A dropped anchor keeps a boat firmly in its location even when the water is churned up and weather conditions are on a rampage. Metaphorically it has come to signify stability and security.
The word ‘anchor’ is used only five times in the Bible (ESV), and four of the uses are in Acts 27 which very literally describes the apostle Paul’s shipwreck. The only other occurrence of the word ‘anchor’ is in Hebrews 6, describing our hope in Jesus Christ as a secure anchor for our souls.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain… Hebrews 6:19 (ESV)
The inner place that our hope enters would have been well understood by Jewish believers in the writer’s day. It was the Most Holy Place in the temple where only the high priest could enter once a year, and only if he was thoroughly and meticulously consecrated. No one would have dared enter behind the curtain. They would have died.
That was before Christ made a way for believers to enter into God’s holy presence. At Jesus’s death the curtain was torn, indicating that in Christ we now have access to the Most Holy Place of God Almighty.
We anticipate an eternal future with God in the Most Holy Place. Already we can experience that to a degree on earth, but we have hope that one day we will fully understand what it means to be in the presence of God.
Biblical hope is difficult to describe in earthly terms. We’re told that “we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-5), that we were saved in hopes of being adopted into God’s family with redeemed bodies (Romans 8:23-25), and Paul prayed that “that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…” (Ephesians 1:17-19). And finally, Colossians 1:27, says that the mystery which God has made known is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
It’s interesting that hope, somewhat ethereal and intangible, is equated to an anchor, something so solid and weighty.
Picture a heavy anchor, sunk deep in the water and firmly holding your boat steady. No matter what the conditions are, you are not moving from that spot. I may be over-interpreting here, but the word “Glory,” ‘kabod,’ means “weight,” “heaviness” or “importance.” Perhaps it is faith in the glory of God, his weight, heaviness, and importance, that holds us secure as we look toward a glorious future and anchors us in our not-so-glorious present.
It is tantalizing! No one knows exactly what joys, rewards and blessings will be found “behind the curtain,” but we know our Father, his goodness, his promises, and his love, so we put our hope in the inner place with God Almighty.
Jesus went behind the curtain ahead of us, and we only know in glowing, but general, terms what is in store for us for all eternity. That’s where faith comes in. If we have faith in Jesus, then we will follow him behind the curtain and we will experience the glory of God that is to be revealed to us.
That hope, that promise, is my anchor. I hope it is yours also.
What do you hope for in this life? Do you have an inkling of what your glorious future will be like?