Session 3 – The God Who Saves (Mohler)
Text: Hebrews 9:11-28
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)
12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
13 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh,
14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.
17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.
18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.
19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.”
21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship.
22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,
26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (ESV)
Is talking about the blood atonement crude? Is it offensive? Is singing about the blood appropriate? Should the entire Bible be read to children? Why did God choose the need for blood for atonement?
We not only under-preach the person of Christ we also under-preach the work of Christ.
The children of Israel did not fully understand the meaning of the sacrificial system of which they were a part. It required the divine revelation of the Son to fully understand the meaning of the Old Testament sacrifices. Jesus Christ is the great high priest, the final high priest, the one who is greater than all other priests. The old things could not save, the new things, that is Jesus Christ, can save. That is the good things that have come.
Understanding this passage from Hebrews requires an understanding of the tabernacle and the temple. We must know about the sacrifices and the priesthood. We must understand that there was no forgiveness of sins performed by the Old Testament sacrifices. There was outward purification. There was also a delay of divine wrath. See verse 23.
The things God commanded to be constructed and performed on earth are copies of those things which already existed in heaven. These copies on earth had to be sprinkled with blood. But no earthly priest could do anything about the originals, which are in heaven. But Jesus Christ is infinitely better:
1. He entered once for all. Not repeatedly, as the earthly priests. There is no altar any more on earth. There was one final altar, and that was the cross of Jesus Christ. Christ only had to suffer once, not repeatedly.
a. The essence of the Roman Catholic mass denies this fact. The mass is seen as a repeated sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
2. He entered not in the earthly tabernacle (the copy), but into the tabernacle in heaven (the original).
3. He entered by means of His own blood, not the blood of goats and bulls. The priests carried blood from outside. Christ went into the tabernacle in heaven and there shed His own blood. Christ is both the great high priest and the sacrifice.
4. The remission was not good for a year, but forever.
5. The purification by the blood of bulls and goats was sufficient for the purification of the flesh. The blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient for the purification of the soul.
6. The sacrifice of one atoned for the sins of many.
7. Jesus is not only the great high priest, He is the Mediator, and He is also the King of kings.
Our salvation is purchased for us by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. We will never have confessed all our sins and will never have repented of all our sins.
We must discard the worldly definition of mediator in favor for the Biblical definition. We bring nothing of worth to the table. We bring a debt of sin to the table. Jesus Christ as mediator makes up all our deficit.
In verse 16-17, the writer of Hebrews changes word pictures momentarily. He changes to a picture of an heir and a will.
Beginning in verse 18, we see the need for the visible display of blood. This goes all the way back to the Passover. The display of blood was frequent. It was copious. It was promiscuous. It was repeated. It was extensive to the point of being offensive. This should characterize our preaching. To be ashamed of the blood is to be ashamed of Jesus Christ.
The ages are behind us. Jesus Christ initiated a time beyond the ages by his sacrifice. A time with no end. And in a place made not by human hands. Christ put an end to the need to deal with sin at His sacrifice. The next time He returns is to gather His own unto Himself and to judge the condemned. But not to deal with sin.