Epistle to the Hebrews (9:6-10)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the HebrewsWhen these things were all in place, the priests regularly entered the first room as they performed their religious duties.But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the entrance to the Most Holy Place was not freely open as long as the Tabernacle and the system it represented were still in use.This is an illustration pointing to the present time. For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them. For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies—physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established.” Hebrews 9:6-10

We have already seen the role of the high priest, the necessity of blood to cover sins and the ceremonies held. These sacrifices were rejected by God because they were impure and imperfect .

There were sins which people were aware of because their were laws which clearly pointed out their faults. However, there were also sins done in ignorance which tainted their conscience. When we sin in ignorance, we are still guilty. The Israelites had to offer a sin offering whenever they realised their wrongdoings.

If the entire Israelite community sins by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but the people don’t realize it, they are still guilty.When they become aware of their sin, the people must bring a young bull as an offering for their sin and present it before the Tabernacle.” Lev 4:13

There’re many sins we did in ignorance but that does not mean God is unaware of them. If you had to record all the sins you did each day of your life, you might end up with a huge book. But those sins you did in ignorance would probably make volumes of book bearing your name as author.

Ignorance of law is not an excuse in judiciary and so will it be on the Judgement day.Who can get to heaven even if sins made out of ignorance are counted? No one.

Jesus said:

I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Mat 19:24

I should stress on this impossibility for anyone to get to heaven. There’re enough reasons to say that no one will go to heaven because all are sinners. Man’s sin and God’s holiness are antonyms. It is therefore impossible for man and God to dwell together because of the inherent differing nature of these 2 beings. Man was made in the image of God but this image has been severely tarnished by sins. God can no longer recognize us as His beloved “image” or children for we no longer resemble Him. He is holy and we are sinners.

I should also emphasise that “with God everything is possible”. This “everything” is  someone – Jesus. The impossibilities have been removed when He said “It is accomplished”.

Isaiah 53:11 says:

When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,he will be satisfied.And because of his experience,my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous,for he will bear all their sins.”

These sins you did in ignorance have also been swept away by Jesus. This is what “He will bear ALL their sins” means. Sinners confess the sins they realised but not those they are unaware of. But God sees them all.

How many non-christians have such a burden on their conscience? They find themselves unworthy to talk with God because of their guilty conscience. They cannot do anything to remove this guilt. They will fast, pray, give alms, help the poor, do sacrifice and good deeds and still their conscience is not cleanse of this guilt.I’ll say it again, if during your whole life you have been doing good deeds and it happened one day you were fined because you were driving fast to visit someone at hospital, you’ll never be able to say to the judge “Look at all the good things I did, I always had good intentions and I do not deserve to be fined“.You’ve violated the law and it would be unrighteous for a judge to overlook this wrong doing.  It is a widely believed lie that good deeds cancel bad deeds. This is why many people wonder why they still feel guilty in their conscience after all the good things they did. The fact is that the good things they did not even remove a single white lie.

There’re sins you’re aware of and those you’re unaware of on one side of the balance. On the other side there’s nothing you can put to counterweight. Sin is a spiritual state and it cannot be counter-weighted  with material things or good deeds. Sin has to be dealt in the spiritual world and Jesus removed all those sins. This is why a Christian has a clear conscience for his past sins have been removed.  Under the old covenant, food, animals and drinks were used in the ceremony to cover sins. Blood of animals and food cannot remove sin, they could only cover it. This is why year after year people had to ask God to forgive them of the same sins they did before. When you’re a Christian, you still remember what you did but you know that these sins have been removed and will never be counted against you. So it’s useless to ask God  again to forgive you of the sins you did 20 years ago. He already did and no longer hold it against you.

As we read earlier, Hebrews 8:12 says:

And I will forgive their wickedness,and I will NEVER again REMEMBER their sins.”

Do you understand that? If you’re a Christian, do you still feel guilty of the sins you did before?

Read what God said to Israel in Isaiah 1:18:

Come now, let’s settle this,”says the Lord.“Though your sins are like scarlet,I will make them as white as snow.Though they are red like crimson,I will make them as white as wool.”

Do not fear Christian, look at who Jesus is. His love for us drives out fear. Even on judgment day our Advocate will accompany us and speak for you and me (1 Pet 4:17). His love for us give us this confidence that we’ll not be confused when facing the righteous Judge.

Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced” Rom 10:11

And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” 1 John 4:17

It’s over my friend. God has forgiven you and there’s not a single sin left behind. You can be so ashamed of your past sins and think you have to go through penitence to relieve your conscience. It would be an offense and rebellion to the Lamb’s sacrifice if you think it’s not enough. Believe that Jesus sacrifice is enough and perfect to forgive your sins then you’ll see how your conscience is unloaded of these past sins. How can a Christian worship God with all his mind if his thoughts is still loaded with past guilt? Today consider the power of the High Priest and believe that He is able to plead for you.

Hebrews 9:14 says:

Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God.”

Trust Jesus and see your sins washed away by the holy blood of the Lamb and your mind renewed by the power of His risen life! May your conscience be free today of the burden of sin.

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Cor 3:16

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Posted February 2, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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