Amplified: By such means, therefore, it was necessary for the [earthly] copies of the heavenly things to be purified, but the actual heavenly things themselves [required far] better and nobler sacrifices than these. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: So, then, if it was necessary that the things which are copies of the heavenly realities should be cleansed by processes like these, it is necessary that the heavenly realities themselves should be cleansed by finer sacrifices than those of which we have been thinking. (Westminster Press)
NLT: That is why the earthly tent 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. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: It was necessary for the earthly reproductions of heavenly realities to be purified by such methods, but the actual heavenly things could only be made pure in God's sight by higher sacrifices than these. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: It was therefore necessary on the one hand that the representations of the things in the heavens [the earthly tent] should be cleansed constantly with these [animal sacrifices], but on the other hand, the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these [the blood of the Lord Jesus]. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: It is necessary, therefore, the pattern indeed of the things in the heavens to be purified with these, and the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these
THEREFORE IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE COPIES OF THE THINGS IN THE HEAVENS TO BE CLEANSED WITH THESE: Anagke oun ta men hupodeigmata ton en tois ouranois toutois katharizesthai (PPN): (Heb 9:9,10,24; 8:5; 10:1; Col 2:17)
Therefore (See term of conclusion) (3767) (oun) in context serves to introduce the idea of necessity. The writer has made it abundantly clear in He 9:22 that blood must be shed in purification according to the law.
Steven Cole feels - Therefore goes back to the previous section, which made the point that forgiveness of sins is possible only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The blood sacrifices of the Old Testament all foreshadowed the supreme sacrifice of the Son of God. “The copies of the things in the heavens” (He 9:23) refers to the tabernacle and its furnishings. These things had to be cleansed by the blood of sacrificial animals. But these things were only earthly types of heavenly realities. The heavenly things themselves had to be cleansed with better sacrifices than these, namely, the blood of Christ. He uses the plural to refer to the one sacrifice of Christ, which gathered up into one all of the Old Testament sacrifices. Christ’s sacrifice “is so many-sided that it required a whole range of sacrifices to serve as adequate copies” (Donald Guthrie, Hebrews: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries [IVP/Eerdmans], p. 196). (Hebrews 9:23-28 Judgment or Salvation?)
Wiersbe explains it this way "Since God has ordained that remission of sins is through the shedding of blood, and since purification comes through the sprinkling of blood, it is necessary that blood be shed and applied if the New Covenant is to be in force. The “patterns” (the Old Covenant tabernacle) were purified by the sprinkling of the blood. But the “originals” were also purified! The blood of Jesus Christ not only purifies the conscience of the believer (Heb. 9:14), but also purified the “heavenly things” (Heb. 9:23, nasb). (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
It was necessary - In other words, there was no other way. There is no other "escape hatch". No secret/mystical passage. No asterisk or fine print providing an exception to the need for Christ's blood. He is the Way, the only Way (Jn 14:6). The Way into the Holy of Holies is by no other Name under heaven (Acts 4:12).
Spurgeon - These things down below are only the patterns, the models, the symbols of the heavenly things; they could therefore be ceremonially purified with the blood which is the symbol of the atoning sacrifice of Christ.
Necessity (318)(anagke [word study] from ana = up, again, back, renewal, repetition, intensity, reversal + agkale = arm when bent or agcho = to compress, press tight) refers to any necessity or compulsion, outer or inner, brought on by a variety of circumstances. It can mean necessity imposed either by external conditions or by the law of duty.
Anagke - 17x in 17v - Matt 18:7; Luke 14:18; 21:23; Rom 13:5; 1 Cor 7:26, 37; 9:16; 2 Cor 6:4; 9:7; 12:10; 1 Thess 3:7; Philemon 1:14; Heb 7:12, 27; 9:16, 23; Jude 1:3. NAS = compulsion(3), constraint(1), distress(3), distresses(1), hardships(1), inevitable(1), necessary(2), necessity(3), need(2), obliged*(1).
Copies of these things - the Old Covenant rites as in He 9:19 (see note).
Copies (5262) (hupodeigma [word study] from hupo = under + deiknúo/deíknumi = to show, to point to something, to make known the character or significance of something) means literally that which is shown below. It means an example, pattern, illustration. It refers to a sign suggestive of anything, an outline, a delineation, a suggestion. Barclay writes that hupodeigma means "a specimen, or, still better, a sketch-plan."
Hupodeigma - 6x in 6v - Jn 13:15 Heb 4:11, 8:5, 9:23 Jas 5:10 2Pe 2:6. NAS = copies(1), copy(1), example(4).
Paul has a similar statement in Colossians "Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day-- things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (Col 2:16, 17-note)
Heavens (3772) (ouranos) describes literally the expanse of space that seems to be over the earth like a dome. In the NT heaven and earth comprise all of creation, though the two are distinctive (Mt 6:9-note). God spoke both into existence and heaven is His realm. In Hebrew thought heaven was Jehovah's dwelling place and is the believer's true and eternal home. (see more detailed discussion) In the present context this word is a reference to the place where God dwells.
To be cleansed (2511) (katharizo [word study] from katharos = pure, clean, without stain or spot; English words - catharsis = emotional or physical purging, cathartic = substance used to induce a purging, Cathar = member of a medieval sect which sought the purging of evil from its members) means to make clean by taking away an undesirable part. To cleanse from filth or impurity. Click here (and here) for more background on the important Biblical concept of clean and cleansing.
Figuratively katharizo referred to cleansing from ritual contamination or impurity as in (Acts 10:15). In a similar sense katharizo is used of cleansing lepers from ceremonial uncleanness (Mt 8:2-3, et al) Another figurative use in 1John 1:9 (cf James 4:8, Hebrews 10:2) describes the purifying or cleansing from sin and a guilty conscience thus making one acceptable to God and reestablishing fellowship.
The present tense of katharizo indicates that the cleansing had to be continual activity.
Katharizo - 31x in 30v - Mt 8:2, 3; 10:8; 11:5; 23:25, 26; Mark 1:40, 41, 42, 7:19; Luke 4:27; 5:12, 13; 7:22; 11:39; 17:14, 17; Acts 10:15; 11:9; 15:9; 2Cor 7:1; Eph 5:26; Titus 2:14; Heb 9:14, 22, 23; 10:2; Jas 4:8; 1John 1:7, 9. NAS = clean(3), cleanse(5), cleansed(16), cleanses(1), cleansing(1), declared… clean(1), make… clean(3), purify(1).
With these - By these OT rituals or by the different materials of cleansing depicted in Hebrews 9:19ff. All of these OT pictures pointed to the better sacrifice of Christ.
BUT THE HEAVENLY THINGS THEMSELVES WITH BETTER SACRIFICES THAN THESE: auta de ta epourania kreittosin thusiais para tautas: (Heb 9:11,12,14,24; 10:4,10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; Luke 24:26,46; John 14:3; 1Peter 1:19, 20, 21; Revelation 5:9)
But - term of contrast
Spurgeon - Was the heavenly place itself defiled? No, that cannot be. But if you and I had gone there without atonement by blood, heaven would have been defiled. Look at the crowds of once sinful men and women who are daily entering there to dwell with God. How could they come there if the heavenly places had not been prepared for them? Look at the multitude of our prayers and praises that are daily going up there! Are they not all in a measure impure, and would it not have defiled heaven to accept them? But the Lord has gone there, and has sprinkled His blood upon the mercy seat, that so our prayers and praises—indeed, and ourselves also—may enter without let or hindrance.
Heavenly (2032) (epouranios - used 5 times in Ephesians - Eph 1:3, 20, 2:6, 3:10, 6:12 see notes Eph 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12) encompass the entire supernatural realm of God, His complete domain, and the full extent of His divine operation.
Epouranios - 19x in 17v - Jn 3:12; 1Co 15:40, 48, 49; Ep 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12; Phil 2:10; 2Ti 4:18; Heb 3:1; 6:4; 8:5; 9:23; 11:16; 12:22. NAS = heaven(1), heavenly(14), heavenly one(1), heavenly things(3).
What does it mean that the "heavenly things themselves" must also be cleansed with better sacrifices? As Steven Cole asks…
Better (2909) (kreitton/kreisson) is a comparative of kratus (strong) and the comparative degree of agathos which means “good”. This reminds one of our English comparative "good, better, best." That which is of high status, is more prominent or higher in rank (Of a person -Heb 7:7; of things Heb 7:19). Kreitton relates to that which has "a relative advantage in value" (BDAG) (Heb 6:9).
Friberg summarizes kreitton/kreisson - (1) of persons superior, better, higher in rank (Heb 1.4); substantivally more important person (Heb 7.7); (2) of what is more advantageous, better, more useful (1Cor 7.9); neuter as a substantive to. kreitton the advantage, the more profitable thing (1Cor 11.17; perhaps Heb 12.24), opposite to the worse; ta. kreissona more useful things (Heb 6.9); (3) neuter as an adverb (in a) better (way) (probably Heb 12.24).
Kreitton/kreisson means more useful, more profitable more advantageous, greater, superior; greater advantage. In this case it speaks of the book of Christ, even the use of the plural (sacrifices) as a description of the single offering of Christ.
Better in English - in a more excellent manner, to greater advantage, to a higher or greater degree. More advantageous. More acceptable. Superior excellence.
Kreitton - 19x in 18v - NAS = better(17), better things(1), greater(1). Kreitton in the Lxx = Pr 3:14, Pr 25:24.
1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
1 Corinthians 7:38 So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.
1 Corinthians 11:17 But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse.
Philippians 1:23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;
1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
2 Peter 2:21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
Hebrews - A "Better" Book
Criswell - The use of the plural to describe the single offering of Christ is a figure of speech known as the plural of majesty. (Criswell, W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version)
Jamieson - The plural is used in expressing the general proposition, though strictly referring to the one sacrifice of Christ once for all. Paul implies that His one sacrifice, by its matchless excellency, is equivalent to the Levitical many sacrifices. It, though but one, is manifold in its effects and applicability to many. (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown)
Better sacrifices - Christ’s better sacrifice is a major theme in Hebrews 9:13-10:18. The many sacrifices of the Levitical system were to be superseded by better sacrifices that would be represented in the one perfect sacrifice of Christ.
Spurgeon - The blood of bulls would suffice to purge the types, but the realities must have a richer sacrifice to cleanse them. In the tabernacle everything was done according to the pattern seen in the holy mount by Moses. In the temple no sacrifice was presented but according to divine command. The whole Aaronic ritual was very impressive. The priests in their holy robes, pure white linen garments, the golden altar, candlestick and table, the fire, the smoke, the incense—the whole thing was calculated very much to impress the mind. The first covenant provided a very magnificent service, such as never will be excelled. But for all that, costly, divinely arranged, impressive, yet it could not put away sin. The evidence of this is found in the fact that after one day of atonement they needed another atonement next year.
Philip Hughes asks what are the "better sacrifices" especially considering that Christ was sacrificed only once for all time "there is general agreement among commentators that the plural better sacrifices is not a precise but a generic plural, corresponding or accommodated to the plural "these rites" in the first clause of the verse: the inferior sacrifices of the Levitical system called, speaking generally, for better sacrifices. To be specific, however, they were superseded not by many sacrifices but by one, namely, the unique and fully adequate self-offering of the incarnate Son on the cross of Calvary (as our author repeatedly insists—see He 7:27; 9:12, 14; 10:10, 12, 14, so that he is not open to the charge of imprecision). His is the "one sacrifice for sins for ever" (He 10:12 KJV). Hence it is described here as better: it accomplishes once and for all that complete and eternal redemption which the imperfect sacrifices of the former system never could accomplish. (A Commentary On The Epistle To The Hebrews)
Sacrifices (2378) (thusia [word study] from thuo = to sacrifice or kill a sacrificial victim) means that which is offered as a sacrifice. An offering. A sacrifice. A victim. That which is sacrificially offered to deity. Most of the NT uses of thusia refer to that which is sacrificed (i.e., a sacrificial offering, Lk 2:24). Thusia speaks of Christ's sacrificial death as better (cf Heb 9:23, Heb 10:12).
Figuratively, thusia speaks of the the death of Christ, His offering to His Father (Eph 5:2). In Romans 12:1 thusia speaks of the offering by a believer of his life to God. In Hebrews 13:1516 thusia refers to our praise, our doing good (not to gain merit or favor with God, but motivated by love and energized by the Spirit) and our sharing as acceptable offerings to God. In Php 4:18 thusia refers to the financial offering from the Philippian church.
One of the most instructive uses of thusia in Scripture is in the Septuagint of Psalm 51:17…
Webster's defines sacrifice as act of offering to a deity something precious!
In the Old Testament there were two types of sacrifices, the first offered to deal with sin and the broken fellowship that resulted from the sin. The sacrificial blood was a picture of the bridging of the gap between the giver and God (although OT sacrifices for sin only covered over for a time, whereas Christ's sacrifice effectively and permanently removed all guilt of sin for those who believe in Him).
The second type of OT sacrifice was presented to God as an act of worship, the presenter having had his sins covered over by the blood of the sin offering, which resulted in his hearts being full of thanksgiving and praise to God which was reflected in the offering.
Thusia - 28x in 28v - Usage: sacrifice(14), sacrifices(14).
Thusia - 396 verses in the non-apocryphal Septuagint - Gen 4:3, 5; 31:54; 46:1; Exod 10:25; 12:27; 18:12; 24:5; 29:34, 41f; 30:9; 32:6; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:1ff, 13ff; 3:1, 3, 6, 9; 4:10, 26, 31, 35; 5:13; 6:14f, 20f, 23; 7:9ff, 15ff, 20f, 29, 32, 34, 37; 9:4, 17f; 10:12, 14; 14:10, 20f, 31; 17:5, 7f; 19:5; 21:6, 21; 22:21, 29; 23:13, 16, 18f, 37; 26:31; Num 4:16; 5:15, 18, 25f; 6:15, 17f; 7:13, 17, 19, 23, 25, 29, 31, 35, 37, 41, 43, 47, 49, 53, 55, 59, 61, 65, 67, 71, 73, 77, 79, 83, 87f; 8:8; 10:10; 15:3ff, 8f, 24; 16:15; 23:3, 15; 25:2; 28:5, 8f, 13, 20, 26, 28, 31; 29:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18f, 21f, 24f, 27f, 30f, 33f, 37ff; Deut 12:27; 27:7; 32:38; 33:19; Josh 8:30; 22:23, 26ff; Judg 6:18; 13:19, 23; 1 Sam 1:21, 24; 2:17, 19, 29; 3:14; 6:15; 9:12f; 10:8; 11:15; 15:22; 16:3, 5; 20:6, 29; 26:19; 2 Sam 14:17; 1 Kgs 8:62ff; 12:27; 18:29; 2 Kgs 3:20; 10:19, 21; 16:13, 15; 1 Chr 9:31; 21:23; 23:29; 29:21; 2 Chr 7:1, 5, 12; 29:31; 30:22; 31:2; 33:16; Ezra 7:17; 9:4f; Neh 10:33; Job 1:5; 20:6; Ps 4:5; 20:3; 27:6; 40:6; 50:5, 8, 14, 23; 51:16f, 19; 96:8; 106:28; 107:22; 116:17; 141:2; Prov 7:14; 15:8; 16:7; 21:3, 27; Eccl 5:1; Isa 1:11; 19:21; 34:6; 43:23f; 56:7; 57:6f; 65:4; 66:20; Jer 6:20; 7:21f; 14:12; 17:26; 46:10; Ezek 39:17, 19; 42:13; 44:11, 15, 29; 45:15, 17, 24; 46:5; Dan 2:46; 4:1; 8:11ff; 9:21, 25, 27; 11:31; 12:11; Hos 3:4; 6:6; 8:13; 9:4; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:14; Amos 4:4; 5:22, 25; Jonah 1:16; Zeph 1:7f; 3:10; Zech 9:1; Mal 1:8, 10f, 13; 2:12f; 3:3f;
Than these - Robertson remarks that "To us it seems a bit strained to speak of the ritual cleansing or dedication of heaven itself by the appearance of Christ as Priest-Victim. But the whole picture is highly mystical."
A DIFFICULT PHRASE TO INTERPRET
Steven Cole writes that…
Leon Morris comments…
Vincent addresses the question…
Criswell suggests that…
Vine - As to the question why the heavenly things should require to be cleansed, the subject before us is not only the remission of our sins, but our access into the presence of God as His worshipers, through the eternal redemption obtained for us. The sanctuary of the presence of God required the savor of redemptive sacrifice. Just as the high priests of old entered into the Holy of Holies with the blood of sacrifice, on behalf of the people as worshipers of God, so only by the cleansing blood of Christ on the cross could the very presence of God become the meeting place between Him and the believer. (Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Philip Hughes offers a lengthy discussion on this thorny passage…
Andrew Murray in The Holiest of All writes that…
Amplified: For Christ (the Messiah) has not entered into a sanctuary made with [human] hands, only a copy and pattern and type of the true one, but [He has entered] into heaven itself, now to appear in the [very] presence of God on our behalf. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: It is not into a man-made sanctuary that Christ has entered—that would be a mere symbol of the things which are real. It is into heaven itself that he entered, now to appear on our behalf before the presence of God. (Westminster Press)
NLT: For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Advocate. He did not go into the earthly place of worship, for that was merely a copy of the real Temple in heaven. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Christ did not therefore enter into any holy places made by human hands (however truly these may represent heavenly realities), but he entered Heaven itself to make his appearance before God as High Priest on our behalf. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For not into holy places constructed by human hands did Messiah enter, which are the types of the genuine [holy places], but into heaven itself, now to be manifested before the face of God on behalf of us. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for not into holy places made with hands did the Christ enter -- figures of the true -- but into the heaven itself, now to be manifested in the presence of God for us
FOR CHRIST DID NOT ENTER A HOLY PLACE MADE WITH HANDS A MERE COPY OF THE TRUE ONE BUT INTO HEAVEN ITSELF: ou gar eis cheiropoieta eiselthen (3SAAI) hagia Christos antitupa ton alethinon all eis auton ton ouranon: (Heb 9:11; Mark 14:58; John 2:19, 20, 21) (Heb 9:9,23; 8:2) (Heb 1:3; 6:20; 7:26; 8:2,5; 12:2; Ps 68:18; Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; John 6:62; John 16:28; Acts 1:9, 10, 11; 3:21; Ephesians 1:20, 21, 22; 4:8, 9, 10, 11; Colossians 3:2; 1Peter 3:22)
In this last section of Hebrews 9 (He 9:23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28), all 3 aspects of Christ’s ministry of salvation/redemption are pictured - (1) His First Coming to save us from the penalty of sin ("better sacrifices" He 9:23-note). (2) His present intercessory ministry in heaven to save us from the power of sin ("now appear… for us" He 9:24-note) (3) His Second Coming (He 9:28-note) to deliver us from the presence of sin.
Vincent - Under the old covenant, the blood shedding was symbolical: the death of the institutor was by proxy. In the ratification of the new covenant, Christ himself was the covenant-victim, and a real cleansing power attaches to his blood as the offering of his eternal spirit.
Wuest says that "This verse is in explanation of the statement in the previous verse to the effect that the heavenly things had to be purified by blood superior to animal blood, and that Messiah did not enter the Holy of Holies on earth as High Priest, but the Holy of Holies of heaven itself." (Hebrews Commentary)
Leon Morris says that "For" introduces an explanation of what precedes. We have already had the idea that Christ's ministry was not in a sanctuary that is "man-made" (He 9:11), and here we come back to it. Not in such sanctuaries can the Atonement be made that really deals with sin. (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament. Zondervan Publishing)
Jamieson -"Resumption more fully of the thought, “He entered in once into the holy place,” Hebrews 9:12.
Christ (5547) (Christos from chrio = to anoint, rub with oil, consecrate to an office) is the Anointed One, the Messiah, Christos being the Greek equivalent of the transliterated Hebrew word Messiah. Study the 12 uses of Christos in Hebrews = Heb 3:6, 14; 5:5; 6:1; 9:11, 14, 24, 28; 10:10; 11:26; 13:8, 21
Not (3756) (ou) indicates absolutely not!
Enter (1525)(eiserchomai from eis = into + erchomai = come) means literally to come into and thus to enter into. Notice that enter into refers to a single event, a past completed historical event (after His ascension), but consequences of this event are now (see "but now" in Hebrews 8:6) and on our behalf (He 6:20-note; He 7:25-note).
Holy place (40) (hagios) means a place set apart from the profane or common and unto God and for the worship of and approach to the Holy God. Note that in this context the "holy place" stands for the Holy of Holies (the actual presence of God), even as the Ark of the Covenant in the earthly Holy of Holies represented the throne of God.
Holy place - This phrase occurs 60x in Scripture in NAS - Ex 26:33; 28:29, 35, 43; 29:30f; 31:11; 35:19; 39:1, 41; Lev 6:16, 26f, 30; 7:6; 10:13, 17; 16:2f, 16f, 20, 23f, 27; 24:9; Num 28:7; 1 Kgs 6:16; 7:50; 8:6, 8, 10; 1 Chr 6:49; 23:32; 2 Chr 5:11; 29:5, 7; 35:5; Ezra 9:8; Ps 24:3; Eccl 8:10; Isa 57:15; Ezek 41:4; 45:2ff; 48:12; Dan 8:13f; 9:24; Matt 24:15; Acts 6:13; 21:28; Heb 9:2, 8, 12, 24f; 10:19; 13:11
Made with hands (5499) (cheiropoietos from cheir = hand + poieo = to make) means manufactured by man or of human construction. Christ has not entered into a hand-made sanctuary.
Wiersbe makes an application warning us all to "Beware of trusting anything for your spiritual life that is “made with hands” (Heb. 9:24). It will not last. The tabernacle was replaced by Solomon’s temple, and that temple was destroyed by the Babylonians. When the Jews returned to their land after the Captivity, they rebuilt their temple; and King Herod, in later years, expanded and embellished it. But the Romans destroyed that temple, and it has never been rebuilt. Furthermore, since the genealogical records have been lost or destroyed, the Jews are not certain who can minister as priests. These things that are “made with hands” are perishable, but the things “not made with hands” are eternal. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
Spurgeon - Christ never went within the veil in the Jewish temple; that was but the symbol of the true holy of holies. He has gone “into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.”
The copy - The representation.
Copy (499) (antitupon [word study] from anti = against, instead of, corresponding to + tupos [word study] = a type, model, figure, form, impression, print) is an earthly expression of a spiritual reality. Thus it represents something which symbolizes some spiritual truth. In modern Greek antitupon means a copy of a book. In the present case the earthly tabernacle prefigured the reality of the tabernacle of God in heaven.
Barnes explains that antitupon "properly means that which is formed after a model, pattern, or type; and then that which corresponds to something, or answers to, it. The idea here is, that the type or fashion--the true figure or form--was shown to Moses in the Mount, and then the tabernacle was made after that model, or corresponded to it. The true original figure is heaven itself; the tabernacle was an antitype of that--or was so formed as in some sense to correspond to it. That is, it corresponded in regard to the matters under consideration--the most Holy Place denoted heaven; the mercy-seat and the Shekinah (see notes) were symbols of the presence of God, and of the fact that he shows mercy in heaven; the entrance of the high priest was emblematical of the entrance of the Redeemer into heaven; the sprinkling of the blood there was a type of what the Redeemer would do in heaven.
Poole comments that this section "shows this to be a rational proof of the transcendence of Christ’s death and sacrifice; and this he demonstrates from the place of his ministry, far exceeding that of his type. The gospel High Priest did not, like Aaron, enter with his blood into the holy of holiest of an earthly tabernacle, frail and movable, and appear before the mercy-seat on the ark there, Heb 9:9.
But into heaven itself - "But" introduces a striking contrast between the heavenly substance and the earthly shadow.
Jamieson says "into heaven itself" refers to "the immediate presence of the invisible God beyond all the created heavens, through which latter Jesus passed (see on Heb 4:14; 1Ti 6:16).
Heaven (3772) (ouranos) is the expanse of space that seems to be over the earth like a dome. In context this refers not just to the atmosphere surrounding the earth but to Jehovah's dwelling place (see more detailed discussion).
Barnes - The Jewish high priest alone entered into the most holy place; and the other priests into the holy place. Jesus, being of the tribe of Judah, and not of Levi, never entered the temple proper. He had access only to the courts of the temple, in the same way as any other Jew had. See [Mt 21:12]. He has entered into the true temple--heaven of which the earthly tabernacle was the type.
True one (228) (alethinos from alethes = true, one who cannot lie) describes that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name and thus real, true and genuine not spurious, fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended.
Alethinos - 28x in 26v - NAS = sincere(1), true(26), true one(1). Luke 16:11; John 1:9; 4:23, 37; 6:32; 7:28; 8:16; 15:1; 17:3; 19:35; 1Th 1:9; Heb 8:2; 9:24; 10:22; 1 John 2:8; 5:20; Rev 3:7, 14; 6:10; 15:3; 16:7; 19:2, 9, 11; 21:5; 22:6.
The holy place is true in the sense that in its character it is all that is expected of it. In short, the thing described as true (the holy place) measures up to the specifications which a holy God would demand. The heavenly Holy of Holies is everything that could be expected of such a place. What delights await those God now calls "My beloved in Christ"!
NOW TO APPEAR IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD FOR US: nun emphanisthenai (APN) to prosopo tou theou huper hemon: (Heb 7:25; Ex 28:12,29; Zech 3:1; Ro 8:33; 1Jn 2:1,2; Rev 8:3)
Steven Cole writes "We, who are not used to the physical rituals and sacrifices of the Jewish temple, may not struggle with the spirituality of Christian worship. But the first readers of this epistle were having a hard time letting go of the physicality of the temple and the sacrifices. So the author emphasizes again (Hebrews 8:1, 2, 3, 4, 5; 9:11) that “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” (Hebrews 9:24-note). Under the Jewish system, the high priest would go into the Holy of Holies once a year to represent the people before God, but Jesus is in the true holy place permanently on our behalf! Furthermore, the high priest had to keep returning year after year with the blood of the sacrificial animals. But Jesus once for all offered His own blood. He didn’t have to suffer and die over and over again from the foundation of the world. His one sacrifice at the consummation of the ages put away our sin (see Hebrews 9:26-note). “The consummation of the ages” is similar to Paul’s phrase in Galatians 4:4, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son….” It implies the preexistence of Christ before His birth. It also means that the cross represents the apex or consummation of God’s purpose of the ages, to glorify Himself. (Hebrews 9:23-28 Judgment or Salvation?)
Now (3568) (nun) means in the present moment. Even as you read these words, Jesus is in the presence of His Father and is there on our behalf. Amazing love.
Poole adds that the Risen Messiah…
To appear - More literally "to be made to appear". Jamieson adds that…
Appear (1718) (emphanizo from en = in, into + phaino = give light, illuminate, shine, shine forth) means to make apparent, to be manifested, to be shown. The aorist infinitive (infinitive expresses purpose) indicates that Christ has been "made to appear", the purpose of His presence there being to appear openly before God. Christ is made openly manifest before the face of God. The Levitical priest had to conceal the Ark of the Covenant and over arching Shekinah glory cloud (representing the presence of God) with the smoke of incense. Why? So that he might not look upon God face to face (see prosopon = towards the eye or face).
Emphanizo - 10x in 10v - Matt 27:53; John 14:21f; Acts 23:15, 22; 24:1; 25:2, 15; Heb 9:24; 11:14. NAS = appear(1), appeared(1), brought charges(3), disclose(2), make… clear(1), notified(1), notify(1).
Vine says that emphanizo
Expositor's Greek Testament - the darkness and clouds of incense in the old sanctuary were meant as much to veil the unworthiness of the priest from God as the glory of God from the priest. Now Christ appears before God face to face with no intervening cloud. Perfect fellowship is attained by His perfect and stainless offering of Himself. All is clear between God and man. For it is ‘for us’ He enters this presence and fellowship; not that He alone may enjoy it, but that we may enter into the rest and blessedness that He won for us. (Expositors Greek Testament)
Wuest - This appearance of Messiah at the Cross, corresponds to the appearance of the high priest at the Brazen Altar on the Day of Atonement where the animal for sacrifice was slain. This is Messiah’s first appearance. He puts away sin. His second appearance, recorded in verse 24, is in the Holy of Holies of heaven, His present appearance. There He appears in the presence of God for us who are saved. His presence there, brings believers into the presence of God. (Hebrews Commentary)
This same verb emphanizo is used in the Greek translation of Exodus 33:13 where Moses says to God…
In the presence of God - To the face of God!
Jamieson - The saints shall hereafter see God’s face in Christ (Rev 22:4): the earnest of which is now given (2Co 3:18). Aaron, the Levitical high priest for the people, stood before the ark and only saw the cloud, the symbol of God’s glory (Ex 28:30).
Presence (4383) (prosopon from pros = towards + ops = eye, the part around the eye and so the face) means literally toward the eye or face. Of the face of Jesus transfigured (Mt 17:2), of His face spat in (Mt 26:67) and slapped (Mk 14:65). Most of the uses of prosopon refer to one's face ("toward the eye"). In Mt 11:10 (Lk 7:27, 9:52, 10:1) the idiom "before you face" is rendered "ahead of." Mt 16:3 Jesus acknowledges that they can "discern the appearance (face) of the sky?" To fall on one's face is to worship, to acknowledge the worth of the one before whom one falls (Mt 17:6, Lk 17:16, 24:5, Mt 26:39 = Jesus falling on His face to pray to His Father). Jesus said that the angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father Who is in heaven." (Mt 18:10). Prosopon expresses the idea of presence (Lk 2:31, Acts 2:28, 3:13, 19, Acts 5:41, 2Cor 2:10, 2Th 1:9, Rev 6:16, 12:14, 20:11 - Webster says presence = a being in company near or before the face of another, approach face to face) In Luke 9:51 Jesus "was determined to go to Jerusalem" which is more literally set or fixed His face, a Semitic (Hebrew) idiom which speaks of an unshakable resolve to do something (cp use of prosopon in Ge 31:21, Isa 50:7). To send ahead is the idiom to send "before one's face." (Mt 11:10, Mk 1:2, Lk 9:52). In Lk 9:51 to "fix one's face" speaks of determination. In Lk 9:53 "traveling toward" is more literally "his face was going." Prosopon is used figuratively to describe the face of the earth (Lk 21:35, cp "appearance" in Lk 12:56, Lxx - Ge 6:7, 7:4 = the face of the land).
Prosopon means to be partial in Mt 22:16 (Mk 12:14, Lk 20:21, Gal 2:6) (literally = "does not look to the face of men). Our Lord's cruel captors spat in His face (Mt 26:67) and slapped His face (Mk 14:65). The derivative verb prosopolepteo (prosopon = face + lambáno = receive) means literally to receive face and thus to show partiality.
Here in Heb 9:24 prosopon is the picture of Christ our Representative now being face to face with the invisible God our Father. Remember that the writer is speaking primarily to Jewish believers (and those who are being drawn to believe in Messiah) and thus the truth that Messiah appears in the presence of God would be a strong expression of Christ's nearness to God, something no Jewish high priest could ever hope to achieve. And again another reason for the struggling, tested Jewish readers not to doubt but to "Consider Jesus the Apostle and High Priest of our confession." (He 3:1-note)
TDNT on prosopon in secular use - 1. Face. The basic sense of prosopon is “face,” “countenance.” The plural occurs in Homer and the tragedians, but later the singular takes over. Human faces, or at times those of the gods, are at issue, with only occasional exceptions. A wider sense is “personal appearance,” “form,” “figure.” With kata “personal presence” is denoted. A figurative use is for a military front or the front of a building. 2. Mask. The mask worn by actors resembles a face and is thus called a prosopon. The role or part is then denoted by the term. Another use is for the anonymous opponent in a dialogue. 3. Person. A further meaning is the person either socially or grammatically or, at a later time, legally.
TDNT on prosopon in Septuagint - 1. Face. Occurring some 850 times or more in the LXX, prosopon first means “face.” Falling on the face is an expression of veneration (Gen. 17:3). Seeing a king’s face means having an audience. The face of an animal is meant in Ezek. 1:10. “Appearance” is the sense in Gen. 40:7 (of a matter in 2Sa 14:20). The prosopon denotes the whole person in 2 Sam. 17:11 (Absalom). 2. Front Side. Like the Hebrew original, prosopon may denote “surface” (Ge 2:6), or “edge” (Eccl. 10:10), or “front” in prepositional phrases signifying movement to or from, e.g., with apó (from), eis (to or before), ek (from), en (before), epí (on), katá (before or over against), metá (with), and pró (before). 3. God’s Countenance. a. Frequently prosopon denotes God’s countenance in anthropomorphic expressions. God’s lifting his countenance means grace and peace. Prayer is made that his face may shine on Israel (Num. 6:25). Hiding his face denotes withdrawal of grace (Dt. 32:20). In penal wrath God turns his face against sinners (Ps. 34:16). Seeing God’s face is a special privilege (Gen. 32:3). Because of God’s holiness it involves peril; hence even Moses sees God’s glory only from behind (Ex. 32:23). God reveals himself through his word, not through seeing his face. b. Various cultic expressions use the term. Thus “to see God’s face” is to visit the sanctuary; believers seek God’s face (Ps. 42:3; Zech. 8:21–22). The accent here is not on seeing God but on assurance of his presence and favor. In Ps. 105:4 seeking God’s face is a daily procedure; it is a matter of supreme concern in Ps. 27:8. The holy bread is the bread of the prosopon in 1Sa 21:6, i.e., the bread of the presence.
Friberg's summary - (1) face, countenance; literally, as a part of the body face (MT 6.16); figuratively; (a) as denoting personal presence in person (1Th 2.17); idiomatically, with the sense varied by controlling prepositions: face to face (1Co 13.12); directly from (Acts 3.20); before, in front of (2Co 8.24); in the presence of (2Co 2.10); face to face, in person (Acts 3.13), openly, personally, to one’s face (Gal 2.11); with the presence of, by being with someone (Acts 2.28); in front of, ahead of (Mt 11.10); (b) as denoting the front side of something face; of the earth surface (Lk 21.35); (c) as denoting the external form of something appearance (2Co 5.12; JA 1.11); (2) by synecdoche person, individual (2Co 1.11)
NAS = ahead*(2), appearance(5), before*(2), coming*(1), face(37), faces(5), openly(1), outwardly*(1), partial*(3), partiality(1), people(1), person(1), persons(1), presence(11), sight(1).
Prosopon - 76x in 71v -
In the Septuagint - After they sinned they "hid themselves from the presence (Lxx = prosopon) of the LORD God." (Ge 3:8) In Ge 4:5-6 we see prosopon again used in context of sin - "but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance (Lxx = prosopon) fell. 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance (Lxx = prosopon) fallen?" In Ge 4:14 Cain protests “Behold, Thou hast driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Thy face I shall be hidden, and I shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and it will come about that whoever finds me will kill me.” In Ge 4:16 "Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden."
Prosopon - over 1200v in the Septuagint - Ge 2:6-7; 3:8, 19; Ge 4:5-6, 14, 16; 6:7; 7:4, 23; 8:8f, 13; 9:23; 11:4, 8f; 16:6, 8, 12; 17:3, 17; 18:16; 19:1, 21, 28; 20:16; 23:8, 17; 25:18; 27:30; 31:2, 5; 32:20f, 30; 33:10, 18; 35:1, 7; 36:6; 38:15; 40:7; 41:46, 56; 42:6; 43:3, 5, 26, 31; 44:23, 26, 29; 46:30; 48:11f; 50:1; Exod 2:15; 3:6; 10:11, 28f; 14:19, 25; 16:14; 23:18, 20; 25:20, 37; 26:9; 28:23, 37; 32:34; 33:2, 20, 23; 34:6, 11, 24, 29f, 33, 35; 39:18, 20; Lev 8:9; 9:24; 10:4, 18; 13:41; 16:2, 14f; 17:10; 18:24; 19:15, 32; 20:3, 5f; 26:10, 17; Num 3:38; 6:25f; 8:2f; 12:14; 14:5, 42; 16:4, 22, 43, 45f; 17:9; 19:4, 16; 20:6; 21:11, 20; 22:3, 31; 24:1; 27:17; 32:21; 33:52, 55; Deut 1:17, 21, 30; 2:12, 21f, 25, 31, 33; 3:18, 28; 4:38; 5:4f, 7; 6:15, 19; 7:1, 6, 10, 19, 21f, 24; 8:20; 9:2ff; 10:17; 11:4, 23, 25; 12:29f; 14:2; 16:19; 20:3, 19; 22:6; 23:14; 25:9; 28:7, 25, 50, 60; 30:1, 15, 19; 31:3, 6f, 17f, 21; 32:20, 49; 33:27; 34:1, 10; Josh 2:10f; 3:10; 4:5, 7; 5:1, 14; 6:5; 7:4, 6, 10, 12; 8:5f, 10, 15; 9:24; 10:10ff; 11:6; 13:3, 6, 16, 25; 15:8; 17:7; 18:14, 16; 19:11; 23:3, 5, 9, 13; 24:8, 12, 18; Jdg 2:3, 14, 18, 21; 5:5; 6:2, 6f, 9, 11, 22; 9:21, 40; 11:3, 23f, 33; 13:20; 16:3; 18:23; 20:2; Ruth 2:10; 1 Sam 1:14, 18, 22; 2:11; 4:17; 5:3f; 7:7; 8:18; 9:12; 13:12; 14:13, 25; 15:7, 27; 16:7f; 17:49; 18:12, 15f; 19:8, 10; 20:15, 41; 21:6, 10, 12f; 22:4; 23:5, 26; 24:2, 8; 25:10, 23, 35, 41; 26:1, 3, 20; 28:14; 30:16; 31:1; 2 Sam 2:22, 24; 3:13; 7:9, 15, 23; 9:6; 10:9, 13f, 18; 11:11; 14:4, 7, 20, 22, 24, 28, 32f; 15:14, 18, 23; 17:11, 19; 18:8, 28; 19:4f, 8, 18; 21:1; 23:11; 24:20; 1 Kgs 1:23, 31, 50; 2:7, 15ff, 20, 29; 3:15, 28; 5:3; 6:3, 17, 21, 36; 7:6, 36, 49; 8:8, 11, 14, 22, 25, 31, 54, 64; 9:7; 10:24; 11:43; 12:8, 10, 30; 13:6, 11, 34; 14:24; 17:3, 5; 18:1, 7, 39, 42; 19:13; 21:4, 26f, 29; 2 Kgs 1:15; 3:14, 24; 4:29, 31; 5:1, 27; 6:32; 8:11, 15; 9:7, 14, 32, 37; 10:4; 11:2, 18; 12:17; 13:4, 14, 23; 14:8, 11f; 16:3, 14, 18; 17:8, 11, 18, 20, 23; 18:24; 20:2; 21:2, 9, 13; 22:19; 23:13, 27; 24:3, 20; 25:19, 26; 1 Chr 5:25; 10:1; 11:13; 12:1, 8; 16:4, 11, 27, 29f, 33; 17:8, 21, 25; 19:10, 15, 18f; 21:12, 16, 21, 30; 28:8; 29:11; 2Chr 1:13; 3:4, 8, 13, 17; 4:20; 5:9, 14; 6:3, 16, 31, 36, 42; 7:3, 14, 20; 9:23; 10:2; 12:5; 13:7f, 16; 19:7, 11; 20:3, 5, 7, 15, 18; 22:11; 25:17, 22; 28:3; 29:6; 30:9; 32:2, 7, 21; 33:2, 9, 12; 34:4, 27; 35:19, 22; 36:5, 12; Ezra 7:14; 9:6f; 10:6; Neh 2:2f; 4:9, 14; 5:15; 8:6; 10:33; Esth 5:1f; 7:8; 8:12; Job 1:11; 2:5; 4:15; 6:28; 9:24, 27; 11:15; 13:10, 20; 14:20; 15:27; 16:8; 17:12; 18:17; 19:8; 21:31; 22:8; 23:15, 17; 24:15, 18; 26:9f; 29:24; 30:10f; 32:22; 33:26; 34:19, 29; 38:30; 40:13; 41:13f; 42:8; Ps 1:4; 3:1; 4:6; 9:3; 10:5, 11; 11:7; 13:1; 16:11; 17:2, 9, 15; 18:8, 42; 21:6, 9, 12; 22:24; 24:6; 27:8f; 30:7; 31:16, 20, 22; 34:1, 5, 16; 35:5; 38:3, 5; 42:2, 5, 11; 43:5; 44:3, 15f, 24; 45:11; 50:21; 51:9, 11; 55:21; 57:1, 6; 60:4; 61:2; 67:1; 68:1f, 4, 8; 69:7, 17, 29; 78:55; 80:3, 7, 16, 19; 82:2; 83:13, 16; 84:9; 88:14; 89:14f, 23; 90:8; 95:2; 96:9, 13; 97:5; 102:2, 10; 104:15, 29f; 105:4; 114:7; 119:58, 135; 132:10; 139:7; 140:13; 143:7; 147:17; Prov 2:6; 4:3; 7:13, 15; 8:30; 15:13; 17:24; 18:5; 19:6; 21:29; 22:26; 24:23; 25:5, 7, 23; 27:17, 19; 28:21; 29:5, 26; Eccl 2:26; 3:14; 5:2, 6; 7:3, 26; 8:1, 3, 12f; 9:1; 10:5, 10; 11:1; Song 7:4; Isa 2:10, 19, 21; 3:9, 15, 19; 6:2; 7:16; 8:17; 9:15; 13:8; 16:4; 17:9; 19:1, 16; 24:1; 25:8; 28:25; 29:22; 30:28; 31:8; 34:15; 36:9; 38:2; 49:23; 50:6f; 51:13; 53:3; 54:8; 57:1, 14, 17; 59:2; 62:11; 63:12; 64:2, 7; Jer 1:8, 13f, 17; 2:27; 3:12; 4:1, 4, 26; 5:3, 22; 6:7; 7:12, 15, 19; 8:2; 9:7, 13, 22, 26; 10:2; 13:17, 26; 14:16; 15:1, 17, 19; 16:4; 17:16; 18:17, 20, 23; 21:8, 10; 22:25; 23:9f; 24:1; 25:16, 23, 26f, 33, 37f; 26:4, 19; 28:16; 30:6, 20; 31:36; 32:24, 31, 33; 33:5; 34:15, 18; 35:5, 11, 19; 36:7, 9, 22; 37:11, 20; 38:9; 39:17; 40:9f; 41:9, 18; 42:2, 11, 15ff; 44:3, 10f, 22f; 46:16; 48:44; 49:5, 19, 32; 50:5, 8, 16, 44; 51:51, 64; 52:12, 25, 33; Lam 1:5f, 22; 2:3, 19; 3:35; 4:16, 20; 5:9f; Ezek 1:6, 8ff, 12, 28; 2:6; 3:8f, 20, 23; 4:1, 3, 7; 6:2, 9; 7:18, 22; 8:11, 16; 9:8; 10:21f; 11:13; 12:6, 12; 13:17; 14:1, 3f, 6ff, 15; 15:7; 16:5, 18f, 63; 20:1, 35, 43, 46f; 21:2, 16; 22:30; 23:24, 41; 25:2; 27:35; 28:21; 29:2, 5; 32:10; 33:27; 34:6; 35:2; 36:17, 31; 37:2; 38:2, 20; 39:5, 14, 23f, 29; 40:12; 41:4, 12, 14f, 18f, 21f, 25; 42:10f, 13, 17, 19; 43:3; 44:4, 12, 15; 45:7; 47:1; Dan 1:10; 2:15, 31, 46; 3:19; 4:22, 33; 5:19, 24; 6:10, 12f, 26; 7:8, 10; 8:5, 17f, 23; 9:3, 7f, 10, 13, 17; 10:6, 9, 12, 15; 11:16ff, 22; Hos 2:2; 5:5, 15; 7:2, 10; 10:7, 15; 11:2; Joel 2:3, 6, 10f, 20; Amos 2:9; 5:8, 19; 9:4, 6, 8; Jonah 1:3, 10; Mic 1:4; 2:13; 3:4; 6:4; Nah 1:5f; 2:1, 10; 3:5; Hab 1:9; 2:20; 3:5; Zeph 1:2f, 7; 2:7; Hag 1:12; 2:14; Zech 2:13; 3:1, 3f, 8f; 4:7; 5:3; 8:21f; 14:20; Mal 1:8f; 2:3, 5, 9; 3:1, 14;
Barnes - As the Jewish high priest appeared before the Shekinah, the symbol of the Divine Presence in the tabernacle, so Christ appears before God himself in our behalf in heaven. He has gone to plead for our salvation; to present the merits of his blood as a permanent reason why we should be saved
David J. MacLeod writes that - At His ascension Christ was formally installed as High Priest and began His present high priestly work. In the heavenly tabernacle today He represents His people (i.e., He secures their acceptance with God) (1Ti 2:5, Ep 1:6KJV); obtains free access for them into God’s presence (Ro 5:2); intercedes in prayer for them (Ro 8:34, He 7:25) and grants them help (He 2:18); mediates their prayers to God and God’s strength to them (2Ti 2:1); anticipates His return to earth to reign; and, at the end of the present session, will bless His people by bringing them deliverance into the kingdom. (David J. MacLeod, “The Present Work of Christ in Hebrews,” Bibliotheca Sacra 148:590 April-June 1991) (Theological Journal Subscription info) (List of journals - 500 yrs of articles searchable by topic or verse! Incredible Online Resource!)
Of God - Literally the Greek reads "of the God", the definite article (the) emphasizing the exclusivity of God. He is not one among a pantheon of gods but is alone the true and living God.
I agree with MacDonald who remarks that "It is difficult to understand why anyone would want to leave the reality and go back to the copy, why anyone would leave the great High Priest serving in the heavenly sanctuary to return to the priests of Israel serving in a symbolic tent. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
G Campbell Morgan - This is the fact which made possible the covenant. This was the supreme act of His priesthood, and it is continuous. In a former note we considered the statement that our great High Priest has "passed through the heavens" (Heb 4.14). Here it is said that He has entered into heaven. This is not a contradiction, but an interpretation. The heavens through which He passed are the created heavens. The Heaven which He entered is the uncreated abode of God Himself, the very Holiest of all. Thither He went "to appear before the face of God." The statement is apprehended in all its fulness of meaning when we put it into contrast with the greatest hour in the life and ministry of Moses. In an hour of supreme need and highest communion Moses asked to see the glory of God; that is, to behold His face. The answer was, "Thou canst not see My face"; but in grace he was given to see the back of God. The Son of God, in His glorified manhood entered into Heaven to be manifested before the face of God! There, as man, God beheld Him, and He beheld God. And this was for us. In His humanity ours was represented, our sin covered by His completed atonement, our imperfections can-celled in His perfection, our weakness ended in His strength. Henceforth we are accepted in the Beloved, and all the wisdom and might and love of God are given to us through Him in the covenant which God makes with us. (Morgan, G. C. Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)
For (5228) (huper) in this context means in our place, as our substitute.
For us - While these are only 2 words in the Greek and English, what precious words they are to our sinful ears, for the Greek word "huper" means "on behalf of" or "in our place" (cp He 6:20-note - where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.) Just as the high priest appeared for a few moments before God in the incense filled Holy of Holies for (in the place of, on behalf of - as the representative of) the entire congregation of Israel on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:32, 33), our High Priest is now continually before the Father (at His right hand) on our behalf, and in that exalted position "He always lives to make intercession for" us (He 7:25-note).
Spurgeon - Jesus, as our Representative, is a hiding place to us from all the winds that would come to us by the way of the sepulcher. We are not afraid to die, for Jesus lives; and He said to His disciples, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). He has also gone up into heaven; in His glorified body, He ascended up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us. So, whenever you have any dread about the future, recollect that you will be where He is. If you are a believer in Him, you must ascend to heaven even as He has done; and as He sits upon His throne, even so shall you; and as He is perfected in glory, even so must you be.
For us - other uses of this glorious phrase with a similar sense of Christ "as our substitute" - Ro 5:8; 8:26, 34; Gal 3:13; Eph 5:2; 1Th 5:10; Titus 2:14; Heb 6:20;9:24; 10:20; 1John 3:16
Guzik - It’s not hard to believe that Jesus does appear in the presence of God. But to believe that He appears there for us is glorious!
Matthew Poole - “Now to appear in the presence of God for us;” where He now appears as our advocating Mediator, pleading His merit for the remission of our sins, and rendering of God’s face smiling on and favoring His clients, which was terrifying and affrighting to guilty Adam before: see Heb 7:25, 10:19 Ro 8:34 1John 2:1, 2 Rev 5:6. Here He represents our persons to God’s face, fitting in the mean while us beneath for our seeing Him face to face, and being blessed in the enjoyment of that prospect for ever.
Delitzsch writes that "It is enough that Jesus should show Himself for us to the Father: the sight of Jesus satisfied God in our behalf. He brings before the face of God no offering which has exhausted itself, and, as only sufficing for a time, needs renewal; but He himself is in person, by virtue of the eternal Spirit, that is, the imperishable life of His person, now and for ever freed from death, our eternally present offering before God (Ed: And one which is indelibly irrevocably validated by His scars, the covenant marks in His hands and feet and side, the marks of His everlasting covenant - He 13:20-note)
Hallelujah! What A Savior
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,