Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Pointing to the Realities of Heaven
11-15 But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven’s “tent”—the true Holy Place—once and for all. He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood instead of using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all. If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable so that we can live all out for God.
-Hebrews 9:11-15 The Message
Verse 11: But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things have come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by hands, that is, not of this creation;
Verse 12: and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all time, having obtained eternal redemption.
Verse 12 study: This is imagery that comes from atonement rituals described in Leviticus 16. Redemption is the process of paying the price or ransom to free a slave. The good news is that he freed us from the slavery of sin forever through Christ’s death.
Verses 12-14 studies: You may know Christ, and you may believe you have to work hard to look good for God. But the rules and rituals never cleansed people’s hearts. Jesus’ blood alone;
- Our conscience is cleansed.
- We are freed from death’s string and can live to serve God.
- We are freed from sin’s power.
If you have guilt carrying in you because you feel you are not good enough for God, you should sit down and take another look at Jesus’ death and the meaning of his death. Christ can heal you and your conscience and deliver you from the frustration of trying to earn God’s favor.
Verse 13: For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,
Verse 14: how much more will get the blood of Christ. Through the eternal Spirit, the latter offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Verses 13-14 studies: God considered people’s faith and obedience when people sacrificed animals. According to the Old Testament law, God also considered them cleansed from sin and made them ceremonially acceptable. Christ’s sacrifice transforms our lives and hearts to make us clean on the inside. His sacrifice is more effective than animal sacrifices. No barrier of sin or weakness on our part can stop his forgiveness.
Verse 15: For this reason, He is the mediator of a new covenant so that, since a death has taken place to redeem the violations committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Verse 15 study: In the Old Testament, the people were saved through Christ’s sacrifice, even though the sacrifice didn’t happen yet. In offering unblemished animal sacrifices, they anticipated Christ’s coming and his death for sin. There was no point in returning to the sacrificial system since Christ had come and had become the final, perfect sacrifice.
Father, the pressure of making sure we look good for you is there, and people may think this way. In these verses, thank you for helping us understand clean hearts and rituals. Let us remember that you can clear up our guilt in looking good for you and our sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen!