Friday, October 29, 2021
23-26 That accounts for the prominence of blood and death in all these secondary practices that point to the realities of heaven. It also accounts for why these animal sacrifices aren’t needed anymore, having served their purpose when the real thing occurs. For Christ didn’t enter the earthly version of the Holy Place; he joined the Place Itself and offered himself to God to sacrifice for our sins. He doesn’t do this every year as the high priests did under the old plan with blood that was not their own; if that had been the case, he would have to sacrifice himself repeatedly throughout history. But instead, he sacrificed himself once and for all, summing up all the other sacrifices in this sacrifice of himself, the final solution of sin.
27-28 Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation.
-Hebrews 9:23-28 The Message
Verse 23: Therefore, the copies of the things in the heavens needed to be cleansed with these things. Still, the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Verse 23 study: Theologians don’t understand the earthly tabernacle fully as a copy and symbol of heavenly realities. Based on scripture, the cleansing of holy things can be understood as referring to Christ’s spiritual work in heaven for us (8:5).
Verse 24: For Christ did not enter a holy place made by hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
Verse 24 study: Christ is our mediator, appearing in God’s presence on our behalf. This is referencing the priests, tabernacles, sacrifices, and other ideas that are unfamiliar. We relate to the role and are encouraged by it. Christ is on our side as Christ is at God’s side. He is our Lord and Savior. He is not there to convince or remind us that God forgave our sins but to present our needs and service for him as an offering (7:25).
Verse 25: Nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year by year with blood that is not his own.
Verse 26: Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world. Still, now once at the consummation of the ages, He has been revealed to put away sin by sacrificing Himself.
Verse 26 study: The “consummation of the ages” refers to the time of Christ’s coming to earth in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. Christ started a new era of grace and forgiveness. We are still living in the period of the “consummation of the ages.” The day of the Lord has begun and will be completed at Christ’s return.
Verse 27: And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment,
Verse 28: Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
Verses 24-28 studies: Christ died so we would not have to die spiritually, even though we all die physically. We can have confidence in his saving work for us, doing away with sin; past, present, and future. He had forgiven past sins when he died on the cross. He sacrificed himself once and for all (9:26), he also given us the Holy Spirit to help us deal with present sin; he appears for us now in heaven as our high priest (9:24); promise to return (9:28), and raise us to eternal life in a world where sin will be banished.
Father, we know you are coming. According to your Word, we are living in the Consummation of the Ages.” Let us be prepared for when you arrive. If we are not ready, give us the wisdom, the tools needed, and your guidance to get there. In Jesus’ name. Amen!