We Are Looking For a City That Is To Come (Hebrews 13:11-14)
“The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” ( Hebrews 13:11-14 )
Jesus was the lamb of God’s appointment ( I Peter 1:19-20, Revelation 13:8 ). He was sent as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the entire world ( I John 2:2 ). He came to His own people, His own kind and was rejected and despised by them ( John 1:11, Acts 4:11, I Peter 2:6-8 ). However, His blood was given just the same. It was given to make peace and bring us back into fellowship with God.
While all of this was taking place in the heavenly realm ( Hebrews 9:11-12 ), Jesus’ body was carried outside of the Levitical sacrificial system, taken to calvary and crucified; fulfilling scripture saying that it must be done this way ( Leviticus 16:27 ). He bore the shame and disgrace reserved for criminals, murderers and thieves.
This shows that Jesus was the true fulfillment of everything the sacrificial system pointed to ( Hebrews 10:1-5 ). Because of this, we should constantly consider Jesus, and disregard anything that keeps us from Him ( Hebrews 3:1, 12:2 ). Just as He did, we should go outside of the norm, willing to accept abuse, shame and ridicule by others because of our associating with Jesus. Why? Because this is not our home, we are looking forward to a city and a permanent home that is to come.
The previous verses give instruction on how to stay steadfast, “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat” ( Hebrews 13:9-10 ).
Through His grace we have received so much more that those who serve according to the illustration of Christ and not the real thing. So, if we continue, steadfast and strengthened in grace, reminding ourselves over and over what Jesus did for us. Then we will not be carried away by other things. This grace will also produce a passion and desire for us to follow wholeheartedly after Christ Jesus even in the midst of persecution and disgrace.