CONSIDER JESUS OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST
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Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Hebrews - Swindoll
Hebrews 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: But [that appointed time came] when Christ (the Messiah) appeared as a High Priest of the better things that have come and are to come. [Then] through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with [human] hands, that is, not a part of this material creation, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: But when Christ arrived upon the scene, a high priest of the good things which are to come, by means of a tabernacle which was greater and better able to produce the results for which it was meant, a tabernacle not made by the hands of men—that is, a tabernacle which did not belong to this world order— (Westminster Press)
KJV: But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
NLT: So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that great, perfect sanctuary in heaven, not made by human hands and not part of this created world. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: For now Christ has come among us, the High Priest of the good things which were to come, and has passed through a greater and more perfect tent which no human hand has made (for it was no part of this world of ours). (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But Messiah having appeared upon the scene, a High Priest of good things realized, through the instrumentality of the greater and more complete tent not made by hands, that is to say, not of this creation, (Eerdmans Publishing - used by permission)
Young's Literal: And Christ being come, chief priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands -- that is, not of this creation--
BUT WHEN CHRIST APPEARED AS A HIGH PRIEST OF THE GOOD THINGS TO COME: de christos de paragenomenos (AMPMSN) archiereus ton mellonton agathon:
- Genesis 49:10; Psalms 40:7; Isaiah 59:20; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 2:6; 11:3; John 4:25; 1John 4:2,3; 5:20; 2John 1:7
- Heb 2:17; 3:1; 4:15; 5:5,6; 7:1,11:26,27; 8:1)
- He 10:1
But (term of contrast) - This introduces a dramatic contrast - the new versus the old. The sacrifices of the first covenant could not make atonement for the lost sinner, whereas the sacrifice of the Lamb of God effected eternal redemption.
When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come
Wuest - In Heb 9:1–10 the writer has spoken of the typical significance of the First Testament, and its transitory use. Now, in Heb 9:11–15, he speaks of the New Testament, and its ability to do that which the sacrifices of the First Testament could not do, namely, make atonement for the lost sinner. The little word “but” is the pivot upon which this argument swings. (Hebrews Commentary)
Spurgeon - No son of Aaron stands before us, but the Christ, the truly Anointed One, commissioned of the Lord to introduce man to his offended God. Anointed by the eternal Spirit without measure, the Lord Jesus Christ appears in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and then to destroy the separating veil by going in unto the Father. Up till then religion dealt with externals, such as meats, and drinks, and washings, and carnal ordinances, and priests who could only offer the blood of bulls and of goats. But the coming of the Messiah changed all this. We pass from shadow to substance.
Vine - The first ten verses of this chapter have presented the picture of the earthly tabernacle and its offerings, and their incompleteness to effect what was necessary for the perfecting of the worshiper. Now comes a striking antithesis. The background in the first part of the chapter serves to set forth by way of contrast the glories and perfections of Christ, His offering, His heavenly sanctuary, His mediatorship of the new covenant. All serves to present the perfections of His priesthood, connecting it with His incarnation, His death and His appearing a second time. (Collected Writings)
Robertson rightly declares that "This is the great historic event that is the crux of history." Indeed even time records this "crux" from BC (Before Christ) to AD (Year of our Lord) (See Note).
When Christ appeared - The "real Christmas"! In this section, the writer speaks of the ultimate theological significance of the "Christmas story", which was so much more than just a Babe "in a manger".
Appeared (3854) (paraginomai from para = beside + ginomai = to be, become, come into being) means to be beside or to become alongside and conveys the sense of Messiah's arriving upon the scene of human history at His first advent. Messiah came from "another world" as it were and "invaded" human history not as another human being born in the midst of humanity. His first appearing fulfilled the prophetic aspects of His Old Testament name Immanuel, "God with us". His first advent was just a picture of a Baby being born, but of God taking the form of humanity in a miraculous Virgin Birth. As one would say in Spanish, Messiah became "Deos con carne" or "God in the flesh"!
The same verb paraginomai was used to describe the appearing of John the Baptist, Matthew recording "Now in those days John the Baptist came (paraginomai - appeared on the scene of human history), preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Mt 3:1,2+)
The Messiah's appearance had been prophesied by Jacob who declared…
The scepter (symbol of royal comment and right to rule) shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh (meaning either "that which belongs to him" or "Bearer of rest and tranquility" [there not clearly complete agreement] a reference not to the town but to the Messiah Who ) comes, and to Him (the Messiah) shall be the obedience of the peoples (the nations - indicating this rule would be worldwide). (Genesis 49:10)
In the Messianic psalm Christ declared…
Then I said, "Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. (Psalm 40:7)
Comment - Psalm 40 is quoted by the writer beginning in Hebrews 10:5+
Isaiah foretold of Messiah's glorious appearing…
Isaiah 59:20 "And a Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," declares the LORD.
Malachi (means "My messenger") predicted the Messiah's appearance…
Behold, I am going to send My messenger (Fulfilled some 400 years later in the appearing of John the Baptist, cp Mt 3:3, 11:10, cp Isaiah's similar prophecy 40:3,4), and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple (eg, see Jesus cleansing of the Temple in John 2:14-17); and the Messenger (mal'ak = one who is sent) of the covenant (the Messiah), in Whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:1+)
High priest (749) (archiereus from arche = first in a series, the leader or ruler + hiereus = priest) (Dictionary articles - Easton's; ISBE) refers to the priest that was chief over all the other priests in Israel. This office was established by God through Moses instructions in the Pentateuch. The high priest functioned as the mediator between Jehovah and Israel performing sacrifices and rituals like other priests, but in addition acting to expiate the sins of the nation on the annual Day of Atonement. The irony is that the high priest Caiaphas was residing over the Sanhedrin during trial of Jesus, the trial which would lead to His death and pave the way for His eternal High Priesthood!
Eerdman's Bible Dictionary explains that "The high priest descended from Eleazar, the son of Aaron. The office was normally hereditary and was conferred upon an individual for life (Nu 25:10-13). The candidate was consecrated in a seven-day ceremony which included investiture with the special clothing of his office as well as anointments and sacrifices (Ex 29:1-37; Lev 8:5-35). The high priest was bound to a higher degree of ritual purity than ordinary Levitical priests. He could have no contact with dead bodies, including those of his parents. Nor could he rend his clothing or allow his hair to grow out as signs of mourning. He could not marry a widow, divorced woman, or harlot, but only an Israelite virgin (Lev. 21:10-15). Any sin committed by the high priest brought guilt upon the entire nation and had to be countered by special sacrifice (Lev 4:1-12). Upon a high priest’s death manslayers were released from the cities of refuge (Nu 35:25, 28, 32). (Eerdman's Bible Dictionary)
Archiereus occurs only in the Gospels (Matthew - 25 times, Mark 21 times, Luke 15 times, John 20 times), Acts 22 times and Hebrews (see below). The references to the high priests in the Gospels and Acts refers primarily to their bitter opposition to Jesus Who the writer of Hebrews identifies as our everlasting High Priest.
Clearly archiereus is a key word in the book of Hebrews, and a review of these 17 verses reveals various characteristics (see underlined sections) of Jesus role as the great High Priest (some of the uses of high priest obviously do not refer to Jesus but to the Jewish high priests).
Hebrews 2:17 (note) Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 3:1 (note) Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.
Hebrews 4:14 (note) Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
Hebrews 4:15 (note) For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 5:1 (note) For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;
Hebrews 5:5 (note) So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee";
Hebrews 5:10 (note) being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:20 (note) where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 7:26 (note) For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;
Hebrews 7:27 (note) who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
Hebrews 7:28 (note) For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.
Hebrews 8:1 (note) Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
Hebrews 8:3 (note) For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer.
Hebrews 9:7 (note) but into the second only the high priest enters, once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.
Hebrews 9:11 (note) But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;
Hebrews 9:25 (note) nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own.
Hebrews 13:11 (note) For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.
The good things to come - better promises, better covenant, etc. The OT high priest procured only temporary blessings, but Christ, the Great High Priest procured eternal blessings (in eternity present and eternity future). In the immediate context two "good things" (1) Eternal Redemption (using the word that brought to the mind of that day the liberation of a slave by paying the ransom price, securing total freedom) and (2) Clean conscience from dead works to serve (worship) the living God. Freedom from the bondage to sin and freedom from guilt that our sins bring… those are indeed good things Jesus our High Priest made a reality by His public appearance (cp 2Ti 1:10)
Spurgeon - Things that were in the olden time “things to come” are things present at this hour. Jesus has brought to light the precious things of the covenant, which kings and prophets desired to see. Yet even now there are good things in the future: “Things that eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and have not entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9). The Lord Jesus has brought all good things to those who believe in Him, that they may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Good things to come find their way here by the Mediator. God Himself has come among men in the person of the Lord Jesus, who has taken our nature into union with His Godhead. Our Immanuel was born at Bethlehem, He dwelled at Nazareth, He died on Calvary, and He has now gone up on high because His work is finished and the reward of it is given.
HE ENTERED THROUGH THE GREATER AND MORE PERFECT TABERNACLE, NOT MADE WITH HANDS, THAT IS TO SAY, NOT OF THIS CREATION: dia tes meizonos kai teleioteras skenes ou cheiropoietou tout estin (3SPAI) ou tautes tes ktiseos:
- Hebrews 9:1-9; 8:2; John 1:14) (He 9:23,24; Acts 7:48; 17:24,25; 2Cor 5:1; Col 2:11
JESUS THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST
ENTERED THE PERFECT TABERNACLE
He entered through - The preposition is better rendered "by means of." Wuest explains it this way - The word “through” is the translation of dia, the preposition of intermediate agency. That is, the kind of tabernacle the priest officiates in, determines the quality of his work. If he ministers in a tabernacle that is a mere type, his work is not efficacious so far as actual salvation is concerned, but only typical. If he on the other hand, serves in the actual tabernacle of which the other tabernacle is only a type, his work of salvation is actual and meritorious." (Hebrews Commentary)
Christ a greater heavenly High Priest did not enter a temporal, earthly, man made (even though God designed) tabernacle but a greater and more perfect tabernacle.
Not made with hands - Instead, made by God Himself, which explains why it is greater and more perfect. This is the very Throne Room of the Almighty, and it is the place in which and from which our Great High Priest Christ Jesus now ministers, seated at the right hand of the Father.
Spurgeon - That tabernacle was his body, which was not made with hands, nor yet formed by carnal generation as our human tabernacle is. This greater and more perfect tabernacle was made according to the power of an endless life.
Not of this creation - Means the great, perfect Tabernacle Jesus entered is not on earth, but by implication is in heaven. Wuest adds "That is, the tabernacle in which Messiah serves, does not belong to the natural creation, the material universe." (Hebrews Commentary)
Luke explains God's dwelling place is not of this earth writing that…
the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is the footstool of My feet. What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord; ‘Or what place is there for My repose? ‘Was it not My hand which made all these things?’ (Acts 7:48-50+)
And note another contrast with the Aaronic high priest who entered the earthly tabernacle for the people but not with the people. Paul clearly teaches in Ephesians the awesome truth that God has…
raised us (believers) up with Him (Christ), and seated us with Him (our Great High Priest) in the heavenly places (the greater and more perfect tabernacle), in Christ Jesus (Ep 2:6+)
No temple made with hands,
His place of service is;
In heaven itself He serves,
A heavenly priesthood His:
In Him the shadows of the law
Are all fulfilled, and now withdraw.
TODAY IN THE WORD -In some places it is still customary to take care of the grave plots of deceased relatives, often called “graveyard workings.” Once a year family members will travel to the family plot and tidy the area. Headstones are cleaned. Weeds are pulled and new flowers are planted. American flags are set in place for veterans. Yet, no matter how neat and tidy the plot is, it doesn’t change the fact that the grave contains decay. The outside of the grave can be cleaned, but not the inside.
Similarly, Hebrews argues that the sacrifices of the Mosaic Law only cleansed the people externally, whereas the superior sacrifice of Jesus brings inner transformation.
Thus far in Hebrews we have seen that Jesus serves as high priest in a priestly order superior to that of Aaron. We have also seen that He mediates a better covenant than the one mediated by the Levitical priesthood. Yesterday we read that Jesus serves in a tabernacle far superior to the earthly one. Our text today tells us that Jesus also offered a sacrifice that was superior to those offered under the Old Covenant–His own life (He 9:12, 14). The blood of sacrificed animals was required to cleanse the instruments and the people under the Old Covenant. However, these rituals only cleansed them outwardly. The superior sacrifice of Christ, on the other hand, cleanses our consciences (Hebrews 9:13, 14).
Christ’s sacrifice for us is not, though, only about cleansing our consciences so that we feel better. It transforms us so that we can now serve the living God. Under the old covenant the priests had to be cleansed before they could perform their ministries (cf. Lev 8:6-30). Under the new covenant we are cleansed in the blood of Jesus so that we can go forth and perform our ministries before God.
TODAY ALONG THE WAY - Did you know that if you belong to Christ you are a priest of God Most High? Part of sharing in the blessings of Christ means living in the reality of this priestly call. (Copyright Moody Bible Institute. Used by permission. All rights reserved)
Amplified: He went once for all into the [Holy of] Holies [of heaven], not by virtue of the blood of goats and calves [by which to make reconciliation between God and man], but His own blood, having found and secured a complete redemption (an everlasting release for us). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: and not by the blood of goats and bullocks but by his own blood, he entered once and for all into the Holy Place because he had secured for us an eternal redemption. (Westminster Press)
KJV: Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
NLT: Once for all time he took blood into that Most Holy Place, but not the blood of goats and calves. He took his own blood, and with it he secured our salvation forever. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: It was not with goats' or calves' blood but with his own blood that he entered once and for all into the holy of holies, having won for us men eternal reconciliation with God. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: nor even through the intermediate instrumentality of the blood of goats and calves, but through that blood of His own, He entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, having found and procured eternal redemption. (Eerdmans Publishing - used by permission)
Young's Literal: neither through blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, did enter in once into the holy places, age-during redemption having obtained;
AND NOT THROUGH THE BLOOD OF GOATS AND CALVES: oude di haimatos tragon kai moschon:
- Heb 9:13; Heb 10:4; Lev 8:2; 9:15; Lev 16:5-10 = "Yom Kippur" = Day of Atonement)
BETTER BLOOD OF
THE BETTER SACRIFICE
And not through the blood of goats and calves - Not is the Greek word signifying absolutely no way! Through (dia) speaks of instrumentality or means by which something is accomplished. The only One Who can split the curtain separating the holy place from the holy of holies is the Lamb of God, Whose blood Alone is the means by which this is accomplished.
THOUGHT - Do you believe in the blood of the Lamb of God Who takes away (by His shed blood signifying His substitutionary death on the Cross) the sins of the world (Jn 1:29+). Then enter into the Holy of holies, the very Throne Room of God and do it boldly in prayer, praise and worship (every day for the rest of your life on earth and then throughout eternity because He has provided eternal redemption!)
This section of Hebrews repeatedly alludes to the significance of blood and how the OT blood sacrifices all pointed a "bloody" finger at the Messiah, the Lamb Whose blood was to be shed on Calvary.
Hebrews 10:4 (note) For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Leviticus 8:2 "Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments and the anointing oil and the bull of the sin offering, and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread;
Leviticus 9:15 Then he presented the people's offering, and took the goat of the sin offering which was for the people, and slaughtered it and offered it for sin, like the first.
Leviticus 16:5-10 "And he shall take from the congregation of the sons of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. 6 "Then Aaron shall offer the bull for the sin offering which is for himself, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household. 7 "And he shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 8 "And Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 "Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for the LORD fell, and make it a sin offering. 10 "But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.
Phillips comments that "As a candle fades into total insignificance before the full blaze of the noonday sun, so the Old Testament priesthood fades into nothing before that of Christ. Who needs a candle when standing in the full blaze of day? As the majesty of the sun obliterates whatever majesty a candle might have had in the darkness of the night, so Christ's majesty obliterates that of the Levitical priesthood (Exploring Hebrews: An Expository Commentary)
Not (3761) (oude) indicates absolute negation - "absolutely not through the blood of goats and calves" like the Jewish High Priest Aaron on the Day of Atonement, yom kippur "Aaron shall enter the holy place with this: with a bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. (Leviticus 16:3+)
The Day of Atonement (Lev 16:1-34) pointed to the redeeming work of Christ more adequately than any other sacrifice or ceremony of the OT (cf. Heb. 9). But in itself, the Day of Atonement was still inadequate, "for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins" (He 9:11, cf. Heb. 10:4-note). The Hebrew verb "to make atonement" is kaphar, which means "to cover, to make a covering." The teaching of Scripture is that the sins of the OT saints were covered over until Christ came and removed them (cf. Ro 3:24-note, Ro 3:25-note; Heb. 9:15-note). It was as if sins were forgiven "on credit" in the OT, with Christ later paying the debt in full through His death on the cross.
Jamieson notes that it was "not a bullock, such as the Levitical high priest offered for himself, and a goat for the people, on the day of atonement (Lev 16:6,15), year by year, whence the plural is used, goats… calves. Besides the goat offered for the people the blood of which was sprinkled before the mercy seat, the high priest led forth a second goat, namely, the scapegoat; over it he confessed the people's sins, putting them on the head of the goat, which was sent as the sin-bearer into the wilderness out of sight, implying that the atonement effected by the goat sin offering (of which the ceremony of the scapegoat is a part, and not distinct from the sin offering) consisted in the transfer of the people's sins on the goat, and their consequent removal out of sight… Christ's death is symbolized by the slain goat; His resurrection to life by the living goat sent away. Modern Jews substitute in some places a cock for the goat as an expiation, the sins of the offerers being transferred to the entrails, and exposed on the housetop for the birds to carry out of sight, as the scapegoat did; the Hebrew word for "man" and "cock" (gebher) being similar. (!)
QUESTION - What is the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)?
ANSWER - The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27-28), also known as Yom Kippur, was the most solemn holy day of all the Israelite feasts and festivals, occurring once a year on the tenth day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. On that day, the high priest was to perform elaborate rituals to atone for the sins of the people. Described in Leviticus 16:1-34, the atonement ritual began with Aaron, or subsequent high priests of Israel, coming into the holy of holies. The solemnity of the day was underscored by God telling Moses to warn Aaron not to come into the Most Holy Place whenever he felt like it; he could only come on this special day once a year, lest he die (v.2). This was not a ceremony to be taken lightly, and the people were to understand that atonement for sin was to be done God’s way.
Before entering the tabernacle, Aaron was to bathe and put on special garments (v. 4), then sacrifice a bull for a sin offering for himself and his family (v. 6, 11). The blood of the bull was to be sprinkled on the ark of the covenant. Then Aaron was to bring two goats, one to be sacrificed “because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been” (v. 16), and its blood was sprinkled on the ark of the covenant. The other goat was used as a scapegoat. Aaron placed his hands on its head, confessed over it the rebellion and wickedness of the Israelites, and sent the goat out with an appointed man who released it into the wilderness (v. 21). The goat carried on itself all the sins of the people, which were forgiven for another year (v. 30).
The symbolic significance of the ritual, particularly to Christians, is seen first in the washing and cleansing of the high priest, the man who released the goat, and the man who took the sacrificed animals outside the camp to burn the carcasses (v. 4, 24, 26, 28). Israelite washing ceremonies were required often throughout the Old Testament and symbolized the need for mankind to be cleansed of sin. But it wasn’t until Jesus came to make the “once for all” sacrifice that the need for cleansing ceremonies ceased (Hebrews 7:27). The blood of bulls and goats could only atone for sins if the ritual was continually done year after year, while Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient for all the sins of all who would ever believe in Him. When His sacrifice was made, He declared, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He then sat down at the right hand of God, and no further sacrifice was ever needed (Hebrews 10:1-12).
The sufficiency and completeness of the sacrifice of Christ is also seen in the two goats. The blood of the first goat was sprinkled on the ark, ritually appeasing the wrath of God for another year. The second goat removed the sins of the people into the wilderness where they were forgotten and no longer clung to the people. Sin is both propitiated and expiated God’s way—only by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Propitiation is the act of appeasing the wrath of God, while expiation is the act of atoning for sin and removing it from the sinner. Both together are achieved eternally by Christ. When He sacrificed Himself on the cross, He appeased God’s wrath against sin, taking that wrath upon Himself: “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (Romans 5:9). The removal of sin by the second goat was a living parable of the promise that God would remove our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) and that He would remember them no more (Hebrews 8:12; 10:17). Jews today still celebrate the annual Day of Atonement, which falls on different days each year in September-October, traditionally observing this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer. Jews also often spend most of the day in synagogue services.GotQuestions.org
Tale Of Two Goats - Two goats without blemish stood before the high priest in the bright Middle Eastern sun. Lots were cast, and the priest slowly led one to the altar to be killed as a sin offering for the people. Its blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat. That goat was a sacrifice.
The other goat, known as the scapegoat, portrays another truth. The priest placed both his hands on its forehead and confessed the sins of Israel. Then the goat was led out into the desert and turned loose. As it wandered away, never to be seen again, it symbolically took Israel's sins along with it. They were gone. The people were reconciled to God. That goat was a substitute.
Both of these goats were pictures of what Christ would do for us. The cross became an upright altar, where the Lamb of God gave His life as a sacrifice for sin. And what the scapegoat symbolically portrayed for Israel—the removal of their sins—Jesus fulfilled in reality. He became our substitute. Because of our identification with Him as believers, our sins have been taken away completely.
Two goats representing two truths: sacrifice and substitution. Both were fulfilled in Christ when He died on the cross and made full atonement for our sins. Praise God! —David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Guilty, vile, and helpless we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full atonement! Can it be?
Hallelujah, what a Savior! —Bliss
Jesus took our place to give us His peace.
BUT THROUGH HIS OWN BLOOD: dia de tou idiou haimatos:
- Heb 1:3; He 10:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; Acts 20:28; Ep 1:7; Col 1:14; Titus 2:14; 1Pe 1:18,19; Re 1:5; Re 5:9
THE PREVIOUS BLOOD
OF THE LAMB OF GOD
Spurgeon - The Lord Jesus did not bring before God the sufferings of others or the merits of others, but His own life and death. “He poured his life out to death” (Isa 53:12). Aaron could not do this; the blood he brought was not his own. And if he could, by any strange imagination, be supposed to bring his own blood, yet it could only have been for himself, since his death was due to God as the punishment for his own individual sin. Our Lord owed nothing to the justice of God on His own account; he was “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners” (Heb 7:26). Therefore, when He took our place, it was that He might voluntarily offer up His own sacrifice of personal suffering and personal death, yielding up His whole being as a sacrifice in our stead.
Hebrews 1:3 (note) And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Hebrews 10:9-14 then He said, "BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO THY WILL." He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (see notes Hebrews 10:9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14)
Acts 20:28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Ephesians 1:7 (note) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
1 Peter 1:18 (note) knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. (see note 1 Peter 1:18; 19)
Revelation 1:5 (note) and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood,
Revelation 5:9 (note) And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
But - strong contrast (term of contrast)
Through His own blood - A T Robertson notes that "This is the great distinction between Christ as High Priest and all other high priests. They offer blood (He 9:7), but he offered his own blood. He is both victim and High Priest."
David Guzik rightly says that "Jesus’ sacrifice was superior in that it was perfect, voluntary, rational, and motivated by love."
Wuest - The blood offered was different. In the case of the Aaronic priests, it was the blood of goats and calves. In the case of Messiah, it was His own blood. The words "His own" are the translation of idios. Had the personal pronoun autos been used, the reference would be merely to the fact that it was by means of His blood that He entered the Holy of Holies. But the word idios speaks not merely of ownership, but of a personal, private, unique ownership. For instance, John in his Gospel (5:18) states the fact that the Jews tried to kill our Lord because He had said that God was His personal unique Father. Had John used autos, there would have been no justification for their accusation, for each one of these Jews claimed God as his Father. John used idios, reporting the Lord Jesus as saying that God was His private, unique Father. God was His Father in a different sense from that in which He might be the Father of others. Our Lord claimed unique Sonship, and, therefore, Deity. And these Jews recognized that fact. Now, the efficacy of our Lord's blood rested, not in the fact that it was human blood, but that it was human blood of a unique kind. It flowed in the veins of One who was as to His humanity, sinless, and as to His Person, Deity. And the combination of these two, sinless humanity, and Deity, made it unique, efficacious. It was the only sacrificial blood that could be sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in the heavenly Holy of Holies, the only blood which the High Court of Heaven would accept as atonement for human sin. It was this blood poured out on Calvary's Cross that gave Messiah access as High Priest into the Holy of Holies of heaven. (Hebrews Commentary) (Bolding added)
Through (dia) - Speaks of the instrument by which something is effected. Notice that the Greek word is not sun or meta which would be "with". Some teach that Christ entered the heavenly tabernacle with His blood, but if we take this text literally, it seems to declare that it was not with but through (by the instrumentality of) His precious blood. It is notable that some translations are rendered in a way that supports that premise that Jesus took His own blood to heaven. For example…
He has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with Him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood (New Jerusalem Bible)
with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all (NKJV)
Once for all time he took blood into that Most Holy Place (NLT)
He took his own blood and obtained eternal salvation for us (TEV)
Steven Cole - Christ didn’t take the blood of goats and calves to sprinkle on the altar. Rather, He went there “through His own blood.” Some have erroneously taught that Jesus had to carry His blood into heaven to secure our redemption. But He didn’t go there with His blood, but through His blood. He secured our redemption on the cross. (Hebrews 9:1-14 God's Remedy for Guilt)
Wuest adds that "we are not to understand that our Lord took His blood into heaven. That precious blood was poured out on the Cross and dripped into the earth. But it was by virtue of that fact that He entered heaven, having accomplished salvation by the sacrifice of Himself. It was in that bloodless, glorified human body which is an eternal testimony that sin is paid for, that our blessed Lord entered heaven." (Hebrews Commentary) (Bolding added)
The point that it was Christ's own blood is emphasized by repetition later in this chapter…
nor was it that He (Messiah) should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own. (see note Hebrews 9:25)
Here the redemption of man is attributed to the blood of Christ; and this blood is stated to be shed in a sacrificial way, precisely as the blood of bulls, goats and calves was shed under the law.
Steven Cole concludes "The author is showing the complete supremacy and finality of the blood of Christ over the old system. Through His death, our guilt is atoned for once and for all, for all eternity! The penalty has been paid. There is nothing that we can add to what Christ did. Through Him we have direct access to God! (Hebrews 9:1-14 God's Remedy for Guilt)
Remember that a "bloodless gospel is no gospel" for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.
NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD
by Robert Lowry
Vocal by Carrie Underwood
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
A T Robertson notes that "This is the great distinction between Christ as High Priest and all other high priests. They offer blood (Hebrews 9:7-note), but he offered his own blood. He is both victim and High Priest.
Through His own blood - There is some disagreement on the interpretation of this passage, as some commentators such as J Vernon McGee state that Christ went into Heaven with His blood. The Greek and (most) English renderings state that He entered Heaven not with His own blood, but through (or by) His own blood. The preposition dia may be translated through, by reason of, or by virtue of. This would lead one to understand that Christ is now seated in Heaven as the High Priest by virtue of His sacrificial death and precious blood. On the Cross Jesus stated "It is finished" ("paid in full") indicating that His blood was efficacious the moment it was shed, an interpretation that is also supported by the fact that veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
Albert Barnes adds that it was "by His own blood shed for the remission of sins. The meaning is, that it was in virtue of His own blood, or “by means” of that, that He sought the pardon of His people. That blood was not shed for Himself - for He had no sin - and consequently there was a material difference between His offering and that of the Jewish high priest. The difference related to such points as these. (1) the offering which Christ made was wholly for others; that of the Jewish priest for himself as well as for them. (2) the blood offered by the Jewish priest was that of animals; that offered by the Saviour was his own.(3) that offered by the Jewish priest was only an emblem or type - for it could not take away sin; that offered by Christ had a real efficacy, and removes transgression from the soul.
William Newell comments on Hebrews 9:12 -
Nor yet through the blood of goats and calves—the means by which Israel’s high priest came before Jehovah, even into His presence, on the Great Day of Atonement. But such blood was a typical, temporary shadow, of what was to be done. Such offerings could not maintain man, nor even his representative, the high priest, in Jehovah’s presence; nor, indeed, give him liberty to open his mouth from behind the veil in Jehovah’s presence, the Holy of Holies, All he could do was to swing a censer of incense which spoke of that “sweet savor” which Christ’s sacrifice was one day to be before God; and then sprinkle the blood, the laid-down life of the sacrifice, upon the mercy seat, then seven times before the mercy seat, and then withdraw. (Addendum: Mark well, however (Lev. 16), that the high priest was also to cleanse, to “make atonement for the holy place” (Lev 16:16), “because of the uncleanesses of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, even all their sins,” AND “go out unto the altar … and make atonement for it … and cleanse it, and hallow it from all the uncleanessess of the Israel” (Lev 16:18, 19). The holiness of God’s being and the effect of the blood in Heaven, was the primary consideration in the Great Day of Atonement, as afterwards on the Cross.)
But through His own blood, entered in once for all into the Holies—Here we learn several astonishing things.
First, these words, through (dia) His own blood, reveal that Christ entered Heaven with a memorial of His own sacrifice. “Named of God [a High Priest] forever after the order of Melchizedek,” He comes back to Heaven in that character! Not merely as Son of God, Creator of all things; not as Heir, nor as the sinless Man, returning (as in Heb 7:26), “holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” (He could indeed say to the Jews, “Which of you convicteth Me of sin?”) But it was not on that ground or in that capacity that He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. He entered in by virtue of His blood. He might have entered Heaven at any moment during His perfect life here. But He would have gone alone as He came alone. But He has not entered Heaven in that way. Always pleasing unto the Father, through the eternal Spirit He offered Himself without blemish [at the Cross] unto God (Heb 9:14). We glory in Him as the sinless One, but as such our sins were laid upon Him, with the guilt thereof. So they became His, on the Cross. Indeed, He was “made to be sin on our behalf.” He was forsaken of God. He cried:
“For innumerable evils have compassed Me about;
Mine iniquities have overtaken Me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of My head;
And My heart hath failed Me”
We had committed those sins, of which He said again,
“Mine iniquities are gone over My head:
As a heavy burden they are too heavy for Me”
He said, “That which I took not away” (man’s standing with God) “I have to restore” (Ps. 69:4). He recognized our iniquities now as His. Hear Psalm 22:
“Forsaken … groaning … My heart is like wax; it is melted within Me … My strength is dried up … My tongue cleaveth to My jaws … brought into the dust of death.”
Such words were His in the day that your load of guilt and mine lay upon Him! Then after He had said, “It is finished,” there came the piercing spear, and the outflowing blood and water.
He was buried. But according to His frequent words to His disciples concerning His death, that the third day He would be raised up, He was “raised from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Forty days He spent with His beloved disciples, “showing Himself alive after His passion by many proofs.” Then He ascended on high, saluted by God as a High Priest “after the order of Melchizedek,” as we have seen.
He was the Creator—“All things have been created through Him and unto Him.” But not as the Creator did He enter Heaven, “now to appear before the face of God for us.” He kept the Law perfectly, as Israel had not; but He did not go back to Heaven as one who had kept that Law. He was the Son of God, but He did not return to Heaven merely as the Son.
Nor is it as though He came to the earth and did something for us and then went back to Heaven, leaving us to get there if we could; but, contrariwise, having entered through His own blood, He has us there already potentially; and to simple faith, actually. (See Addendum at end of this note)
Behold, then, the Son of God, the Man also, without blemish, returning whence He came: and entering God’s presence through His own blood. He must enter thus or leave the redeemed behind forever. But His character now forever was that of a Redeemer. For did He not enter in … having obtained eternal redemption? He must be forever before God as One Who “bare our sins in His own body on the Tree.” Ours was the sin and guilt; His was the finished sacrifice of the Cross. That work was done. But He returns gladly in the character God gave Him: “Thou art a Priest forever.” (See Addendum #2 at end of this note) He would forever be connected with those whom He had redeemed.
Christ went into God’s presence for us with only one claim on our behalf: His shed blood! That blood was the witness that in the person of our Substitute, Divine wrath and judgment had been endured. That blood witnessed that we who believe dared not in ourselves approach God, that we abandoned all hopes in ourselves, and were “made nigh in the blood of Christ.” There is nothing that should bring men to despair of self-righteousness like the story of the Cross, for all we can do is to sit there in the darkness and let Another be judged in our place!
As Priest, that is, as representing us, not God: God’s claims against us having all been satisfied at the Cross, forever—as Priest He is committed to our interests. (For, we repeat, a prophet came out from God, representing God to the people; while a priest went in to God, representing the people to Him.†) Indeed, having borne our sin with the guilt thereof, Christ entered in above as our Substitute and Representative, not alone, but taking us with Him, in the right and power of His infinite sacrifice. Thus He is before God, and thus, as to fact and standing, are all those in Him. Is Christ there? Then we are there in Him, blessed be God.
When the redeemed are in the glory above, there will be this consciousness: Christ, the Son of God, became what I was. I committed the sin; He bore the sin. He even became sin on my behalf, and here I am, the righteousness of God in Him! I am not only righteous now before God, but I am the righteousness of God! (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, to bring me here, Christ exchanged places with me. My Lord, Himself, became so completely my sin, that when He returned to the glory there, He entered in through His own blood. Therefore, when I look at my righteousness, my heart turns with unspeakable love back to where He put away my sin, and when I look at the Cross and its finished work I look at this, that I am now forever more “the righteousness of God in Him.” Unspeakable Grace surrounds me, whichever way I turn. I am overwhelmed with the Grace of God that brought this salvation. (See Addendum below)
So if He, our Sin-Bearer, entered the Holies above through His own blood, we whose sins He bore find a glad welcome there also. A sense of eternal unchanging welcome at the throne of grace possesses our hearts. Oh, if we could always abide in this, that God is evermore delighting in Christ, that dear Son Who, after finishing the work of redemption the Father had given Him to do, entered the Holies above through His own blood, and now “appears before the face of God for us.” What a rest of heart would be ours!
Here then, let our conception of the priesthood of Christ find its eternal foundation. He entered into Heaven itself, through His own blood, as having borne our sins, having been once offered to bear the sins of many.† If Christ, Who did no sin, yet bore mine, entered into the Holies “before the face of God” through His own blood, shed at Calvary, how shall I, being invited through that blood also to enter with boldness—how can I shrink back?
It is not (far, far be the thought!) that we sinners learn that our sins have been borne, that the work is finished, and we can forget that, and pass on to something beyond and deeper. THERE IS NOTHING DEEPER, for all eternity! The gift of God was infinite: His only begotten Son. The devotion of Christ was infinite: “The cup My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” The devotion of God to His Son (always unmeasured) is now communicated to creatures, yea, sinful creatures. It is beheld by the holy beings of Heaven with endless marvel!
But some say they are on a higher level than those newly pardoned through Christ’s blood, because they are now new creatures and are seated in heavenly places. But in Whom were they created? The only answer is, In the Risen Christ: the Christ of the wounds; the Christ Who entered Heaven through His own blood. It is a fearful undertaking to try, as some (like Bullinger)* do, to describe a condition beyond and above being redeemed by the shed blood of Christ, Who Himself sits at God’s right hand, through His own blood!
It will be found in eternity that the endless love of an infinite God was expressed at Calvary; also the quenchless affection of our Great High Priest, even Jesus. Get beyond that, you never will!
To have been redeemed will be the highest place in glory, because God is most revealed by the sacrifice of His Son, and the Son most revealed by His offering of Himself! And mark this, it is not as having left the shedding of that blood behind as a past event, merely, that He enters into the glory above, but it is strictly in the character of One Who has shed His blood, which character He will retain for all eternity.
Should He, my friend, He the Holy One, enter God’s presence through His own blood, and you dare dream of entering in apart from that blood? Would you as a sinner (and you know you are that) pass right by the blessed Son of God, Who entered God’s presence through His own blood, and present yourself to that Holy God as one who had “done his best”; who had “tried to keep the Law”; one who “had been a ‘church member’, and recognized on earth as ‘good’ ”? I say, would you dare, you who have never as a guilty sinner fled to Him for refuge, thus enter God’s holy presence?
There could be no more absolute and eternal insult to the God Who gave His Son, and Whose Son entered His presence through His own blood, than for you to undertake to come to God apart from the blood of Christ.
Hear the description of the saints in Hebrews:
Those “that draw near unto God through Him” (Christ).
Those that “enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus, … by a freshly-slain and living way, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh.”
Those who, “having a Great Priest over the house of God, … draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.”
Those who “have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe.”
Those who “offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which make confession to His name.”
Those who “endured a great conflict of sufferings,” for their faith’s sake; being “in subjection” [as sons] under their Father’s chastening hand.
Those who “bear the reproach” of Jesus, Who “suffered without the gate”; “laying aside every weight” and besetting sin; “running with patience the race that is set before us.”
Those who refuse to “cast away their boldness” toward God, despite all obstacles and temptations; looking for THE PROMISE: “He that cometh shall come”—“shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for Him, unto salvation.”
If you and I find ourselves among this company, blessed are we! But take heed: the Divine elevator is about to start for Heaven, but there is a great sign above its door, “FOR SINNERS ONLY.” Paul is in it, who of sinners is the chief. Peter is there, who swore he did not know Christ. Jerry McAuley, “the river rat,” is there; and John Newton, “once a libertine and infidel, a servant of slaves in Africa,” as reads his epitaph written by himself and a great multitude of others.
(Tertia, who is writing this dictation, says that readers will object, saying, “These men are already in Heaven.” It is not my thought when they go there, but how they go there. This I am illustrating by the elevator.)
“FOR SINNERS ONLY”: Here comes a Jew, saying, “I belong to the Chosen People.” Paul’s answer is ready, “He is not a Jew who is one outwardly.” Nobody gets on the elevator for Heaven because of racial descent.
But now comes a Presbyterian, and the keeper of the door (a faithful pastor or teacher of the word of God), says “Do you see the sign above the door, ‘For Sinners Only’? Will you step in as a sinner only?” The reply of this estimable person is, “I am a Presbyterian!”
“Keep back, then, with the Jew.”
Then comes the great roll of “church people”: Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Christians. The question of the faithful man who keeps the door always is, “Do you enter only as a sinner?” How evasive are the replies! Once in a while, one, like the publican, says, “Indeed, yes! Nothing but a sinner, thanking God for the news that Jesus died for me!”
“Step right in!”
Dear friends, pardon this crude illustration. It is for your soul’s sake, and we hope it is spoken in tender love. No one will get to Heaven as a Presbyterian, as a Baptist, as a Congregationalist, as a Lutheran, as a Plymouth Brother, for they all are sinners only! But we ask you solemnly to consider: Is your hope that of a sinner only? No righteousness of yours, whether personal, or attained (in your imagination) through “church work,” or denominational “membership,” has anything whatever to do with your entering the heavenlies above. Christ Himself entered there through His own blood. Have you given His shed blood that absolute place God has given it? We do not now pray, “God be merciful to me a sinner” for since Christ spoke those words, God has been merciful, and has transferred the sin of the world to the Substitute, even Christ, Who put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Is that your only hope?
O “professing Christians,” “church members,” down here on earth—whether “active” in “church work” or not, hearken! Whereon are your hopes of Heaven built? What right have you, who committed the sins Christ bore, what possible right have you to Heaven? None whatever! If He entered through His own blood, how do you expect to enter? God has shut out all “good works.” I beg you, trust not in “confirmation,” or “baptism,” or in any ordinance whatever; or in your “church duties,” or generous giving, or “regular attendance,” or zeal in “Christian activities”, whether at home or abroad, and however approved by men. Nay more, trust not in your fancied “spirituality,” your “prayer-life,” your separation from the world, your being persecuted, even.
For Christ Himself entered in through His own blood. And what do you mean, you poor sinner? Do you dream that God will look at your “works”? Why then did not Christ return to Heaven in view of His works? He was sinless, and His life, perfect. You are a poor sinner, nothing else: “All have sinned”! hear it; and, “There is no difference”: God, Who cannot lie, says that! You, a sinner, thinking to enter Heaven by works, while Christ the Holy One entered through His own blood—though he had never sinned, entered with blood—not works! Oh, the damning delusions under which many so-called “Christians” walk! Never having known their guilty, lost, state; never told by their preachers that guilty men can be made nigh to a holy God only by shed blood; that “apart from shedding of blood there is no remission”: that Christ has entered Heaven and God’s presence through His own blood; that He is there representing only sinners, who, as guilty sinners, have seen their guilt put away by the shedding of Christ’s blood—that alone!
Oh, the vast multitude of so-called “Christians” relying on their own profession, and not upon the blood of Christ!
And what about your “moralists,” your “evolutionists,” your “worldlings,” your careless crowds (for whom, all, the undertaker is patiently waiting: for, “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment”)—what about these? “Modern education,” and “modern life,” leave the Bible out; these millions, God will leave without! For Christ entered Heaven through His own blood, and these know nothing, willingly know nothing, of the way to God, of pardon through Christ’s blood.
Nay, do not begin to say that you “believe in a God too merciful to shut out forever these creatures—who were ignorant of His salvation.” Ignorance! You say you believe in such and such a God—a god made in your own sin-darkened imagination; a God that does not exist! You will find this to be true at “the revelation of the Lord Jesus from Heaven.”
All sinners who enter God’s presence enter by the shed blood of Jesus.
Tell me, sinner, Do you desire to spend eternity in Heaven, like the elect angels whom God’s power kept from all transgression? Or do you desire, yea, long, to be eternally on exhibition as one toward whom the unaccountable love of God was extended in pardon, wholly on the ground of the shed blood of his Creator-Redeemer?
Christ in Heaven can only say to any human being, that He is forever in the character of One Who has borne sin. On earth He said, “NO man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” Now in Heaven, having entered through His own blood, He is infinitely ready to receive any sinners who rely on the blood He shed on the Cross as having put away their guilt. Read in the first two chapters of the Hebrews, of Who He is. Then read in the ninth of Hebrews of how He put away human sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And now and forever He is the Lamb that hath been slain. He can receive only sinners! If you can, as nothing but a sinner, rely on Him, He is your Great High Priest in Heaven. You need not fear: He bore your sin for you.
For us who have sinned, have been guilty, to be able to have rest of conscience, is a miracle, an operation of God within the soul. But Christ is seated in Heaven (and will be eternally so) as having put our guilt away. Meditate upon that. For no half-measures are possible: our sin has either been put away, or it has not. And God says it has!
Remember always to distinguish between that eternal redemption which Christ purchased upon the Cross, and His entering into the Holies through His own blood. People say, I thought Christ’s work was finished at the Cross. It was, as bearing wrath and judgment for our sin, as you read in Chapter 9:26: “Now once at the consummation of the ages hath He been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Therefore it is not in any sense an atoning work that Christ as Priest is carrying on in Heaven.
But notice once more, and finally, lay to heart with all your being, that Christ is eternally in the Holies on the basis of having been the Sin-offering. He entered Heaven not, as He came, as One that had no sin; but as One that had borne sin, and put sin away by the pouring out of His blood on the Cross. That was the character in which He entered, and continually abides, a High Priest forever! The Cross was primarily atoning; our Lord’s place in Heaven is primarily positional.
Thus are we in Christ brought to God. God extends to the believing sinner all the benefits of Christ’s death, resurrection, ascension to Heaven, and place at God’s right hand! The believer is in exactly the same infinite love and favor as His Redeemer!
Then the last words of this great twelfth verse, eternal redemption—how they rest the heart! An Israelite who had sinned brought a sin offering, and placed his hand upon its head, confessing his sins. The victim was then slain, its blood presented before God, its body burned without the camp. The priest could then say to him, Jehovah’s word is, You are forgiven.
Nevertheless, on the yearly Day of Atonement, the whole sin question is up again for all Israel. No Israelite could leave that great concourse rejoicing in heart, saying, My sins have been put away forever from Jehovah’s sight. I have eternal redemption. He knew the Great Day of Atonement would come again in another year. Nay, Moses, their leader, lamented,
“Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee,
Our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance” (Ps. 90:8).
That was the design and proper effect of the Law, which was a ministration of condemnation and death, a stern conductor of the soul to Christ and His salvation. “The Law is become our tutor to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith is come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Gal. 3:24–5).
To the Jews under Law, therefore, there was no consciousness of the putting away of sin, for sin was not put away until it was done once for all by Christ at the Cross.
Eternal redemption* in Hebrews 9:12 signifies everlasting freedom from the penalty of sin, Christ having borne it at the Cross; and includes also complete and eternal deliverance from the power of sin; not only from spiritual death. It also includes the redemption of the body, for which believers are waiting; and finally, praise God, complete deliverance from the power of the devil, who had the power of death over the race (2:14) from the time that Adam fell. Such glorious words as those of our verse should be kept in the heart and repeated over and over: Having obtained eternal redemption. The opening word, “For,” of verse 13, has in view this complete and eternal separation from the very presence of sin which is the hope of the instructed believer.
Addendum - Inasmuch as this wonderful phrase, through His own blood, is such a vital one, upon the proper understanding of which so much depends, we think it well to subjoin a brief extract from each of several comments thereupon, to set before the reader’s mind the judgment of these godly saints whose aim has been to make plain God’s truth as it has appeared to them:
Ridout well says: “Christ might have entered Heaven at any moment during His perfect life here, but He would have gone alone, as He came alone; there would not have been a single one to share His glory with Him. But He has not entered Heaven in that way. He has entered by, or in virtue of His blood—not by His perfect character, not by His keeping the Law of God, not by His personal worthiness, even; but He has entered by His own blood, after having accomplished redemption: and because of that work He is there before God.” Pp. 164–5.
And J. N. Darby: “Not, He got in by that means, even as to us, but He went in in that way.”—XIII, p. 193.
And in his Synopsis: “He has gone into the heavenly sanctuary by virtue of an eternal redemption, of blood, that has everlasting validity. The work is completely done, and can never change in value … The blood shed once for all is ever efficacious.”
“Here then are the three aspects of the results of the work of Christ: immediate access to God: a purged conscience; an eternal redemption.”—Pp. 288–9.
“The worshipper, under the former tabernacle, did not come into the presence of God; he stayed outside the unrent veil. He sinned—a sacrifice was offered: he sinned again—a sacrifice was offered. Now the veil is rent. We are always in the presence of God without a veil. Happen what may, He always sees us—sees us in His presence—according to the efficacy of Christ’s perfect sacrifice. We are there now, by virtue of a perfect sacrifice … He has opened an access for us, even now, to God in the light, having cleaned our consciences once for all—for He dwells on high continuously—that we may enter in, and that we may serve God here below.
“God has established and revealed the Mediator, Who has accomplished the work in an eternal way … The Mediator has paid the ransom. Sin has no more right over us.”—Pp. 293–5.
Addendum #2 - It behooves us to know in what attitude to God our Lord returned on high—in what old and new respects He came there: for we enter with Him! He re-entered indeed as Deity, that “glory He had with the Father before the world was.” Into that place He alone could enter. To speak reverently, He could give to no creature to be Deity! God is God; creatures, creatures—forever! But Christ re-entered Heaven as Man, also. And do not be led into that source of error—seeking to distinguish between “natures”: He was ONE PERSON. Let Jn 3:13 suffice: “The Son of Man Who is in Heaven.” Do not reason here, for reason fails; but believe. Our Lord spoke so to Nicodemus—“the Son of Man Who is in Heaven”—for He is ONE PERSON: and, “God was manifest in the flesh,” and thus speaks, to the great comfort of faith, the element in which the just live! (Hebrews 9 Commentary)
Having trusted Christ as our Savior, we should never cease to glory in His sacrifice for us on the cross. The reality of being identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection should fill us with gratitude in the morning, give us refuge throughout the day, and be a pillow at night upon which to rest.
A small detachment of British troops, surprised by an overwhelming enemy force, fell back under heavy fire. Their wounded lay in a perilous position, facing certain death. They all realized they had to come immediately under the protection of a Red Cross flag if they wanted to survive. All they had was a piece of white cloth, but no red paint. So they used the blood from their wounds to make a large cross on that white cloth. Their attackers respected that grim flag as it was held aloft, and the British wounded were brought to safety (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Great Boer War).
Our enemy not only must respect the blood of Christ shed on Calvary's cross, he also is helpless against it. Christ's blood represents the sacrifice of One whose death removed the guilt and condemnation of our sin and broke its hold over us. It is absolute protection against the accusation of Satan, the defeating remembrances of past sins, and the downpull of our Adamic nature. No wonder we glory in the cross.—D. J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread)
Calvary stands for Satan's fall.
HE ENTERED THE HOLY PLACE ONCE FOR ALL: eiselthen (3SAAI) ephapax eis ta hagia aionian lutrosin heuramenos (AMPMSN):
- He 9:7,24, 25, 26; 10:12,19) (He 9:26,28; 10:10; Zechariah 3:9)
He entered the Holy Place once for all - Jesus entered the "better" Holy Place. In the Old Covenant the Holy Place was on earth, while the believer's Holy Place is now in heaven. The Old Covenant Holy Place was made with human hands, but the believer's is a "more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation" (9:11b).
Once for all unlike the sacrifice of the high priest, who repeatedly entered the Most Holy Place with blood once a year, Jesus' sacrifice was complete and did not need to be repeated. The work of atonement is done and therefore praise the Lord, it cannot be undone!
Spurgeon - The Jewish high priests went once a year into the holy of holies. Each year as it came round demanded that they should go again. Their work was never done; but “he entered once,” and only once, “into the most holy place, obtaining eternal redemption.” I love that expression, “eternal redemption”—a redemption that really does redeem, and redeems forever and ever. If you are redeemed by it, you cannot be lost. If this redemption is yours, it is not for a time, or for a season, but it is “eternal redemption.” Oh, how you ought to rejoice in the one entrance within the veil by our great High Priest who has obtained eternal redemption for us! What if I say that the inner shrine has expanded itself and taken in the holy place, and now all places are holy where true hearts seek their God? Had our High Priest merely lifted the veil and passed in, we might have supposed that the veil fell back again. But since the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom, there can be no need for a new entrance, for that which hinders is taken away. No veil now hangs between God and His chosen people; we may come boldly to the throne of grace. Blessed be the name of our Lord who has entered in “once”! Christ has entered into the true holy place—not into that which was curtained with a veil, which was but a type, and which was put away when the veil was rent from the top to the bottom as Jesus died. He has entered into the immediate presence of God, and He has entered there once for all, “obtaining eternal redemption.”
Albert Barnes notes that "as the Jewish high priest bore the blood of the animal into the Holy of Holies, and sprinkled it there as the means of expiation, so the offering which Christ has to make in heaven, or the consideration on which he pleads for the pardon of his people, is the blood which he shed on Calvary. Having made the atonement, he now pleads the merit of it as a “reason” why sinners should be saved. It is not of course meant that he literally bore his own blood into heaven - as the high priest did the blood of the bullock and the goat into the sanctuary; or that he literally “sprinkled” it on the mercy-seat there, but that that blood, having been shed for sin, is now the ground of his pleading and intercession for the pardon of sin - as the sprinkled blood of the Jewish sacrifice was the ground of the pleading of the Jewish high priest for the pardon of himself and the people.
SAVED BY THE BLOOD
by S J Henderson
Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
Now ransomed from sin and a new work begun,
Sing praise to the Father and praise to the Son,
Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
Glory, I’m saved! Glory, I’m saved!
My sins are all pardoned, my guilt is all gone!
Glory, I’m saved! Glory, I’m saved!
I am saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
The angels rejoicing because it is done;
A child of the Father, joint heir with the Son,
Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
The Father He spake, and His will it was done;
Great price of my pardon, His own precious Son;
Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
All hail to the Father, all hail to the Son,
All hail to the Spirit, the great Three in One!
Saved by the blood of the Crucified One!
HAVING OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION: lutrosin heuramenos (AMPMSN):
Having obtained - He 9:15; 5:9; Daniel 9:24; Mark 3:29; Galatians 3:13,14; 1Th 1:10
Galatians 3:13-14+ Christ redeemed (exagorazo) us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”–14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
SET FREE FOREVER
AND EVER! AMEN!
Having obtained eternal redemption - Jesus stepped out of eternity into time to make a way for all who are in Christ by grace through faith to eternity into eternity. He paid a price which never loses its value through all the ages to come. And He Himself is in a very real sense the assurance of the eternal nature of that covenant which He has cut with us, because He forever displays the scars in His body (see "slain" in Rev 5:9+, Rev 5:12+ where "was slain" = perfect tense - accomplished in the past and efficacious eternally!) which are evidence of that once for all time covenant He cut on the Cross.
Spurgeon - When Aaron went in with the blood of bulls and goats, he had not obtained “eternal redemption”; he had only obtained a symbolic and temporary purification for the people, and that was all.
Redemption is deliverance through payment: in this case, ransom through one standing in another’s stead and discharging that other’s obligations. When the Lord Jesus Christ died, He paid our redemption price. And when He entered within the veil, He entered as one who not only desired to give us redemption, but as one who had “obtained eternal redemption.” He has won for us redemption both by price and by power. And now think of the nature of that redemption; for here is a grand point. He has obtained “eternal” redemption. If you carefully study the verses around the text, you will find the word “eternal” three times: there is “eternal redemption” (Heb 9:12), the “eternal Spirit” (Heb 9:14), and an “eternal inheritance” (Heb 9:15). Why is redemption said to be eternal? It is a long word, that word “eternal.” Notwithstanding all the squeezing and cutting that men give to it nowadays, they cannot make it into a limited period, do what they may. He has obtained eternal redemption—a redemption that entered into eternal consideration. I speak of the Lord God with great reverence when I say that redemption was from eternity in His thoughts. When our Lord entered in, he had by his sacrifice also dealt with eternal things, and not with matters of merely passing importance. He offered Himself by the Eternal Spirit, and by that offering He took off the mortgage from the eternal inheritance and bade us freely enter upon the predestinated possession. Sin, death, hell—these are not temporary things. The atonement deals with these, and hence it is an eternal redemption. Now, look forward into eternity. Behold the vista that has no end! Eternal redemption covers all the peril of this mortal life, and every danger beyond, if such there be.
Hebrews 5:9 (note) And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
Hebrews 9:15 (note) And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order 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.
Having obtained (2147) (heurisko gives us our English eureka from the exclamation attributed to Archimedes on discovering a method for determining the purity of gold) means that they attained a state previously not known. Eureka expresses triumph on a discovery and what a "discovery" -- eternal redemption!!! Why would we ever want to live for the passing pleasures of sin and the lusts of this world which are passing away, when we have the sure promise an eternal possession - redemption forever?!
Vincent explains that this phrase can be paraphrased "Having found and won by his act of entrance into the heavenly sanctuary. This is better than to explain “entered the sanctuary after having obtained redemption by his life, death, and resurrection“; for the work of redemption is crowned and completed by Christ’s ascension to glory and his ministry in heaven (see Romans 6). Even in the old sanctuary the rite of the Day of Atonement was not complete until the blood had been offered in the sanctuary.
A T Robertson - The value of Christ’s offering consists in the fact that he is the Son of God as well as the Son of man, that he is sinless and so a perfect sacrifice with no need of an offering for himself, and that it is voluntary on his part (John 10:17).
NET Bible renders this verse "and He entered once for all into the most holy place not by the blood of goats and calves but by His own blood, and so He Himself secured eternal redemption.
NET Bible Note says that having obtained "occurs in the Greek middle voice, which here intensifies the role of the subject, Christ, in accomplishing the action: “He alone secured”; “He and no other secured.”
Vine comments that having obtained is in "the middle voice, indicating His personal interest in us, and His unutterable love for us. It was a love that overcame all difficulties, that overpowered all opposition, refusing to be turned aside, that underwent all the judgment, suffering and agony of the Cross in order to secure eternal redemption for us. This recalls the effects of His death as mentioned in Hebrews 2:13 (note); 2:14 (note), namely, that He has delivered those who were in bondage. Redemption, as spoken of here, includes both the price paid down and the liberation of the captives. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Eternal (166) (aionios from aion) means perpetual eternal, everlasting, without beginning or end (as of God), that which is always. Eternal is a key word Hebrews: blood of eternal covenant (He 13:20-note). He offered Himself through His eternal spirit (He 9:14-note) and has become the Author/Source of eternal salvation (He 5:9-note). He has obtained eternal redemption (see note Hebrews 9:12) and enables men to receive of the eternal inheritance (He 9:15-note; He 13:20-note).
Vincent comments that eternal here is…not mere duration is contemplated, but quality; a redemption answering in its quality to that age when all the conditions of time shall be no more: a redemption not ritual, but profoundly ethical and spiritual.
Redemption (3085) (lutrosis from lutroo = to release on receipt of a ransom <> Lutroo is derived from the root verb luo = to loosen that which is bound, freeing those in prison, release from prison, opening of what is closed, destroying of foundations, putting off of fetters) describes a ransoming, a liberation, or a deliverance (in the NT, especially from the penalty and power of sin).
The related noun lutron is the ransom price paid for loosing captives from their bonds and setting them at liberty. The verb lutroo refers to the releasing of someone held captive (e.g., a prisoner or a slave) on receipt of the ransom payment.
It is estimated that the Roman Empire had as many 6 million slaves and thus the buying and selling of slaves was a major business. If a person wanted to free a loved one or friend who was enslaved, he would pay the redemption price, purchasing or redeeming that slave for himself and then granting him freedom, testifying to the deliverance by a written certificate.
Before redemption believers were held captive by Satan to do his will and were enslaved to our old sin nature inherited from Adam. In Christ we have been bought with a price (1Cor 6:20-note) of His Own blood (Re 1:5-note; Re 5:9-note), are no longer under the curse of the law (Gal 3:13; 4:5) and have been released from the bondage of sin into the freedom of grace (Ro 6:14-note).
BDAG writes that lutrosis describes the…experience of being liberated from an oppressive situation, (and in a) transferred sense of commercial usage ‘redemption of something for a price’.
Lutrosis is used only 3 times in the NT…
Luke 1:68 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people (Zacharias spoke prophetically of the redemption Christ would accomplish by His death as if it were already an accomplished fact!)
Luke 2:38 And at that very moment she (Anna the prophetess, Luke 2:36-38) came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him (the newborn Messiah) to all those who were looking for (see word study prosdechomai) the redemption of Jerusalem.
Comment: "Those who were looking for the redemption of Israel" is a beautiful description of those Jews who had believed in the Messiah (even before He came) and were part of the Jewish remnant. Are you looking for your glorious redemption (see note Romans 8:23)? Are you loving His appearing (see note 2 Timothy 4:8)?
Hebrews 9:12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Lutrosis is used 8 times in the Septuagint (LXX)… and here are some representative uses…
Leviticus 25:48 then he shall have redemption right (Hebrew = geullah = right of redemption; Lxx = lutrosis) after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem (Ga'al - click word study; Lxx = lutroo) him,
Comment: This passage illustrates the beautiful Old Testament principle of the Kinsman-Redeemer, in which a near relative could pay the redemption price to redeem an Israelite relative who was enslaved and then could set them free.
This pattern was beautifully fulfilled by Christ Who became our Kinsman-Redeemer Who paid the only possible ransom price (His "precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless" see note 1 Peter 1:19) to set sinners free from bondage to the right and might of sin and Satan. For more discussion on the kinsman redeemer click the following studies - Part 1 or Part 2). (See notes on the Kinsman-Redeemer Boaz - Ruth 2:20)
Psalm 49:8 (Context = Ps 48:7 No man can by any means redeem his brother, Or give to God a ransom for him--) For the redemption (Lxx = lutrosis; Hebrew = pidyon = ransom payment, pidyon is from padah used in Dt 7:8 "Jehovah brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery") of his soul is costly, and he should cease trying forever--
Spurgeon writes regarding this redemption that…Too great is the price, the purchase is hopeless. For ever must the attempt to redeem a soul with money remain a failure. Death comes and wealth cannot bribe him. Hell follows and no golden key can unlock its dungeon. Vain, then, are your threatenings, ye possessors of the yellow clay (~gold); your childish toys are despised by men who estimate the value of possessions by the shekel of the sanctuary.
Psalm 111:9 He has sent redemption (Hebrew = peduth; Lxx = Lutrosis) to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name.
Spurgeon comments…He sent redemption unto his people. When they were in Egypt he sent not only a deliverer, but an actual deliverance; not only a redeemer, but complete redemption. He has done the like spiritually for all his people, having first by blood purchased them out of the hand of the enemy, and then by power rescued them from the bondage of their sins. Redemption we can sing of as an accomplished act: it has been wrought for us, sent to us, and enjoyed by us, and we are in very deed the Lord's redeemed.
He hath commanded his covenant for ever. His divine decree has made the covenant of His grace a settled and eternal institution: redemption by blood proves that the covenant cannot be altered, for it ratifies and establishes it beyond all recall. This, too, is reason for the loudest praise. Redemption is a fit theme for the heartiest music, and when it is seen to be connected with gracious engagements from which the Lord's truth cannot swerve, it becomes a subject fitted to arouse the soul to an ecstasy of gratitude. Redemption and the covenant are enough to make the tongue of the dumb sing. (Ed note: The covenant referred to is the Abrahamic Covenant which was an everlasting covenant. This is not a specific reference to the New Covenant, but keep in mind that the Abrahamic and New Covenants although having distinct promises, are both conditional, both based on grace, both entered into by faith, and thus are clearly related. The New Covenant is in a sense an expansion of the Abrahamic Covenant.
Psalm 130:7 O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption. (Lxx = lutrosis) (See Spurgeon's Note)
Isaiah 63:4 For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption (Lxx = Lutrosis) has come.
Comment: In the OT the "day of redemption" was a picture of the year of Jubilee, (Lev 25:13) when all Jewish slaves were to be set free by their fellow Jews. This passage in context however carries a more far reaching meaning as it clearly refers to the return of Messiah [from the context "day of vengeance"] to defeat His enemies and set up His 1000 year kingdom. See Isaiah 61:2 which Christ read in the synagogue [see Luke 4:16-21] stopping in mid sentence of that verse [stopped before the "day of vengeance"] because that day was not fulfilled at His first coming but will be fulfilled at His Second Coming (cp notes Revelation 19:11ff). The "redemption" of Israel which He is referring to in context is pictured by Jubilee but is a far greater day when "all Israel will be saved" when the "Deliverer" returns for then He "will remove ungodliness from Jacob" - see notes regarding this great day for believing Israel, a day in which we see also see the final fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant promises regarding the land of Israel - Romans 11:26; 27)
Clarke writes that the redemption provided by the Messiah "is eternal in its merit and efficacy.
Barnes adds that the effects of Messiah's redemption…will continue forever. It is not a temporary deliverance leaving the redeemed in danger of falling into sin and ruin, but it makes salvation secure, and in its effects extends through eternity. Who can estimate the extent of that love which purchased for us “such” a redemption? Who can be sufficiently grateful that he is thus redeemed? The doctrine in this verse is, that the blood of Christ is the means of redemption, or atones for sin… the following verses (show) that it not only makes atonement for sin, but that it is the means of sanctifying or purifying the soul.
Spurgeon agrees with Barnes exclaiming…I love that expression, eternal redemption-a redemption which really does redeem, and redeems forever and ever. If you are redeemed by it, you cannot be lost; if this redemption be yours, it is not for a time, or for a season, but it is “eternal redemption.” Oh, how you ought to rejoice in the one entrance within the veil by our great High Priest who has obtained eternal redemption for us!
The redemption provided by the Messiah provides not only internal purity but also outward, eternal deliverance. Remember that at least some of the Jewish readers were being tempted to apostatize (renounce their previous loyalty to Yeshua, the Messiah) so that this truth about a secure, everlasting redemption would encourage them to hold fast to the end.
THOUGHT - Dear reader, do you "wrestle" with your eternal security experiencing fiery missiles like… "Am I saved forever?"… "Can I lose my salvation?" If you are attacked by such thoughts, you would do well to meditate on the eternality of the Messiah's redemption -- May your mind be continually renewed by the Spirit "as you learn more and more about Christ, Who created this new nature within you." Amen (see Col 3:10NLT+)
F B Meyer comments that…
THE BLOOD OF ANIMALS IS CONTRASTED WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. Hecatombs of victims are not of equal value with one man; how much less with the Son of God! Rivers of the blood of beasts are not equivalent to one drop of his. They offer no standard by which to apprise his precious blood. This is too obvious to need further comment here, and we shall need to defer to another chapter our estimate, however inadequate, of the value of that blood.
But in the meanwhile, let us notice that it was through the Eternal Spirit that Christ offered himself without spot to God. It was not, as some falsely affirm, that the Father forced an innocent man to suffer for sins he had never done, or that our Saviour suffered to appease the Father's wrath; but that the eternal nature of God came out in the sacrifice of Calvary. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself." When God determined to save men, he did not delegate the work to angels, nor did he permit a sinless man to sink beneath the intolerable burden of a world's sin; but in the person of his Son, he took home to himself the agony and curse and cost of sin, and by bearing them, wiped them out forever. It is, therefore, eternal redemption (He 9:12).
The death of the cross was a voluntary act; "he offered himself; " Priest and victim both. And it was an act in which the Eternal Trinity participated; the manifestation in time of an eternal fact of the divine nature.
And how can we ever show our gratitude, except by serving the living God (He 9:14). We are redeemed to serve; bought to be owned absolutely.
Who can refuse a service so reasonable, fraught with blessedness so transcendent? Head! think for him whose brow was thorn-girt. Hands! toil for him whose hands were nailed to the cross. Feet! speed to do his behests whose feet were pierced. Body of mine! be his temple whose body was wrung with pains unspeakable. To serve him-this is the Only true attitude and behavior, as those who are not their own, but his.
Alexander Maclaren's sermon on Hebrews 9:11-14, 24-28 entitled The Priest in the Holy Place writes that
SPACE forbids attempting full treatment of these pregnant verses. We can only sum up generally their teaching on the priesthood of Jesus.
I. Christ, as the high priest of the world, offers Himself. Obviously Hebrews 9:14 refers to Christ’s sacrificial death, and in Hebrews 9:26 His ‘sacrifice of Himself’ is equivalent to His ‘having suffered.’
The contention that the priestly office of Jesus begins with His entrance into the presence of God is set aside by the plain teaching of this passage, which regards His death as the beginning of His priestly work. What, then, are the characteristics of that offering, according to this Writer? The point dwelt on most emphatically is that He is both priest and sacrifice. That great thought opens a wide field of meditation, for adoring thankfulness and love. It implies the voluntariness of His death. No necessity bound Him to the Cross. Not the nails, but His, love; fastened Him there. Himself He would not save, because others He would save. The offering was ‘through the Eternal Spirit,’ the divine personality in Himself, which as it were, took the knife and slew the human life. That sacrifice was ‘without blemish,’ fulfilling in perfect moral purity the prescriptions of the ceremonial law, which but clothe in outward form the universal consciousness that nothing stained or faulty is worthy to be given to God. What are the blessings brought to us by that wondrous self-sacrifice? They are stated most generally in Hebrews 9:26 as the putting away of sin, and again in Hebrews 9:28 as being the bearing of the sins of many, and again in verse 14 as cleansing conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Now the first of these expressions includes the other two, and expresses the blessed truth that, by His death, Jesus has made an end of sin, in all its shapes and powers, whether it is regarded as guilt or burden, or taint and tendency paralysing and disabling. Sin is guilt, and Christ’s death deals with our past, taking away the burden of condemnation. Thus Hebrews 9:28 presents Him as bearing the sins of many, as the scapegoat bore the sins of the congregation into a land not inhabited, as ‘the Lord made to meet’ on the head of the Servant ‘the iniquities of us all.’ The best commentary on the words here is, ‘He bare our sins in His own body on the tree.’ But sin has an effect in the future as in the past, and the death of Christ deals with that, So Hebrews 9:14 parallels it not only with the sacrifice which made access to God possible, but with the ceremonial of the red heifer (see Red Heifer),’ by which pollution from touching a corpse was removed. A conscience which has been in contact with ‘dead works’ (and all works which are not done from ‘the life’ are so) is unfit to serve God, as well as lacking in wish to serve; and the only way to set it free from the nightmare which fetters it is to touch it with ‘the blood,’ and then it will spring up to a waking life of glad service. ‘The blood’ is shed to take away guilt; ‘the blood’ is the life, and, being shed in the death, it can be transfused into our veins, and so will. cleanse us from all sin. Thus, in regard both to past and future, sin is put away by the sacrifice of Himself. The completeness of His priestly work is further attested by the fact, triumphantly dwelt on in the lesson, that it is done once for all, and needs no repetition, and is incapable of repetition, while the world lasts.
II. Christ, as the high priest of the world, passes into heaven for us.
The priest’s office of old culminated in his entrance into the Holy of Holies, to present the blood of sacrifice. Christ’s priesthood is completed by His ascension and heavenly intercession. We necessarily attach local ideas to this, but the reality is deeper than all notions of place. The passage speaks of Jesus as ‘entering into the holy place,’ and again as entering ‘heaven itself for us.’ It also speaks of His having entered ‘through the greater and more perfect tabernacle,’ the meaning of which phrase depends on the force attached to ‘through.’ If it is taken locally, the meaning is as in Hebrews 4:14, that He has passed through the [lower] heavens to ‘heaven itself’; if it is taken instrumentally (as in following clause), the meaning is that Jesus used the ‘greater tabernacle’ in the discharge of His office of priest. The great truth underlying both the ascension and the representations of this context is, as Hebrews 9:24 puts it, that He appears ‘before the face of God,’ and there carries on His work, preparing a place for us. Further. we note that Jesus, as priest representing humanity, end being Himself man, can stand before the face of God, by virtue of His sacrifice, in which man is reconciled to God. His sinless manhood needed no such sacrifice, but, as our representative, He could not appear there without the blood of sacrifice. That blood, as shed on earth, avails to ‘put away sin’; as presented in heaven, it avails ‘for us,’ being ever present before the divine eye, and influencing the divine dealings. That entrance is the climax of the process by which He obtained ‘eternal redemption’ for us. Initial redemption is obtained through His death, but the full, perfect unending deliverance from all sin and evil is obtained, indeed, by His passing into the Holy Place above, but possessed in fact only when we follow Him thither. We need Him who ‘became dead’ for pardon and cleansing; we need Him who is ‘alive for evermore’ for present participation in His life and present sitting with Him in the heavenly places, and for the ultimate and eternal entrance there, whence we shall go no more out.
III. Christ, as the high priest of the world, will come forth from the holy place.
The ascension cannot end His connection with the world. It carries in itself the prophecy of a return. ‘If I go,… I will come again.’ The high priest came forth to the people waiting for him, so our High Priest will come. Men have to die, and ‘after death,’ not merely as following in time, but as necessarily following in idea and fact, a judgment in which each man’s work shall be infallibly estimated and manifested. Jesus has died ‘to bear the sins of many.’ There must follow for Him, too, an estimate and manifestation of His work. What for others is a judgment,’ for Him is manifestation of His sinlessness and saving power. He shall be seen, no longer stooping under the weight of a world’s sins, but ‘apart from sir,’ He shall be seen ‘unto salvation,’ for the vision will bring with it assimilation to His sinless likeness. He shall be thus seen by those that wait for Him, looking through the shows of time to the far-off shining of His coming, and meanwhile having their loins girt and their lamps burning.