Intro John 2:10
Intro John 2:10
Hebrews catch up
The author of Hebrews is unknown (but there are theories). He wrote to a group of Jewish Christians who read the Bible in Greek. The author and the recipients were mutual friends with Paul’s disciple, Timothy, who was the pastor in Ephesus and eventually jailed by Rome.
Hebrews explains some of the core elements of our faith and some of the most detailed explanations of who God is. (The Nicaean Creed, a clarification of the Christian faith in 325, is largely based on Hebrews.)
1. Jesus, fully God and fully man, reveals God the Father, and he is the agent and sustainer of all creation.
2. Jesus serves as the eternal high priest, who as a man sympathizes with human weaknesses, and yet who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin.
3. Jesus is superior to angels, to Moses and the Old Covenant, and to the earthly tabernacle and its priesthood.
4. All humanity faces eternal judgment for sin.
5. Faith is necessary to please God and to participate in his eternal salvation promises. Faith produces perseverance.
6. Perseverance is necessary in the Christian life, and thus church participants are warned against a lack of endurance.
7. With the coming of Jesus Christ, the last days have begun, though they finish at his return.
The first ten verses describe the Old Covenant (Old Testament) way of worship. The last 18 verses describe how the ministry of Jesus is better than the old worship and is eternal.
Let me ask some questions.
What does “blood” symbolize in popular culture today?
What are examples where people like the copy better than the real thing?
For those who didn’t peak in high school, was it still worth going?
Jesus is a greater high priest 9:11-14
But Christ has appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), he entered the most holy place once for all time, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow, sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works so that we can serve the living God?
Jesus’ sacrifice was superior in that it was perfect, voluntary, rational, and motivated by love.
“cleanse our consciences”
Hebrews is going to have more to say about our consciences in the next chapter…the need to be cleaned!
Jesus has a better covenant 9:15-22
Therefore, he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, because a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. Where a will exists, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in effect while the one who made it is living. That is why even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. For when every command had been proclaimed by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll itself and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you. In the same way, he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the articles of worship with blood. According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Jesus is coming 9:23-28
Therefore, it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves to be purified with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands (only a model of the true one) but into heaven itself, so that he might now appear in the presence of God for us. He did not do this to offer himself many times, as the high priest enters the sanctuary yearly with the blood of another. Otherwise, he would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment—so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Sin demands blood. Our sin is as gross and bloody as the butcher’s floor. We should not take it lightly.
Our works cannot cover our sins. Moses’ sprinkling of blood did not cover sin. We should not deceive ourselves by thinking we can do a good thing to make up for a bad thing.
We trust Jesus to be our perfect sacrifice for sin. Our guilt and shame, if we trust in Christ, is not eternal. We should not try to carry guilt and shame that we have in faith already given to Jesus., as if he were unable to carry it himself.