Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hebrews 9 - Christ, Better Sacrifice in a Better Sanctuary

LINK: Hebrews 9


BACKGROUND 


Here is a group of Bible Book Club posts about the Old Testament tabernacle. This is important for understanding the background. Pay particular attention to the posts in Exodus 25 and 30:1-10. The Old Testament tabernacle was an earthly copy of the real one in heaven. 


Here is a post on high priest's duties on the Day of Atonement described in Leviticus 16:6. He went once a year and with blood to cover his own sins.


The Old Covenant sacrificial system, with all its regulations, was temporary and external. The gifts and sacrifices could not cleanse the consciences of the worshipers. The permanent, new order had come with Jesus Christ. He is the great High Priest who has entered that most holy place in heaven. He took his own blood into that most holy place once for all and secured our salvation forever. The blood of Christ has purified our hearts from dead works to serve a living God! As our mediator, we have an eternal inheritance. These Jewish Christians did not need to feel guilty for not following the old system. 


In 9:16, the writer switches from talking about covenant as an agreement to talking about covenant as a "last will and testament." The will of the testator only went into effect at the time of that person's death. The Old Covenant was put into effect with blood. An animal had to die (Exodus 24:3-8). Without the shedding of blood there was no forgiveness on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:12-19). In order for the New Covenant to be put into effect and the will to be carried out, the testator had to die, and that testator was Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20). Through his blood, sinners can enter the holy of holies in the heavenly sanctuary for all time (Hebrews 9:24; 10:19-22). Jesus Christ is a better sacrifice in a better sanctuary!


REFLECTION


In summary, here is another comparison of the covenants based on this chapter (be sure to download the more detailed one from yesterday):


Old Covenant
New Covenant
Repeated sacrifices
One sacrifice
The blood of others
His own blood
Covering sin
Putting away sin
For Israel only
For all sinners
Left the holy of holies
Entered heaven and remains there
Came out to bless the people
Will come to take His people to heaven


APPLICATION


Let the reality of this heavenly sanctuary and Christ's better sacrifice there go down deep into your soul. It is the crux of our faith!


Here is an electronic copy of a great spiritual classic by Andrew Murray:


The Power of the Blood of Jesus

Here is a narration of another work by Andrew Murray that covers the same subject:

The Power Of Christ's Blood To Open The Holiest - The Holiest of All



PRAYER


Lord, thank You for the blood that was shed so that I might enter into Your most holy place. May I never take that for granted. Help me to live up to the holy calling to which I have been called because of the blood of Jesus Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen. 
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