Hebrews 9:15-10:18 -- Jesus Is Better #13 -- Jesus' Better Sacrifice

Introduction

  • The Day of Atonement -- Jewish Christians had something better.
    • Why did Jesus die? What was better about his sacrifice, his blood, his death?
      • 7 things...

15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant [which has been our recent subject], 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.

  • 15 A death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant: The idea is that Jesus' death cleansed the ancient Israelites who'd had their sins covered through the sacrificial system by faith.
    • But a death was needed to inaugurate this New Covenant.
      • Q: Why?
      • A: Consider how a will works. It is active once the one who made it dies (16). A will takes effect only at death (17).
        • Wills are set up by one party for the benefit of others.
          • God set it his plan, in his infinite wisdom and love, as he pleased.
    • The truth communicated here: Jesus' death unlocked a new covenant.
      • But notice the way he writes about the New Covenant here -- 15 So that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.

1. Jesus' sacrifice activates the promised eternal inheritance (9:15-17)

  • Humanity longs for eternity.
    • Ecclesiastes 3:11 (HCSB) — 11 He has also put eternity in their hearts...
      • Much of our world believes religion is the root cause of the hurts of this world, and that through its eradication we can enter into a manmade utopia.
    • Jesus, however, became one of us so that he could bring us back to glory.
      • Hebrews 2:10 (ESV) — 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
      • "Everything sad is going to come untrue." - Tolkien, The Return Of The King

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 read the law to them], he took the blood of calves and goats, with water [red water] and scarlet wool [stained wool] and hyssop [detergent-like plant], 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.^^

  • Moses stood up and said, "This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you" (20, quoted from Exodus 24:8).

    • Jesus, better than Moses, said something similar: Mark 14:24 (ESV) — 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many."
  • 22 Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins:

    • In God's methodology, blood sacrifice is involved in dealing with sin.
    • But only interaction with Jesus' blood can truly purify of sin.
      • John 6:54 (ESV) — 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
      • Sin is not forgiven (1) over time, (2) by good works, (3) through decent living, or even (4) death. The only payment is blood, and Christ's blood is the only perfect payment.

2. Jesus' sacrifice provides purifying forgiveness (9:19-22)

  • In the way the temple instruments were purified by the blood of the sacrifice before placement in the tabernacle, so we are purified by the blood of Jesus before placement in the throne room of God.
    • The problem in humanity exists within -- sin is a cancer destroying us eternally.
    • So Jesus came to provide a way for humanity to become purified of sin.
    • Advice: the next time you are tempted to sin, recall the cost.
      • Visualize the blood of Jesus dripping and draining from his body. The temptation you are about to enter into required that sacrifice.

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.^^

  • 23-24 It was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rights: Jesus' blood prepared heaven for us.
    • There is some debate as to why the heavenly elements needed blood.
      • Heaven is holy, after all.
      • It seems to me, however, this is similar to preparation of the original tabernacle furniture. It needed blood to prepare it for use by God's people. The blood prepared the way.

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 [no allowance for incarnation],

  • 25-27 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly: Not only didn't he take the blood of bulls or goats, but he does not have to offer himself over and over again. The high priest went in every year on the Day of Atonement, but Jesus appeared once for all.

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.

  • 28 To bear the sins of many:
    • 1 Timothy 2:4 (ESV) — 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
    • John 3:16 (ESV) — 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
    • 1 John 2:2 (ESV) — 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
  • 28 Christ...will appear a second time.

3. Jesus' sacrifice anticipates his next appearance (9:23-28)

  • There are three appearances of Christ here. Let's consider them chronologically:
    • First, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (26).
    • Second, into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf (24).
    • Third, he will appear a second time (to us on earth), not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him (28).
      • Note how this mirrors the ways the High Priest appeared on the Day of Atonement. He appeared for the sacrifice, he went into the Holy of Holies to meet with God, and then he appeared again to the nation.
  • The first time Christ came he came to deal with sin. The second time he comes it will be to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
    • Note: to eagerly wait for Jesus is not a condition for Jesus to come for you, but the attitude of the author of Hebrews expects all Christians should have.
    • Book of Revelation
    • Example: There is much we eagerly wait for. We anticipate weekends, vacations, movie releases, raises, experiences, fun, etc. But do we look forward to Christ's return?

1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never,^ by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect^ those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible^ for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

  • 1 It can never / make perfect: The law could not perfect even one soul.
    • Galatians 2:16 (ESV) — 16 ...because by works of the law no one will be justified.
  • 4 Impossible: It cannot happen.

5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said [from Septuagint version of Psalm 40:6-8], “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me;^^ 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will^^, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book^^.’ ” 8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will^^.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second.

4. Jesus' sacrifice was according to His Father's will (10:1-9)

  • 5-6 & 8 Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me.
  • 7 As it is written of me in the scroll of the book.
  • 7 & 9 I have come to do your will.
    • Jesus died to perform his Father's will.
      • Revelation 13:8 (NIV) — 8 ...the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
      • Mark 14:36 (ESV) — 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
      • Isaiah 53:10 (ESV) — 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him...

10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all^. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,^^

5. Jesus' sacrifice takes away our sin (10:10-12)

  • 10 Once for all:
  • 11-12 The sacrifices of the priests are contrasted with the offering of Christ.
    • Stands vs. sat
    • Daily vs. for all time
    • Never take away sins vs. for sins
      • Atonement, in Hebrew, means to cover (kophar).
      • 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
        • Jesus can perfect you.
        • Jesus can remove your guilt.
        • Jesus can take away your sin.

13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet^^.

  • From Psalm 110, the author's favorite Psalm.

6. Jesus' sacrifice ends all conflict (10:13)

  • 13 Made a footstool for his feet: An oft quoted phrase from Psalm 110, the author of Hebrews' favorite Psalm (see Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:43, Acts 2:35, 1 Corinthians 15:25).
    • On the cross, Jesus defeated his enemies.
      • 1 -- The Devil: Hebrews 2:14 (ESV) — 14 ...that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil...
      • 2 -- Rulers and authorities of the age: Colossians 2:15 (ESV) — 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
      • 3 -- Death: 1 Corinthians 15:26 (ESV) — 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
        • But we await the acknowledgement of Christ's victory -- Philippians 2:10 (HCSB) — 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow...

14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

7. Jesus' sacrifice inaugurated the New Covenant (10:14-18)

  • Here, the two main aspects of the New Covenant are revisited.
    • 1 - Inward transformation.
      • 16 I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds.
    • 2 - Forgiveness of sins.
      • 17 I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.

Close

  • If this is the ministry, service, and covenant Christ operates in, what now?
  • If he brought our great salvation, is bringing us back to glory and into rest, if he is available to aid us today, if he is the anchor of our souls, serving us as our high priest today, what now?
  • If his sacrifice is all sufficient and unlocked the door to service to God, what now?
    • The rest of Hebrews:
      • The life Christ enables.
      • The community Christ initiated.