Epistle to the Hebrews (9:23-28)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the HebrewsThat is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf.And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal.If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the ageto remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:23-28

The contrast is being made there between the earthly and heavenly tabernacle. Jesus ministers in the heavenly tabernacle whereas all the high priests which preceded Him ministered in the earthly tabernacle. The very moment Jesus took the office of High Priest i.e. as mediator between man and God, all the laws regarding sacrifices and purifications became obsolete. Why? Simply because it was superseded by a better covenant. Would not that be ridiculous to slaughter an animal to cover sins when these sins have been removed by Jesus’ blood? Would not that be rebellious to continue to have high priests to plead for man’s sin? Is not it an offense towards the Lamb of God to even think to slaughter a goat for sin’s forgiveness?

For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven.

Do you prefer admiring a picture of your spouse or have himself/herself by your side?

Jesus went to deal with sin at its root. He went straight in heaven’s tabernacle and removed our sins. To enter this holy place and purify the sins of the whole world, you can’t be an angel or just a mere human. You can’t even dare to take blood of mere animals! That would be a sacrilege! There’s no creature who could go there and remove these sins vehemently condemning us before God’s throne. This is why the author said:

“But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.”

The word “far better” used in this verse fails to amplify it’s superiority. There was not and there could not be other way to purify the things in heaven.

Let me give you an image in the book of Revelation:

Then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?”But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it.” Revelation 5:1-2

If no one was worthy to even open the scroll, may I ask who could go boldly before God’s throne and say that he has forgiven the sins of the whole world?

John in his vision says:

Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders.” Revelation 5:4-6

Who is worthy? It’s unquestionable in heaven that Jesus is the One but on earth they considered Jesus demon possessed. On earth they insulted Him and continue today to refuse to believe that He deserves worship. All creatures in heaven bow down before Him and worship Him but on earth they made a statue of Him, consider Him just a prophet and say He was an impostor.

But in Matthew 6:10 He said “May your will be done on earth,as it is in heaven.” It will soon be made clear who is Lord when His Kingdom will be established on earth.

“And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal.He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf.

As John describes it, it’s as if the Lamb was [just?] slained. Like portraying that this purification is still alive and will not cease. It will not be replaced for it is and will continue to be a living sacrifice.  Our High Priest presently stands as advocate and pleads for us. The Lamb which has been slained is not dead.

The priests needed other sacrifices because the sacrifices were burnt and eventually had to be replaced. The sacrifices also needed to be replaced because man continued to sin and these sins were not removed but just covered. The high priest himself needed to be replaced for he was a mortal being like anyone.

And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal

When we say that something is perfect it implies that there’s no need for replacement for it is the ultimate thing. It is complete in itself and will never require improvements. Jesus will not shed his blood again, He did it once for all and it will never again repeat itself. It is the ultimate and perfect sacrifice and will never need improvements.

“But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.”

He cried out on the cross “It is done”. Sin has been removed.

Our sins have been removed and we’ll never require to look for a new way to be justified. He alone holds this office to make us right. Jesus died for all in order to give everyone the chance to repent but tragically not everyone wants to be saved. Not everyone wants to trust in Him.

When Jesus will return, He’ll not come again to offer the world a chance to repent but to judge. To those who trusted in Him for their salvation, heaven will be theirs, but for those who rejected His free gift, God’s wrath will be poured out on them.

He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11

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Posted March 16, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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