, it was many years after Golgotha. Yet the Lord was like One who had just been slain. The words "having just been slain" can also be translated as "having been freshly slain." In heaven at the time of the ushering in of eternity, the Lord will still be the One who is freshly slain! Oh, the eternal freshness of the cross! Truly the cross passes through all ages and remains fresh! If the cross will be fresh in heaven in that day, how can we consider it as being old today? In the future when the heavenly glory breaks forth, the glory of the cross will prove unfading! When God’s redeemed ascend to heaven, they will find the redemption of the cross still as fresh as before!
One point deserves our attention. In the Old Testament Christ is twice called the Lamb (Isa. 53:7; Jer. 11:19). In the Gospels and Acts He is mentioned as the Lamb three times (John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32). In the Epistles He is mentioned as the Lamb once (1 Pet. 1:19). However, in Revelation He is mentioned as the Lamb twenty-eight times! The glory of the Lord’s cross will outshine all ages! God purposely called His Son the Lamb in this book of eternity. The Lamb here is seen as having been freshly slain. The wound is still there! The eternal wound guarantees eternal salvation. The crucifixion of the Lamb becomes our eternal memorial. God can never forget this. The angels can never forget this, and those ascended and saved ones can never forget the redemption of the cross. Who will receive this eternal salvation? The cross is the only unshakable place. All those who have sinned should come.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 06: The Christian (4), Chapter 11, by Watchman Nee)