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)
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) (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.
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…
The Messiah's appearance had been prophesied by Jacob who declared…
In the Messianic psalm Christ declared…
Isaiah foretold of Messiah's glorious appearing…
Malachi (means "My messenger") predicted the Messiah's appearance…
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; 2Corinthians 5:1; Colossians 2:11)
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…
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…
No temple made with hands,
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)
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: (Hebrews 9:13; 10:4; Leviticus 8:2; 9:15; Lev 16:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 = "Yom Kippur" = Day of Atonement)
Phillips comments that…
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…
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. (!)
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,
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)
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.
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…
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…
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.
by Robert Lowry
What can wash away my sin?
A T Robertson notes that
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
William Newell comments on Hebrews 9:12
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)
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.
HAVING OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION: lutrosin heuramenos (AMPMSN): (He 9:15; 5:9; Daniel 9:24; Mark 3:29; Galatians 3:13,14; 1Th 1:10)
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.
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…
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…
Lutrosis is used only 3 times in the NT…
Lutrosis is used 8 times in the Septuagint (LXX)… and here are some representative uses…
Clarke writes that the redemption provided by the Messiah
Barnes adds that the effects of Messiah's redemption…
Spurgeon agrees with Barnes exclaiming…
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.
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 note Col 3:10NLT-note)
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.