Hebrews 9. Forum Discussion

Jesus' superior sacrifice

Chapter 9 begins with the Hebrew writer providing an overview of how the first covenant had, “Regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary.” – Hebrews 9:1. He describes the physical layout of the tabernacle and how the priests were, “Continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship.” – Hebrews 9:6.

Only the high priests were allowed behind the second veil of the tabernacle which was meant to provide a barrier between sinners and God. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would go behind the second veil (some translations use the word, “curtain”) to enter the holy of holies in the presence of God.

Once beyond the second veil, the high priest would offer sacrifices for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. – Hebrews 9:7. It’s interesting that the Hebrew writer states that the sins were committed in ignorance. Does that mean that those that were aware of their sins and still committed them were not provided a sacrifice for? It’s difficult to say. One thing that is for sure, under the new covenant God says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9.

The shortcomings of the first covenant are spelled out in Hebrews 9:9-10. Both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience,since they relate only to food and drink and various washings.”

Jesus’ sacrifice was superior because:

  • Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, to appear in the presence of God for us. – Hebrews 9:24
  • Christ does not have to offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. – Hebrews 9:25
  • Christ was manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. – Hebrews 9:26
  • We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. – Hebrews 10:10

Chapter 9 concludes with the Hebrew writer telling us that, “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement.” This is an appropriate place for us to end today’s lesson as well.

If we reflect on the fact that we are all going to die, and we are all going to be judged, this realization can create a sense of urgency to get our spiritual lives in order. Those that do this can look forward to one day hearing the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” Amen

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