In chapter 1, we saw that because God’s Son was a better everything, it gave Him a name better than the angels (especially one angel in particular that has designs of his own on how things will go). That Son mad propitiation, or atonement for us, and then sat down because that work was finished. As a result, we read in chapter 2 that we need to pay closer attention to the things we have heard about Jesus and the truth that He is God’s chosen method of communicating with us today so that we would not drift away from it. The picture used was that of a safe harbour, and a navigator that was not paying due attention, slipped past the harbour entrance and shipwrecked on the rocks.
Then we are treated by the author to an exposition on Psalm 8, and it is hinted that God has some grand design for humans to be His universal administrators in the age to come. There was a definite statement of how for a short period of time, humans were made lower than the angels, but that in the end we would be at least equal to the angels in status and power. This is a definite thing, according to the author, although for now we do not see that – but we DO see HIM. The Son. We see Jesus, made like a man – one who tasted death for everyone that would ever believe in Him, and who incidentally made everything, including the angels – and He is a kind of forerunner and leader of those coming administrators, the coming priest-kings of the universe that will have sovereignty of, for, and by God.
This makes Jesus our high priest, it says at the end, one who now because he was made like us in that he suffered death, can have mercy on us, and who is faithful to extend to us grace as we are sanctified, that is made holy, like He is holy. Now in chapter 3, the book turns to who this Son Jesus is, and it begins by telling us to consider Him, and compares Him to Moses. Moses gave the Law, the old Covenant. By comparison, Jesus gave the New Covenant. Both were written by the will and hand of God. Both required obedience. As a result, it compares the two covenants and what obedience and disobedience looked like and warranted under each.
Chapter 4 was a basic gospel presentation aimed at those who were intellectually attuned to the message, but had not yet made a commitment to follow the Lord into the redemption He secured by his high priestly sacrifice. The author of Hebrews very clearly showed that Jesus sacrificed Himself so that we could enter His rest for us, and that to enter, we needed to believe Him and what He said. The basic problem that people seem to have when we consider this is is that they all claim to be servants of the Master. But think about this what does it look like from the outside when people either do what they are told so they can be saved or believe and obey so that they are saved and then do the work to please the Master? It’s difficult to tell, because the work completed looks exactly the same, does it not? And yet only faith by grace will save us, not works, so that we can’t brag about how good we are – but if we truly are redeemed, then we can be bold in our approach to His throne and find mercy when we need it.
Chapter 5 went on to talk more about the eternal Son and how he received a new, different, and better priesthood than the Levitical priesthood because He offered a better sacrifice (it was a once-for-all sacrifice) because it was permanent and unlike Levitical sacrifices, was not offered by a sinful priest, but instead the sinless Son, and unlike the animal that was a mere picture or shadow of the sacrifice that Christ would offer, He offered His own life, which was good and acceptable in the eyes of God the Father. As a result, God raised Christ from the dead, and made Him to be high priest of a different, better, and more ancient priesthood, the order of Melchizedek. We looked briefly at the man Melchizedek, and then took a look at what maturity looked at how those who were developing maturity in Christ were engaged in discernment actively at all times, testing whether things were from the Lord or not.
Chapter 6 says some very hard things to hear, and it even sounds like some of those “you can lose your salvation if you aren’t careful” people that I disagree with. You MUST remember that there are three groups of people that would be the target of this sermon. Believers, who I do NOT believe were the target of the harder remarks, those who were intellectually convinced but who had not yet made a life commitment to the Messiah (who the comments ARE aimed at), and finally the basic unbeliever, so just like a standard church congregation today. I think verse 9 said it all – “We are convinced of better things concerning you, things that accompany salvation, even though we are speaking this way.”
Chapter 7 begins the explanation of the harder things that the author was speaking of earlier in the letter, beginning with an individual that has in our study become very important – the person of Melchizedek. Melchizedek is unique in Scripture as a gentile priest, who was the ancient king of the ancient city of Jerusalem, before it was ever called Jerusalem. The author of Hebrews tells us that the Messiah, our Lord Jesus, is a priest forever after the order of this man Melchizedek. He has a great deal to say about him, and why this other and better priesthood is necessary. Chapter 8 speaks in detail about how the New Covenant was seen in the old covenant, and fulfilled in Jesus, our Messiah who died in our place to save those who will believe in Him. In the closing verses of Chapter 8, it talks about how the New Covenant has replaced the old, and the Old covenant, though it has not quite disappeared yet, is now ready to disappear.
This brings us to today and Chapter 9. I broke the chapter down like this:
KV23 – Earthly types and shadows vs. Heavenly realities
1-10 – The earthy vs. the heavenly tabernacle service
11-17 – The Old earthly Covenant vs. the New heavenly Covenant
18-28 – The old earthly patterns vs. the new heavenly reality
KV23 – Earthly types and shadows vs. Heavenly realities
For the last couple of studies, we have been comparing the old activity and class of people (Aaron and the Levites) with the new class of activity and people (Jesus and His followers). We are still in the middle of those comparisons, and here they become quite detailed. I picked verse 23 as a key verse that aids my understanding of what the chapter is saying. Verse 23 reads, “Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”
What are those earthly types and shadows that Moses made? Our key verse tells us that they were “copies of the things in the heavens.” They had their construction from earthly materials, and were cleansed with the blood of animals. However, it was necessary for something better with different attributes and construction to cleanse things of a heavenly nature. As we have been seeing since chapter 7, this was the sacrifice of the perfect life lived in accordance with law of God that was first lived for 33 years or so by Jesus, who then willingly offered His life and His blood for that better heavenly sacrifice. Let’s get into the details here in the chapter.
1-10 – The earthy vs. the heavenly tabernacle service
Our first thought unit here is a brief comparison of the activities of the earthly tabernacle versus the heavenly reality it represents. I do not know that it is a building or physical construction, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.
1: Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary.
- This is a point we have been seeing for the last few chapters, regarding something we have called Antinomianism, or the idea that because Christ died, Christians no longer have a need to follow the law of God. “Even” the first covenant (the Mosaic one is the reference here, the Law given by Moses) had regulations for divine worship, and instructions about the earthly sanctuary, for which it will go into some detail in the coming verses. The word “even” (Gk., kai) here may be translated as “and,” which doesn’t really fit grammatically in either language, “also,” which carries a similar meaning in this case to “even.” The implication from the possible meanings here is that each covenant being compared here has “regulations of divine worship and the…sanctuary.” If Christians no longer need to follow the Law, why is it being compared to the New Covenant in this fashion? This is a solid implication, folks.
- Now this is about a comparison between the earthly and the heavenly, so let’s read on.
2: For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place.
- We are now getting into a map of how the tabernacle was laid out, and for the purposes of our comparison, we must assume a point-for-point comparison. The reasons for this will become evident as we go through the verses, you’ll see. But I will draw your attention to the diagram of tabernacle here.
3: Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies,
- This diagram gives the geographic orientation of the tabernacle on earth. It is not really to scale, it is more to show you where things were located. The front entrance had a veil over the entrance, and the thing marked “veil” between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) was there as well. This is the veil that was torn in two from top to bottom when Jesus died on the Cross, incidentally. It was a very thick curtain, and not easily torn, and it was about 3 times the height of a man I think.
4: having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant;
- The Ark of the Covenant was a gilded box that had contents, and these were the original and ordained-by-God contents of the box. Now recall our inference at the beginning, that our two groups being compared have corresponding items. The golden jar with the manna speaks of God’s provision for His people. Aaron’s rod that budded symbolizes God’s choice and anointing of His leadership. The tables of the covenant are a a reference to the tables of stone that the ten commandments were written on, and these symbolize the Law of God that He writes in the minds and hearts of those who will believe in Him. The Ark itself was the “mercy seat,” the place where God sat on earth and is thus representative of His throne.
5: and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
- Cherubim are a class of angel, and I have no idea what they could represent to us other than themselves, and the mercy seat is the place where God in mercy sits to dispense justice to His people. Then the author of Hebrews does something I’m known for – “but we don’t want to go into this now, maybe we can in the unspecified future. So don’t get irritated with me, he did it too. (hahaha)
6: Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship,
- The main point of having all this earthly tabernacle is for the activity of the priests so that they may conduct what the Holy Spirit here calls “the divine worship.” This was a continual thing. The priests likely had to work as multiples on a shift to keep up with all the activity of the animal sacrifice. I’ve never participated in ritual sacrifice, but I did grow up on a fam and learned how to butcher my own beef. There is a lot of HARD work that goes into it, especially if you’re a teenager and not used to lifting a quarter of a steer that weighed roughly 800 pounds after being cleaned and skinned. A quarter of it was 200 pounds. At age 16, I could roll it onto my shoulder with help. At 18, I could deadlift the weight, but it was hard work. And these guys did it all day, every day. Also, not every sacrifice was disposed of the same way. Some were burned up on the altar. Some were quartered and butchered to eat. Some were burned OUTSIDE the camp, and that meant it had to be carried there. It’s enough to make one say Oy vey! And they could only go into the outer tabernacle, that is, no farther than the holy place, and usually not as far as that.
7: but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.
- Into the Holy of Holies, ONLY the High Priest could go once per year (on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement) and he HAD to bring blood from the sacrifice to sprinkle around for his own sins, and the sins that the people committed because they didn’t know any better. Now at this point you might be asking what all of this means (I know I was).
8: The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing,
- So the Holy Spirit, who is the REAL author of the book, is going to TELL us what it means. The way into the Holiest Place is not open while the outer tabernacle is still in lawful use, is the meaning here. You may recall that this ended with the death of Jesus on the cross, when the veil of the temple that separated the holy of Holies from the Holy Place was torn in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:51, Mark 15:38). It was at that point that Jesus Christ after being the perfect lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of the world, as High Priest of the heavenly Order of Melchizedek carried His own blood into the heavenly Holy of Holies and sprinkled it there. And the veil tore, and the way to God Himself was OPENED!
9: which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience,
- For this present time, that remains a symbolic thing, and earthly sacrifices were still offered by the Levitical priests – but the thing about those earthly sacrifices is that they can in no way make the worshipper of God perfect (complete) in their conscience.
10: since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.
- The bottom line here – these Levitical priest activities, these regulative principles, were imposed on worship and people until a time of reformation, it says here. This is the Greek work diorthosis, and means a rectifying, or a making straight. This is the only place that word is used in either testament, by the way. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New testament Words, “this word means “either (a) of a right arrangement, right ordering, or, more usually, (b) of restoration, amendment, bringing right again; what is here indicated is a time when the imperfect, the inadequate, would be superseded by a better order of things, and hence the meaning (a) seems to be the right one…” And that was when Jesus died in our place on the Cross and the partition between the two parts of the inner temple was torn asunder from the top to the bottom.
11-17 – The Old earthly Covenant vs. the New heavenly Covenant
This brings us to the second comparison in the chapter, the comparison between the Old and New Covenants and their administration. This is seen as that “time of reformation” in verse 10 by the Holy Spirit. We can know this because the examples are moving from Old to New in a sort of historical framework that played out through the Gospels, especially Matthew it seems. Perhaps it is no accident that Matthew wrote his Gospel to show Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, the Son of David. Let’s move in on the verses a bit.
11: But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;
- The Holy Spirit is telling us that at the time that Christ actually came and performed His high priestly actions of the good things achieved by His better sacrifice, that His sacrifice was offered in that greater and more perfect, i.e., that heavenly tabernacle, and then it says something kind of astounding – that tabernacle is NOT of THIS creation. That is to say, Jesus administrates a better covenant than the Old Covenant.
12: and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
- That grand sacrifice was not just the sacrifice of any old animal. It was His own lifeblood. He brought THAT blood into THAT Holy Place, and entered THAT Holy of Holies where God is ACTUALLY seated. And He only had to do it once, because it was perfect, and by His work, he obtained “eternal redemption.” What does that mean? Hang on, it’s coming.
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,
- If these earthly things are applied, in other words, for the cleansing of our earthly flesh…
14: how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
- …then how much more will the actual heavenly sacrifice, which through that eternal Spirit, that is the Holy Spirit, which was Himself, His own perfect life, lived for 33 years in complete subjection to the Law of God, offered with permission, through the power of His sinless life, and His own life blood, will it cleanse our conscience from dead works?
- The cleansing from those dead works is that “eternal redemption” spoken of in verse 12. What are those dead works? Paul spoke about them in many places, but I like the list in Galatians 5:19-21 – “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
- You know something else? I don’t think this particular list is exhaustive. The list includes the phrase, “and things like these,” which leaves a lot of room to include things like hypocrisy, murder (especially of the defenseless), and well, things like these. Our conscience is cleansed from those things as we are redeemed by His great sacrifice and replaced with a different list – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (vv.22-23) Again, I don’t know that that list is exhaustive because of the inclusion of the phrase “such things.” When we allow Christ’s redemption to cleanse our conscience, the second list of character traits begin to replace the first.
15: For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
- Now because Jesus offered Himself (for THIS reason), He became at that point (and will remain as) the mediator of a New Covenant. How does that work? The Holy Spirit explains here that because a death has taken place for the redemption of the wrongdoings that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Now that’s a mouthful that needs to be unpacked.
- Redemption is originally an economic term. We redeem coupons, for example. It has a slightly different meaning in the Greek, and it is important to understand. The Greek word is apolutrosis, a compound word derived from apo, “from,” and lutron, “a price of release.” It is used in cases where a prisoner or captive is released under the conditions of a ransom. The prisoner is released when the ransom is paid. Christ’s sacrifice was also the price of ransom for a group referred to later in this verse as “those who have been called.” More on that in a minute.
- Transgressions here is plural. That is taken by the great majority of scholars I have heard or read on the subject to mean that these transgressions are specific to those who committed them – but in all cases the ransom, or price of release is paid. And what are these “called” released from? The penalty under the Law of whatever transgressions they have committed.
- “Those who have been called” is clearly a definite group of individuals. Is this the saved? You better believe it. This is a reference to Romans 8:29-30 and the golden chain of salvation. That passage reads, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” There is a lot there, but that calling is part of God’s sovereign election of those who will be the redeemed. I’m not going to start a debate here, but that is what it says. This is more than just looking down the tunnel of time and seeing who would respond to God’s call and regenerating them. God knows everything. There has never been a day where He has learned something He did not know. It cannot be that God’s actions depend on a response from fallen man. I know that can open a can of worms with some, and I’m not wanting to do that here. But that IS what this says.
- Why were these ones called? Well, to receive a promise – that of eternal inheritance. Aionios kleronomos is the Greek, and it means their legal portion for the never-ending ages. That includes a great deal, and what it involves is not the subject of the author of Hebrews in this text.
16: For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.
- To understand this verse, we must understand the meaning of the word “covenant.” The Greek diatheke may also be translated as testament. Our modern-day equivalent would be “last will and testament.” The word itself refers to a legal disposition of property by will or otherwise (like a financial gift today). In Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, the noted use in this verse is “a promise or undertaking on the part of God. It is also used in many other places in that exact meaning. (Luke 1:72; Acts 3:25; Rom. 9:4; 11:27; Gal. 3:17; Eph. 2:12; Heb. 7:22; 8:6, 8, 10.) Those references can be found in the notes that will be posted to BereanNation.com at about noon today if you didn’t have time to write them down.
- For the purpose of our study here, this means that in order for this “will” to be executed, the person that made it must die. What? God die? God cannot die…unless He becomes a human, which God the Son did, and the first three chapters of Hebrews go over that in detail!
17: For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.
- This should make sense to us. A will is never executed while a person is living. I will refer to it now as a testament – a testament only comes into effect with the death of the testator. It represents the last will of the person who has died. Again, it is never in force while the person lives.
18-28 – The old earthly patterns vs. the new heavenly reality
By now we should all be able to see the separation and distinction between the Old and the New Covenants. The Old was given to Moses as types and shadows of realities in heaven, and the Lord Jesus did all His work in the heavenly realities of which we have spoken here. There are a lot of facts that can trigger theological debate, and it was not the author’s intention to do that. He was preaching a sermon to Jews that would have understood all the Old Testament references that he gave.
I have chosen the crossover point in the comparison for the next thought unit to show that distinction. You see, before we can come to the heavenly realities of which we have spoken, we MUST see, acknowledge, and (at least try to) understand the types and shadows of which we speak. As we do so, we can only deepen our own understanding of what redemption really means to us.
18: Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood.
- Here is our first look at those types and shadows. Apparently, even the first covenant, which has been shown to be the Old Covenant under the Mosaic Law, was not inaugurated without blood. The word for inaugurated here simply means dedicated or initiated, that is, made a beginning.
19: For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
- Here is the purpose stated for the use of all the animal sacrifices at the very inauguration of the Law by Moses – After Moses had spoken every word of the Law, he took that blood, with other elements – water for cleansing, wool that had been symbolically prepared by dying it red to indicate the cleansing effect of the blood, and hyssop for its known healing salve properties – and sprinkled ALL of that on the book of the law itself, and then on all the people. What does Moses say next?
20: saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.”
- This is a quote from Exodus 24:8. The sprinkling of the blood and other elements had at least a symbolic cleansing effect to demonstrate that all the elements that were sprinkled were cleansed of sin and made holy.
- It does read slightly differently in Exodus – “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” The Holy Spirit is giving some contextual clarity on what that saying actually meant, I suspect because it had been muddied by too many liberal Rabbis over the centuries. And that wasn’t the only sprinkling that was going on.
21: And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood.
- So in verse 19, we read that the book that contained the Law was sprinkled, and all the people were sprinkled, and now the tabernacle itself and all the vessels used in its service. This was to cleanse them certainly, but I believe it was to make them holy for symbolic use in dealing with the types and shadows that speak of Christ in the New Covenant. Why?
22: And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
- See? All things are cleansed with blood under the Old Covenant. This next phrase is very important – and if you don’t hear another word I’m saying, remember this thought – Without shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. This is restated in Revelation 1:5, where John speaks of what Jesus has done for us – “To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5b-6)
- The shedding of blood in the New Covenant had the same effect, but on different instruments – us! More on that coming.
23: Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
- The purpose of the cleansing of the Law, the people, the tent, and the tools of service was to separate them to God, and in that sense at least make them symbolically holy. The copies of the heavenly realities were simple types and shadows of things that pointed to Christ. That means that the heavenly realities that these symbols represented in Christ had to have better sacrifices to cleanse them and make them holy.
24: For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
- The author of Hebrews here begins to note the differences between the earthly patterns and heavenly realities in Christ. It is worth illuminating further. Notice the repetition here. Christ does not enter a place made with hands. His religion, it seems is not man-made. Also, that holy place is described as a “copy” of the true one, which is the place Christ entered. This true place is in heaven itself in terms of geographic location. Please don’t ask me the geographic location of heaven, I do not know it, and I have no wish to explain the 11-dimentional theory that seems to mathematically govern our universe. I tried to once where we were studying Revelation here in our former Bible study before my heart attack in November of 2014. I don’t think I did a good job then, and mental math has been a struggle since then. Actually so has been filling out complicated forms. I’m not sure why that is. Anyway, on with the study.
- Christ entered that holy place in heaven “to appear in the presence of God for us.” What does that mean? Think about this for a moment – isn’t it most likely that He is there applying His own sacrifice to His chosen people personally? We’ve talked about it a bit already, but God made a plan outside of time as we know it, and that plan included a number of people that God the Father chose for the Son as a gift. This is best seen in John 6:37, which reads, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” He comes for all that the Father gives Him, and He will not refuse any that come to Him. That brings certain things that are difficult to understand into play, but I’m not going to debate anyone over this. As I said earlier, it says what it says, and this is NOT the only place it says things like this. Try John 17 on for size sometime. So Christ is now appearing in the presence of God applying His sacrifice to all that come to Him in real time until that number is completed and He returns to close out this age and inaugurate His kingdom.
- Are there more differences? Oh you betcha!
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.
- The next set of verses state directly another important difference. Christ does not do this multiple times as the Levitical priests did. He did it only once.
- As a part of that repetition, the High Priest would have to enter the holy place once a year on the day of atonement only, and with blood that was not shed by him. Christ entered only once, and His own blood is perfect to cut the covenant as it were.
26: Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
- Honestly, I fail to see how anyone can read this book under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and not see the gospel in every thought unit of the book. I also fail to see how Roman Catholics can maintain their “sacrifice of the mass” without doing dizzying mental acrobatics. The teaching of the “mass” to a Catholic literally says that Jesus once again sacrifices Himself to cleanse the congregant of sins through the ‘Eucharist.'” This verse DIRECTLY contradicts that, and if anyone actually read that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they would see it! Instead, they chained the Scriptures to a rock for just under a thousand years. And don’t try to tell me they didn’t – it does not jive with known history. Again, not going to debate – but on this topic I am better informed than some, and certainly more than places like “catholic.com” that twist the histories beyond recognition.
27: And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,
- Oh boy, I feel a gospel verse coming on…
28: so 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.
- What exactly does this mean? I do not know. But what it does say is that Jesus will be coming back, and it will not be to deal with sin, it will be to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him. Is this a reference to some kind of event? It doesn’t say, and it isn’t good theology to go out on that kind of a limb. It does sound a lot like it, though. <G>
So we see the differences between the types and shadows of the Old Covenant and the heavenly realities of the New Covenant compared and contrasted. The old covenant clearly pointed to Christ. Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees in John 5:39, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me…” Those “Scriptures” that Jesus spoke of were the only Scriptures that they would have had at the time, the Old Testament. This is the writer of Hebrews saying the same thing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
We now live some 2000 years after the events recorded in the New Testament (Covenant). These words are as timeless today as they were when they were inspired by the Holy Spirit and spoken by the Apostle Paul and subsequently recorded by Luke the Physician. My own thoughts here in terms of application is to study the Old Testament and try to understand what those types and shadows all mean in context of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
And that is chapter 9!