- Jesus is better than Yom Kippur (cf. 11-14)
- His death reached back into eternity and saved all those of faith, from Abel to John.
- Redemption is the act of buying something back that was sold.
- Covenants require death which proves that Jesus HAD to die. It wasn’t unfortunate!
- When blood is shed it changes God’s relationship to the one it represented.
- This inaugurated the NC; so the old one is now obsolete.
- Blood has to be shed for forgiveness. This is God’s plan, so it can’t be annulled. And salvation must contain faith, for that is necessary for eternal redemption.
- Since we’re incapable of doing good works, isn’t it wonderful that Jesus did it for us? (raking leaves for Daniel but giving him the credit).
- Sin is indeed horrific!
- When man enters heaven he defiles it, but Christ’s sacrifice has already cleansed heaven for our presence.
- No unbelievers can live in heaven!
- All of the eras and ages came together in a climax of events that ushered in the final dispensation of God whereby man’s sin and sins are forgiven
- He appeared the first time (v. 26) at first coming
- He is appearing (v. 24) before God as intercessor
- He will appear (28) at second coming to those who eagerly await.
1. High priest appeared on Day at brazen altar (cf. Daniel) – people would have eagerly awaited his coming.
2. Priest entered HH to appear after offering atonement (intercession)
3. Priest appeared with garments on to bring final salvation.
- Eagerly awaiting salvation – like Yom Kippur the people eagerly longed for forgiveness.
· Phil. 3:20… “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly await a Savior”
· Romans 8:23… “waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons”
· Rom 8:25… but if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
· 1Co 1:7… “awaiting eagerly for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ)
· Gal 5:5… “For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness”
- At his second coming there will be no chance for those who await his first coming
- If you eagerly await Christ chalk that up as a measure of your assurance.
- Many folks have no eager expectation, for the world’s desires have choked it.
· Be reminded of you sins Hebrews 10:1-4
o Year by year, week by week, day by day
o We observe the Lord’s Supper, but we always remember Christ’s death
o Good works don’t do anything about sins; Christ does!
o Listen carefully to those seeking a relationship with God – all religions. Then teach them about Christ’s superiority.
Hebrews 9:15… For this reason [Jesus] 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.
“For this reason” is a reference to Hebrews 9:11-14. The author claimed that Jesus, contrary to the high priests throughout Israel’s history, first and foremost appeared as a better high priest of the order of Melchizedek, not of the tribe of Levi. Second, he entered into a better tabernacle not made with human hands, namely heaven in order to intercede directly before God. Third, he entered the heavenly tabernacle not with animal blood but his own blood. Animals were inferior means of atoning for sin, so Jesus proved himself perfect as a man during his earthly ministry then offered the perfect sacrifice as a man and without ceasing to be God. Fourth, Jesus entered the heavenly tabernacle one time. He did not enter it annually like the high priest did on the Day of Atonement, but one time and one time only. Fifth, Christ’s sacrifice and entry into heaven did not gain a year’s worth of forgiveness but “eternal redemption” (v. 12). Whereas the works of the high priest in Israel only atoned for the previous year’s sins, the work of the Great High Priest atoned for the sins of all mankind dating back to Adam! Finally, Jesus’ work on the cross and his entry into heaven cleansed the guilty consciences of those who sought dead works for forgivness. This was in stark contrast to the Day of Atonement which only atoned for unintentional sins committed in ignorance. Jesus’ sacrifice atoned for rebellious sins.
So it is “for this reason” – or these reasons that Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant. The old covenant was mediated through sinful high priests, who, though ordained by God as proper mediators for a time, entered into a man-made tabernacle and temple to offer animal sacrifices for human sins. And because they were sinful they had to offer sacrifices not only for Israel but for their own shortcomings. They also performed their duties daily and annually on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Their annual appearance before God in the Holy of Holies occurred each year because Israel’s sins mounted day by day. But even when the priest’s work was complete Israel went home with guilty consciences due to their rebellion against God.
So Jesus is not only superior to angels (Heb. 1-2), to Moses (3), to Joshua (4), Aaron and Levi (5-7), and to the old covenant (8), he is also superior to the Jewish Day of Atonement. It was temporary, and he is eternal. And whereas the Day of Atonement merely reached back to the previous year to atone for sins committed in ignorance, Jesus’ sacrifice reached back to the creation of mankind to bring the full redemption for OT saints – saints like Adam, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Judah, and David. These all believed God and had salvation as a result of looking forward to God’s promises being fulfilled. So when God’s promise of a seed (Gen. 3:15; 12:1; 17:7) came through the proper line of believers, Jesus Christ, all of “those who have been called” received the “promise of the eternal inheritance” (v. 15). Christ’s death was retroactive in its effectiveness. Those who by faith looked forward to it in the OT received it when Christ came. And those who look backward at it since that day also receive eternal redemption. Therefore Jesus is also superior to the Jewish Day of Atonement. For he provides eternal redemption.
Food for Thought
Many today choose to believe that Jesus is not the only way of salvation and that other ways are just as legitimate. But if Hebrews teaches anything it’s that Jesus is clearly superior to any and all religions. There is no close second! Hebrews is unique in its depiction of Jesus as the Great High Priest, but it is so specific. With him in heaven interceding none other is needed.
Hebrews 9:15-22… 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. 16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. 18 Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. 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, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. 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.
Jesus Christ’s death was retroactive in its effectiveness for those who had faith in the OT. He “redeemed the transgressions” made under the old covenant for their salvation. Now “redemption” refers to people sold into the slavery of sin then being bought back. And Jesus purchased the souls of those under the old covenant who had the faith of Abraham which God credited to him as righteousness (Gen. 15:6). He did so with his blood when he died on the cross.
What Jesus accomplished in his death is akin to the annual Day of Atonement where the Israelites gathered together while the high priest made atonement for their sins by sprinkling blood on the altar then releasing the scapegoat that carried their sins into the wilderness. So in much the same way that the Day of Atonement atoned for the sins committed by Israel during the previous year, Jesus’ death forgave the sins of all the saints who lived prior to his incarnation and subsequent death on the cross – from righteous Abel (Gen. 4) to John the Baptist.
Now since Jesus’ death was far superior to the death of goats and bulls on the Day of Atonement – working retroactively over thousands of years as opposed to just one year – he is therefore the “mediator of a new covenant.” Now the “covenant” in vv. 15-18 is more like one’s last will and testament here. And where a covenant (or will) has been promised it can only be inaugurated through the death of the one whose will it is. Without death one’s will is worthless. So it was with God’s old covenant, and so it is with God’s new covenant. The old covenant was inaugurated with blood (Exodus 24:1-8) when God promised to bless if Israel promised to obey Him. So Moses took the blood of an animal and sprinkled it on the people. Likewise, the new covenant was also enacted with blood – the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross (Luke 22:20).
Shed animal blood is a common theme throughout the OT, for God has ordained that blood must be shed before sin can be forgiven (v. 22; cf. Lev. 17:11). In God’s sovereign and merciful plan the sprinkling of blood on something changes His relationship to it. And since mankind was sold into the slavery of sin in Genesis 3 God redeemed those who placed their faith in Him through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Through simple faith – the same simple faith of Abraham (Gen. 15:6) – Jesus’ shed blood is sprinkled on the believer for salvation.
Food for Thought
So many reject the blood of Christ today and opt for being “good” people doing “good” works. But since we’ve sinned, falling short of God’s standard, we are incapable of being good people in God’s eyes. This is why Jesus, God in the flesh, came to earth. He was and is perfect, so he was able to be good in our place and offer the perfect sacrifice. All we need do is believe.
Hebrews 9:23-28… So it was vital for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that he would offer himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own. 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. 27 And just as it is appointed for men to die once then face judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear again for salvation without allusion to sin, to those who eagerly await him.
The “copies of things in the heavens” (v. 23) refers to the earthly tabernacle and its furnishings which had to be cleansed and set apart by the sacrificial blood of animals. Likewise, the heavenly tabernacle needs to be cleansed but with better blood than animals. The heavenly realities requires the perfect blood of the Messiah. But why would heaven itself need cleansing? It seems that in order for God’s covenant people to have eternal and perfect fellowship with Him they would need to be purified by an eternal sacrifice – just like the people of the old covenant needed the blood of animals sprinkled on them. Man’s guilt has defiled not only the earthly copies of God’s dwelling place (tabernacle, Temple, the earth, etc.), it will also defile the heavenly places when he enters it for eternity. Heaven, in and of itself, needs no cleansing, but when sinful men enter into it, it demands cleansing. So even man’s eternal existence with the holy and Almighty God will recall and require Christ’s once for all bloody sacrifice on the cross.
Jesus Christ, when offering himself up for the sins of all mankind, did not enter a holy place built by human hands like the high priest did on the Day of Atonement to sprinkle blood on the altar in the tabernacle. Jesus entered heaven where God dwells and interceded face to face with Him to prepare the way for his covenant people – those united with Abraham’s faith prior to Christ (who looked forward to Christ) along with those who have placed their faith in Christ (looking backward at his finished work). And Jesus did not have to offer an annual sacrifice for man’s sin like the high priest had to do. His sacrifice was sufficient being offered just one time.
One of the amazing things about Christ’s death is that it only had to occur once to bring God’s desired result of man’s eternal redemption. If his sacrifice had not been perfect, then he would have to have suffered every year for man’s sins “since the foundation of the world.” That would mean that Christ would have had to die at least 6,000 times! But Christ only had to die once, and this occurred “at the consummation of the ages.” In other words, when Christ appeared all of the eras and ages came together in a climax of events that ushered in the final dispensation of God whereby man’s sin and sins are forgiven, granted that he places his faith in the Christ who manifested himself in order to put away sin by sacrificing himself on the cross.
Verse 27 reveals the absurdity of Christ offering himself repeatedly for sacrifice. A man only dies once then faces judgment. Now Jesus was a man, and he died. He will not return to die again, but at his second coming will bring salvation to those who “eagerly await him” (v. 28).
Food for Thought
Those eagerly awaiting Christ’s return are like Israel who eagerly awaited the high priest on Yom Kippur to bring atonement for their sins. The longed for forgiveness which came through his sacrifices in the Holy of Holies. So true Christians also long for Christ’s second coming, eagerly awaiting it, so as to be ushered into their eternal home to be with God forever.
Hebrews 9:27-28… Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear again for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await him.
From Hebrews 9:24-28 Jesus is said to “appear” on three occasions. First, in v. 26 he is said to have been manifested at the consummation of the ages – a past tense appearance signifying his first coming to the earth to present himself as the Messiah and to die on man’s behalf. Second, in v. 24 he is seen appearing in heaven in the presence of God – a present tense appearing signifying Christ’s daily intercession on man’s behalf. Third, in v. 28 Jesus will appear to those eagerly awaiting his return – a future appearance which speaks of his second coming.
All three of Christ’s appearances may correspond to the Jewish Day of Atonement the author of Hebrews compares Christ to. On Yom Kippur the high priest appeared three times on behalf of Israel to atone for sins. He first appeared on that day at the brazen altar to atone for his own sins. The people would have been gathered together eagerly awaiting this day and the high priest’s appearance. This could be said to correspond to Christ’s first coming where he appeared on the scene as the Messiah (but unlike the Day of Atonement all of Israel was not gathered to receive him). Second, the high priest went into the Holy of Holies to offer blood on the mercy seat and to intercede on man’s behalf with God. This may correspond to Christ’s current intercession in heaven with God on man’s behalf. While the priest was in the Holy of Holies the people would have eagerly awaited his return to complete his duties – just like true Christians eagerly long for Christ’s return. Third, the high priest, after sending the scapegoat into the wilderness, would complete his annual task on that day by offering two rams as burnt offerings – one for himself and one for the people. This may correspond to the future return of Christ to the earth when he finally completes the salvation process for his people.
Amazingly the prophet Daniel was given a calculated day by God by which Israel could know the day on which their Messiah would arrive (cf. Dan. 9:24-27). Had Israel paid attention they would have been waiting when Jesus rode into town on a donkey (Matt. 21:1-5) the same way they awaited the high priest on Yom Kippur. And had they followed Christ’s ministry they would have known he was the great Prophet, Priest, and King the Scriptures had foretold.
There must have been a real longing in Israel on Yom Kippur for the release of sins. The guilty consciences of the Israelites must have weighed heavily on them year after year. So they likely showed up awaiting the high priest, watching and praying for him during his duties. All they had to do was watch and wait. Many, no doubt, awaited eagerly for the high priest to complete his duties so that their sins could be atoned for. After all, release from a guilty conscience is like rain on dry land – like cold water on a hot day. It refreshes and releases.
The Bible speaks often of Christians eagerly waiting for their final future salvation in Christ’s return (Rom. 8:23, 25; 1 Cor. 1:7; Gal. 5:5; Phil. 3:20). The parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 also speaks of an eager expectation accompanied by readiness for Christ’s return. For when he does return he is not coming back to die again, for his death at his first coming dealt with sin. He is coming again to accomplish salvation. At his second coming, however, there will be no chance for those awaiting atonement for sin. It will simply be too late.
Food for Thought
The eager expectation of the Lord’s coming is a measure of one’s assurance of salvation. If you’re not longing for that day, then you should! Don’t let all the worldly treasures choke your desire for Christ. He’s really all that’s worth longing for. He’s coming back, so expect it soon.
15 Καὶ διὰ τοῦτο διαθήκης καινῆς μεσίτης ἐστίν, ὅπως θανάτου
And through this covenant new mediator he is (PAI), so that death
γενομένου εἰς ἀπολύτρωσιν τῶν ἐπὶ τῇ πρώτῃ διαθήκῃ παραβάσεων
having become (AMPtcp) into redemption of the upon in the first covenant transgressions
τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν λάβωσιν οἱ κεκλημένοι τῆς αἰωνίου κληρονομίας.
The promise might receive (AAS) the ones having been called (RPPtcp) of the eternal inheritance.
16 Ὅπου γὰρ διαθήκη, θάνατον ἀνάγκη φέρεσθαι τοῦ διαθεμένου·
Where for a covenant, death necessity to carry (PPIn) of the one agreeing (AMPtcp)
17 διαθήκη γὰρ ἐπὶ νεκροῖς βεβαία, ἐπεὶ μήποτε ἰσχύει ὅτε ζῇ
A covenant for on dead firm, since not then is strong (PAI) when lives (PAI)
ὁ διαθέμενος. 18 ὅθεν οὐδὲ ἡ πρώτη χωρὶς αἵματος ἐγκεκαίνισται·
the one having agreed (AMPtcp). From where but not the first without blood has been made new (RPI)
19 λαληθείσης γὰρ πάσης ἐντολῆς κατὰ τὸν νόμον ὑπὸ Μωϋσέως παντὶ
having been spoken (APPtcp) for of all command by the LAW upon Moses in all
τῷ λαῷ, λαβὼν τὸ αἷμα τῶν μόσχων [καὶ τῶν τράγων] μετὰ ὕδατος καὶ
the people having taken (AAPtcp) the blood of the calves [and of the goats] with water and
ἐρίου κοκκίνου καὶ ὑσσώπου αὐτό τε τὸ βιβλίον καὶ πάντα τὸν λαὸν
of wool scarlet and hyssop itself both the book and all the people
ἐρράντισεν 20 λέγων· τοῦτο τὸ αἷμα τῆς διαθήκης ἧς ἐνετείλατο πρὸς ὑμᾶς ὁ
he sprinkled (AAI) saying (PAPtcp): this the blood of the covenant which commanded (AMI) to you the
θεός. 21 καὶ τὴν σκηνὴν δὲ καὶ πάντα τὰ σκεύη τῆς λειτουργίας τῷ
God. And the tent but also all the pots the service in the
αἵματι ὁμοίως ἐρράντισεν. 22 καὶ σχεδὸν ἐν αἵματι πάντα καθαρίζεται
blood likewise he sprinkled (AAI). And almost in blood all is cleaned (PPI)
κατὰ τὸν νόμον καὶ χωρὶς αἱματεκχυσίας οὐ γίνεται ἄφεσις. 23 Ἀνάγκη
according to the Law and without shedding of blood not there becomes (PMI) forgiveness. Necessity
οὖν τὰ μὲν ὑποδείγματα τῶν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς τούτοις καθαρίζεσθαι,
therefore the indeed examples of the in the heavens these to be cleansed (PPIn)
αὐτὰ δὲ τὰ ἐπουράνια κρείττοσιν θυσίαις παρὰ ταύτας. 24 οὐ γὰρ εἰς
themselves but on heavenly better sacrifices than these. Not for into
χειροποίητα εἰσῆλθεν ἅγια Χριστός, ἀντίτυπα τῶν ἀληθινῶν, ἀλλʼ εἰς
man-made went into (AAI) holy Christ, antitypes of the true, but into
αὐτὸν τὸν οὐρανόν, νῦν ἐμφανισθῆναι τῷ προσώπῳ τοῦ θεοῦ ὑπὲρ
him the heaven, now to be visible (APIn) to the face of God on behalf of
ἡμῶν· 25 οὐδʼ ἵνα πολλάκις προσφέρῃ ἑαυτόν, ὥσπερ ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς
us. But not that frequently he might offer (PAS), just as the high priest
εἰσέρχεται εἰς τὰ ἅγια κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν ἐν αἵματι ἀλλοτρίῳ, 26 ἐπεὶ ἔδει
comes in (PMI) into the holy place by year with blood of another, since it was necessary (IAI)
αὐτὸν πολλάκις παθεῖν ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου· νυνὶ δὲ ἅπαξ ἐπὶ
him frequently to suffer (AAIn) from foundation of the world now but one time by
συντελείᾳ τῶν αἰώνων εἰς ἀθέτησιν [τῆς] ἁμαρτίας διὰ τῆς θυσίας
consummation of the ages into annulment of the sin through of the sacrifice
αὐτοῦ πεφανέρωται. 27 καὶ καθʼ ὅσον ἀπόκειται τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ἅπαξ
of him has been manifested (RPI). And by as much as it is destined (PMI) for men once
ἀποθανεῖν, μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο κρίσις, 28 οὕτως καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς ἅπαξ
to die (AAIn), after and this judgment, thus also the Christ once
προσενεχθεὶς εἰς τὸ πολλῶν ἀνενεγκεῖν ἁμαρτίας ἐκ δευτέρου χωρὶς
having been offered (APPtcp) for the many to bring up (AAIn) sins from second without
ἁμαρτίας ὀφθήσεται τοῖς αὐτὸν ἀπεκδεχομένοις εἰς σωτηρίαν.
sin he will be seen (FPI) to the him ones awaiting (PMPtcp) into salvation.