Hebrews 9: 15 – 28
In his argument, the writer of the Book of Hebrews drives home his point by completely declaring that, the ceremonies, rituals and the tradition of the Old Testament were more of a pattern or copy of the real as presented in the case of Jesus. Therefore, Jesus is presented as the mediator of the New Covenant for all who will receive Him as their Lord and Savior. Just like no one could venture into the Holiest of all unless represented by the High Priest, also no one can approach God today unless through Jesus who is the perfect and complete High Priest.
The Salvation and the rescue Jesus presents is therefore retroactive and retrospective, spanning the life of the believing Jews in the Old Testament through to anyone who believes in Him today – Jews and Gentiles inclusive. In other words, the believing Jews in the Old Testament have received the promise of eternal inheritance because of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This is because of the Covenant God had with Abraham.
Apostle Paul aptly and succinctly declared “Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing He promised Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.”
Only Jesus and what He did at Calvary can back-date the redemption of man; not only does He forgive our sins today and the future but He goes back into the past to forgive the people that were called of God – the Jews. This is because of the Covenant He (God) had with Abraham, which was fulfilled in Christ. A Covenant, a Testament or a Will in today’s word is an agreement between two people, and in the context of this passage, between God and mankind. The issue of Covenants was taken so seriously among the Jews because you could not just cut a Covenant with anyone knowing it would involve a great penalty if broken.
Our culture today specifies that until someone dies (sometimes the head of a family), no one has any right to read out the content of his Will until his demise. So for Covenants to be ratified, according to scriptures, there must be the death of the testator – a person who has made a will or given a legacy. Until this death, the content of the Will, its benefits and provisions are only promises for the future. To say this in a different way, the Will becomes a type of promissory note as long as the provider of the Will remains alive.
A Covenant, a Testament or a Will demands DEATH – so in essence, Jesus must die.
Going back to the Old Testament (now the pattern), one of the primary materials the High Priest must bring to the Holiest of all is BLOOD, without which he died. The purpose of taking blood to the Holiest of all was for the atonement of their Sins. In the New Testament, the blood of Jesus is for the forgiveness of our sins, which was pointed out by the writer that without the shedding of blood, there was no forgiveness of sins. Jesus went in once and for all not carrying the blood of an animal but went into the Holiest of all and had to die because His blood had to be used in exchange. Blood was seen as a symbol of death, so it is the DEATH of Jesus that saves us and not His blood. Shedding His blood was a symbol of His death.
In order for anyone to receive the forgiveness of God, such a person needs to be associated with the BLOOD of Jesus and nothing more.
That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.
There is that need for Jesus to die because if He didn’t, the content of the Covenant God had with Abraham would have remained a promissory note to us. Jesus went in once and for all not with the blood of animals, not into the Tabernacle made with human hands, which remained as a copy/pattern but with His own blood so that sin can be judged. He entered once into Heaven to appear before God on our behalf.
Compared to the High Priest in the Old Testament, who went into the Holiest of all year-in, year-out, with the blood of animals, Jesus went in once to sacrifice Himself putting an end to the penalty of Sin, which is death, knowing that the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life. Jesus removed Sin by His own death as sacrifice.
And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him. When Christ comes back again, He will not come to judge Sin but he’ll come for the completion of our Salvation.
Judgment demands some sort of substitute and hence the reason Jesus took your place as He travelled to the Calvary.
“I believe it is a mistake about God himself which has been the root and foundation of all the mistakes in theology. Our conviction is that Arminian theology, to a great extent, makes God to be less than he is. The basis and groundwork of Arminian theology lies in attaching undue importance to man, and giving God rather the second place than the first. I believe that very much of current Arminianism is simply ignorance of gospel doctrine; and if people began to study their Bibles, and to take the Word of God as they find it, they must inevitably, if believers, rise up to rejoice in the doctrines of grace.” – C.H Spurgeon.
Keep it right here and be refreshed!