CONSIDER JESUS OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Hebrews - Swindoll
Amplified: And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: And just as it is laid down for men to die once and for all and then to face the judgment. (Westminster Press)
NLT: And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment, (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: And just as surely as it is appointed for all men to die and after that pass to their judgment (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: And inasmuch as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this judgment
Young's Literal: and as it is laid up to men once to die, and after this -- judgment
AND INASMUCH AS IT IS APPOINTED FOR MEN TO DIE ONCE: kai kath hoson apokeitai (3SPMI) tois anthropois hapax apothanein (AAN):
- Genesis 3:19; 2Samuel 14:14; Job 14:5; 30:23; Psalms 89:48; Eccl 3:20; 9:5,10; 12:7; Ro 5:12
- Hebrews 9 Resources
Inasmuch (2596) (kata) is probably better translated just as, and this links nicely with the following passage which begins with so - Just as man dies once, so Christ as the God Man died only once as sacrifice.
The inasmuch as…so construction suggests how incomprehensible it is that Christ would have ever suffered as the previous verse theorized. What is true for other men was also the case for Christ—like other men, he was “destined to die once.”
Vincent - That there is no place for a repeated offering of Christ is further shown by reference to the lot of men in general. The very idea is absurd; for men die once, and judgment follows. Christ was man, and Christ died. He will not come to earth to live and die again. Christ died, but judgment did not follow in His case. On the contrary, He became judge of all.
MacDonald observes that "Verses 27 and 28 seem to present another contrast between the Old Covenant and the New. The law condemned sinners to die once, but after this the judgment. The law was given to a people who were already sinners and who could not keep it perfectly. Therefore it became a means of condemnation to all who were under it.
Appointed (606) (apokeimai from apó = from, away + keímai = to lie, to be laid up, to set away) means to put something away for safekeeping, to store away in a place for preservation (secular usage referred to money laid up or hidden).
To die once - Once for all time to die. Reincarnation is excluded by this verse! For man this appointment is mandatory, but for our Lord it was voluntary.
Vine writes that "man’s body becomes subject to death once, retributively on account of sin, and judgment follows. Had there been no provision made by God, death and judgment must have been the lot of all. Christ by His offering has, for those who accept Him, broken in upon this sequence of events. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Once (530) (hapax) means once for all time so that it never needs repeating. This is a generally true statement for we know that Enoch and Elijah apparently did not die (Ge 5:24; 2Ki 2:11) and we also know that the generation that is raptured will not die physically (see Rapture) In addition, Lazarus and those who came to life at Christ’s resurrection eventually died twice (cp Jn 11:43,44; Mt 27:51, 52, 53).
As the KJV Bible Commentary rightly observes "It is axiomatic that man dies once. Exceptions do exist: Enoch and Elijah of the Old Testament, the New Testament saints who will be alive at Christ’s return who will never die, or Lazarus and others who have been raised from the dead and died twice. But no exceptions concerning God’s judgment can be cited. There is no reincarnation; every person gets one chance to prepare for God’s judgment.
Spurgeon - A man dies once, and after that everything is fixed and settled, and he answers for his doings at the judgment. One life, one death—then everything is weighed, and the result declared: “after this, judgment.” So Christ comes, and dies once; after this, for Him also the result of what He has done, namely, the salvation of those who look for Him. He dies once, and then reaps the fixed result, according to the analogy of the human race, of which He became a member and representative. Men do not come back here to die twice. Men die once, and then the matter is decided, and there comes the judgment. So Christ dies; He does not come back here to die again, but He receives the result of His death—that is, the salvation of His own people.
AND AFTER THIS JUDGMENT: meta de touto krisis:
- Heb 6:2; Job 19:25; Eccl 11:9; 12:14; Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:26, 27, 28, 29; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:5; 14:9, 10, 11, 12; 1Corinthians 4:5; 2Corinthians 5:10; 2Timothy 4:1; Jude 1:15; Revelation 20:11
- Hebrews 9 Resources
After (3326) on the other hand.
The results of Christ's life are settled. In Christ's case the result is that He appears a second time without sin unto salvation, the sin having been destroyed by His death.
Thus, that which is the most awful of evils - death is nothing to us, since when we exist, there is no death. And when there is death, we do not exist!
That is deceptively comforting until one reads a verse like Hebrews 9:27! Epicurus did not understand biblical truth in life, but he does now in death!
JUDGMENT IS A KRISIS ("CRISIS"!)
Judgment (2920) (krisis from kríno = to judge, primarily signifies to distinguish, separate or discriminate) speaks of a separating, a division or a decision. Krisis is a general term encompassing the judgment of all people, believers (2Cor 5:10) and unbelievers (Re 20:11; 12; 13; 14; 15 see notes Re 20:11; 12; 13; 14; 15).
As Morris writes…
There is a finality about it [death] that is not to be disputed. But if it is the complete and final end to life on earth, it is not, as so many in the ancient world thought, the complete and final end. Death is more serious than that because it is followed by judgment. Men are accountable, and after death they will render account to God.
The fact that there will be a judgment implies that men (in order to be judged - Re 20:11; 12; 13; 14; 15 see notes Re 20:11; 12; 13; 14; 15) will rise from the dead (see The Two Resurrections - "First" and "Second" - on a timeline). This was a shock to the Greeks many of whom believed that when an individual died, he ceased to experience conscious existence in any form. Thus some of the Greek writers philosophized that…
When earth once drinks the blood of a man, there is death once and for all and there is no resurrection. - Aeschylus
It cannot be the dead to light shall come. - Euripides
For the one loss is this that never mortal maketh good again the life of man-though wealth may be re-won. - Euripides
Homer makes Achilles say when he reaches the shades
Rather would I live upon the soil as the hireling of another, with a landless man whose livelihood was small, than bear sway among all the dead who are no more.
Barnes writes that…
And as it is appointed unto men once to die. Or, "since it is appointed unto men to die once only." The object of this is to illustrate the fact that Christ died but once for sin, and that is done by showing that the most important events pertaining to man occur but once. Thus it is with death. That does not, and cannot occur many times. It is the great law of our being, that men die but once, and hence the same thing was to be expected to occur in regard to him who made the atonement. It could not be supposed that this great law pertaining to man would be departed from in the case of him who died to make the atonement, and that he would repeatedly undergo the pains of death. The same thing was true in regard to the judgment. Man is to be judged once, and but once. The decision is to be final, and is not to be repeated. In like manner, there was a fitness that the great redeemer should die but once, and that his death should, without being repeated, determine the destiny of man. There was a remarkable oneness in the great events which most affected men; and neither death, the judgment, nor the atonement could be repeated. In regard to the declaration here, that "it is appointed unto men once to die," we may observe,
(1,) that death is the result of appointment, Genesis 3:19, It is not the effect of chance, or hap-hazard. It is not a "debt of nature." It is not the condition to which man was subject by the laws of his creation. It is not to be accounted for by the mere principles of physiology. God could as well have made the heart to play for ever as for fifty years. Death is no more the regular result of physical laws than the guillotine and the gallows are. It is, in all cases, the result of intelligent appointment, and for an adequate cause.
(2.) That cause, or the reason of that appointment, is sin. Romans 6:23. This is the adequate cause; this explains the whole of it. Holy beings do not die. There is not the slightest proof that an angel in heaven has died, or that any perfectly holy being has ever died, except the Lord Jesus. In every death, then, we have a demonstration that the race is guilty; in each case of mortality we have an affecting memento that we are individually transgressors.
(3.) Death occurs but once in this world. It cannot be repeated, if we should desire to have it repeated. Whatever truths or facts, then, pertain to death; whatever lessons it is calculated to convey, pertain to it as an event which is not to occur again. That which is to occur but once in an eternity of existence acquires, from that very fact, if there were no other circumstances, an immense importance. What is to be done but once, we should wish to be done well. We should make all proper preparation for it; we should regard it with singular interest. If preparation is to be made for it, we should make all which we expect ever to make. A man who is to cross the ocean but once-to go away from his home never to return-should make the right kind of preparation. He cannot come back to take that which he has forgotten; to arrange that which he has neglected; to give counsel which he has failed to do; to ask forgiveness for offences for which he has neglected to seek pardon. And so of death. A man who dies, dies but once. He cannot come back again to make preparation, if he has neglected it; to repair the evils which he has caused by a wicked life; or to implore pardon for sins for which he had failed to ask forgiveness. Whatever is to be done with reference to death, is to be done once for all before he dies.
(4.) Death occurs to all. "It is appointed unto men"-to the race. It is not an appointment for one, but for all. No one is appointed by name to die; and not an individual is designated as one who shall escape. No exception is made in favour of youth, beauty, or blood; no rank or station is exempt; no merit, no virtue, no patriotism, no talent, can purchase freedom from it. In every other sentence which goes out against men, there may be some hope of reprieve. Here there is none. We cannot meet an individual who is not under sentence of death. It is not only the poor wretch in the dungeon, doomed to the gallows, who is to die—it is the rich man in his palace; the gay trifler in the assembly room; the friend that we embrace and love; and she whom we meet in the crowded saloon of fashion, with all the graces of accomplishment and adorning. Each one of these is just as much under sentence of death as the poor wretch in the cell, and the execution on any one of them may occur before his. It is, too, for substantially the same cause, and is as really deserved. It is for sin that all are doomed to death; and the fact that we must die should be a constant remembrance of our guilt.
(5.) As death is to occur to us but once, there is a cheering interest in the reflection that when it is passed it is passed for ever. The dying pang, the chill, the cold sweat, are not to be repeated. Death is not to approach us often-he is to be allowed to come to us but once. When we have once passed through the dark valley, we shall have the assurance that we shall never tread its gloomy way again. Once, then, let us be willing to die-since we can die but once; and let us rejoice in the assurance which the gospel furnishes, that they who die in the Lord leave the world to go where death in any form is unknown.
But after this the judgment. The apostle does not say how long after death this will be, nor is it possible for us to know, Acts 1:7; Matthew 24:36. We may suppose, however, that there will be two periods in which there will be an act of judgment passed on those who die.
(1.) Immediately after death, when they pass into the eternal world, when their destiny will be made known to them. This seems to be necessarily implied in the supposition that they will continue to live, and to be happy or miserable after death. This act of judgment may not be formal and public, but will be such as to show them what must be the issues of the final day; and as the result of that interview with God, they will be made happy or miserable until the final doom shall be pronounced.
(2.) The more public and formal act of judgment, when the whole world will be assembled at the bar of Christ, Matthew 25. The decision of that day will not change or reverse the former; but the trial will be of such a nature as to bring out all the deeds done on earth, and the sentence which will be pronounced will be in view of the universe, and will fix the everlasting doom. Then the body will have been raised; the affairs of the world will be wound up; the elect will all be gathered in, and the state of retribution will commence, to continue for ever. The main thought of the apostle here may be, that after death will commence a state of retribution which can never change. Hence there was a propriety that Christ should die but once. In that future world he would not die to make atonement, for there all will be fixed and final. If men, therefore, neglect to avail themselves of the benefits of the atonement here, the opportunity will be lost for ever. In that changeless state, which constitutes the eternal judgment, no sacrifice will be again offered for sin; there will be no opportunity to embrace that Saviour who was rejected here on earth. — Barnes' Notes on the New Testament
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We Will All Face Death - Sarah Winchester’s husband had acquired a fortune by manufacturing and selling rifles. After he died of influenza in 1918, she moved to San Jose, California. Because of her grief and her long time interest in spiritism, Sarah sought out a medium to contact her dead husband. The medium told her, “As long as you keep building your home, you will never face death.” Sarah believed the spiritist, so she bought an unfinished 17-room mansion and started to expand it. The project continued until she died at the age of 85. It cost 5 million dollars at a time when workmen earned 50 cents a day. The mansion had 150 rooms, 13 bathrooms, 2,000 doors, 47 fireplaces, and 10,000 windows. And Mrs. Winchester left enough materials so that they could have continued building for another 80 years. Today that house stands as more than a tourist attraction. It is a silent witness to the dread of death that holds millions of people in bondage (Hebrews 2:14, 15- note).
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From Sunset To Sunrise - Kariel was riding home from a children's program at church with her neighbor friends. Admiring the sunset, she said to Gini, the driver, "That sunset is so beautiful it looks like heaven!" So Gini asked her, "Do you know how to get to heaven?" Kariel, who was only 5, answered confidently, "You have to have Jesus as your Savior—and I do!" Then she began to ask her friends in the van if they knew Jesus too.
That same evening, Kariel's 13-year-old sister Chantel was at another church, where someone asked her if she knew Jesus as her Savior. She told the person she did.
Early the next morning, fire swept through Kariel and Chantel's home, and tragically, they both died. They were in heaven with Jesus at sunrise.
No one has the promise of tomorrow. The crucial question is: Have we admitted our need for God's forgiveness of our sin and trusted Jesus as our Savior? (Romans 3:23-note; John 1:12). Our sin separates us from God and requires judgment, but Jesus gave His life in our place (Hebrews 9:27-28).
Make sure you have the same confidence that Chantel and Kariel had. Then, when your time comes to die, you'll be in heaven with Jesus at the next sunrise. —Anne Cetas (Our Daily Bread)
When I shall come to the end of my way,
When I shall rest at the close of life's day,
When "Welcome home" I shall hear Jesus say,
O that will be sunrise for me! —Poole
© Renewal 1952, The Rodeheaver Co.
Sunset in one land is sunrise in another.
Dead Is Dead - Do you ever think about your inevitable death? Or are you like the influential theater tycoon Bernard Jacobs, who said, “Of all the things in the world I think least about, it’s what happens after you die. Dead is dead.”
Is that what happens when we exhale our last breath and our brain cells stop functioning? When our life has come to an end, are we totally extinguished like a flame of a candle plunged into water? That’s a common belief. But it isn’t what the Bible teaches. Hebrews 9:27 declares that it is appointed for us “to die once, but after this the judgment.”
If we have received Jesus as Savior from our sins, we need not fear facing Him. We will enter into blessed fellowship with God for all eternity, for we will be “absent from the body and … present with the Lord” (2Co 5:8).
Jesus taught His disciples, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25, 26).
Jesus’ message in the Word of God gives hope when we face our own death or the death of someone we love. He promises that we will enter our heavenly home and be with Him forever. We can count on His word. —Vernon C Grounds
“I go to prepare a place for you …
That where I am there you may be,”
Our death is not the end of life—
Beyond, with Christ, eternity! —Hess
Jesus’ resurrection spelled the death of Death.
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Looking For Loopholes - Comedian W. C. Fields (1880-1946) could make audiences roar with laughter, yet he himself was chronically unhappy. Religion apparently played no part in his life. But it's been said that as he faced the possibility of dying, he started to devote time to reading the Bible. When he was asked about his new interest in Scripture, Fields, always the comedian, replied, "I'm looking for loopholes, my friend. Looking for loopholes."
Fields may not have known Hebrews 9:27, "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment," yet he realized that he might soon be standing before God. And he may have been wondering what he would say if asked by the Lord why he should not be judged for his sins.
We will all stand before God someday, so it's imperative that we prepare to meet Him. But how? The only preparation we need to make is to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin. He died to take the punishment we deserve (2Cor 5:21; 1Peter 3:18-note). When we admit that we are sinners (Ro:23-note) and ask Him to forgive and save us (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:13-note), we are brought into a right relationship with God (2Corinthians 5:18, 19).
Are you prepared? There are no loopholes. —Vernon Grounds —Vernon C Grounds
How can you go another day?
Respond to Christ, do not delay;
Just trust in Him, His Word believe—
Eternal life you will receive. —Branon
Don't plan to repent at the 11th hour—you may die at 10:30.
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Life's Final Deadline - Prepare to meet your God. —Amos 4:12 - We're all confronted with deadlines. Bills must be paid, licenses renewed, tax returns filed— the list goes on and on.
One deadline, though, is of supreme importance. It's one we all will face. The Bible says, "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
Except for believers who are living when Jesus returns (1Thessalonians 4:16, 17-notes), everyone will die. And all people from the beginning of history will stand before God in judgment. How foolish to neglect the preparation necessary for this inevitable accounting!
In Luke 12, Jesus told a parable of a rich man who planned to build bigger barns to store all his earthly goods so he could live out his days in pleasure and ease. But God unexpectedly announced, "Fool! This night your soul will be required of you" (Luke 12:20). His ultimate deadline had arrived.
Are you ready to meet God? If you've never received Christ as your personal Savior, do so without delay. Believe that He shed His blood on the cross to forgive your sins, and that He conquered death by rising from the grave. Ask Him to save you. Then you can face life's final deadline with confidence. —Richard De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
If you believe that Jesus lives, you don't need to fear death.
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EXPECTED -- SOONER OR LATER - "The living know that they will die." - Ecclesiastes 9:5
I heard a popular senator who was swept out of office after only one term. His defeat came as a complete surprise to opponents and supporters alike. In his concession speech, the losing candidate wryly commented that recent events reminded him of an epitaph he once saw on an old tombstone. It said:
I EXPECTED THIS -- BUT NOT SO SOON.
Death is certain for all! The Bible says, "It is appointed for me to die once" (Heb. 9:27). For some of us that day is closer than we think. The sensible person faces up to the fact of death and makes provision for this final episode of his earthly life.
There's only one way to prepare for eternity -- trusting Christ as Savior. Those who come to God through Him will enter heaven when they have drawn their last breath. But for unbelievers, that fateful moment will seal their never-ending doom.
Are you ready for the inevitable? Jesus said, "He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life" (Jn. 5:24). If you've never done so, place your faith in Christ, acknowledging that He died for your sins and rose victorious from the grave. Then, whether the expected comes sooner or later, you'll be ready! -- Richard W. De Haan
Sooner or later, yes, sooner for some,
Darkness will all then be past;
Sooner or later our savior will come --
With Him will your lot be cast? -- Koch
Live each day as if it were your last - it could be!
Amplified: Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: so Christ, after being once and for all sacrificed to bear the burden of the sins of many, will appear a second time, not this time to deal with sin, but for the salvation of those who are waiting for him. (Westminster Press)
NLT: so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with our sins again. This time he will bring salvation to all those who are eagerly waiting for him. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: so it is certain that Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many and after that, to those who look for him, he will appear a second time, not this time to deal with sin, but to bring them to full salvation. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: thus also the Messiah once was offered for the purpose of bearing the sins of many; a second time apart from sin shall He be manifested to those who eagerly wait for Him [Israel], resulting in salvation. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: so also the Christ, once having been offered to bear the sins of many, a second time, apart from a sin-offering, shall appear, to those waiting for him -- to salvation!
SO CHRIST ALSO HAVING BEEN OFFERED ONCE TO BEAR THE SINS OF MANY: houtos kai o Christos hapax prosenectheis (APPMSN) eis to pollon anenegkein (AAN) hamartias:
- Hebrews 9:25; Romans 6:10; 1Peter 3:18; 1John 3:5) (Leviticus 10:17; Numbers 18:1,23; Isaiah 53:4-6,11,12; Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:15; 1Peter 2:24
- Philippians 3:20; 1Thessalonians 1:10; 2Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13; 2Peter 3:12
- Hebrews 9 Resources
So - This introduces the comparison intended by the writer. Just as man in verse 27 dies once, so Christ as the God Man died only once as sacrifice. The writer is showing to his Jewish readers the superiority of the priesthood of Christ and the New Covenant. Below is a chart (adapted from Wiersbe) comparing the Old and New Covenant contrasts the writer has been explaining…
|Repeated sacrifices||One sacrifice|
|The blood of others||His own blood|
|Covering sin||Putting away sin|
|For Israel only||For all sinners|
Holy of holies
and remains there
|Came out to bless
|Will come to take
His own to heaven
Vine - Man’s life and work on earth end with death. The results only remain, as determined by divine judgment. So also the death of Christ is final. There was nothing further to be done by sacrifice for sin. The finality of His one offering for sin is corroborated by the analogy of human life. He will return, but to salvation and quite apart from sin. Christ having taken upon Himself human nature, without sin, was offered voluntarily in sacrifice, once, and once only, and now all who believe are delivered from judgment. He will instead bring salvation to them at His appearing. Accordingly, the appearing of Christ for the salvation of His people is set in contrast to the judgment of the unregenerate. That He will appear a second time is the main statement of the last verse. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Having been offered (4374) (prosphero from prós = toward + phéro = bring) literally means to bring toward and so refers to an offering, whether of gifts, prayers, or sacrifices. The Septuagint (LXX) uses this word 124 times and often in the context of a sacrificial offering (more than 50 times in Leviticus alone!). The picture of this verb is to carry or bring something into the presence of someone usually implying that what is brought is then transferred to the one to whom it is brought. Christ acted as High Priest in offering up His own body and blood as the perfect sacrifice.
Prosphero - 47x in 45v - Matt 2:11; 4:24; 5:23f; 8:4, 16; 9:2, 32; 12:22; 14:35; 17:16; 18:24; 19:13; 22:19; 25:20; Mark 1:44; 2:4; 10:13; Luke 5:14; 18:15; 23:14, 36; John 16:2; 19:29; Acts 7:42; 8:18; 21:26; Heb 5:1, 3, 7; 8:3f; 9:7, 9, 14, 25, 28; 10:1f, 8, 11f; 11:4, 17; 12:7. NAS = bringing(2), brought(12), deals(1), get(1), make an offering(1), offer(8), offered(12), offering(4), offers(1), present(2), presented(1), presenting(1).
Prosphero - Uses in Septuagint - Gen 4:7; 27:31; 43:26; Exod 29:3; 32:6; 34:26; 36:3, 6; Lev 1:2f, 5, 13ff; 2:1, 4, 8, 11ff; 3:6, 9; 4:23, 32; 6:13; 7:3, 8f, 11ff, 18, 29f, 33, 38; 8:6; 9:2, 9, 12f, 15ff; 10:1, 15; 12:6f; 14:23; 16:9; 17:4; 21:6, 8, 17, 21; 22:18, 21, 25; 23:14ff, 20, 37; 27:9, 11; Num 3:4; 5:9, 15, 25; 6:13, 16, 20; 7:2, 10ff, 18f; 9:7, 13; 15:4, 7, 9, 13; 16:35; 17:3f; 18:15; 26:61; 28:2, 26; 29:8; 31:50; Deut 23:19; Judg 3:17f; 5:25; 2 Sam 17:29; 1 Kgs 2:46; 3:24; 2 Kgs 16:15; 1 Chr 16:1; 2 Chr 29:7; Ezra 6:10, 17; 7:17; 8:35; Ps 71:10; Prov 6:8; 21:27; Job 1:5; Amos 5:25; Jer 14:12; Ezek 43:23f; 44:7, 15, 27; 46:4; Dan 4:37
The passive voice indicates that Christ submitted His will to His Father Who gave His only begotten Son as an offering for our sin (Jn 3:16).
Spurgeon - He came the first time with, “I delight to do your will, O my God” (Psa 40:8). He comes a second time to claim the reward and to divide the spoil with the strong. He came the first time with a sin-offering; that offering having been once made, there is no more sacrifice for sin. He comes the second time to administer righteousness. He was righteous at his first coming, but it was the righteousness of allegiance. He shall be righteous at his second coming with the righteousness of supremacy. He came to endure the penalty, he comes to procure the reward. He came to serve, he comes to rule. He came to open wide the door of grace, he comes to shut to the door. He comes not to redeem but to judge; not to save but to pronounce the sentence; not to weep while he invites, but to smile while he rewards; not to tremble in heart while he proclaims grace, but to make others tremble while he proclaims their doom.
Bear (399)(anaphero from ana = up, again, back + phero = bear, carry) literally means to carry, bring or bear up and so to to cause to move from a lower position to a higher position. It serves as a technical term for offering sacrifices offer up (to an altar).
Figuratively (as used in Hebrews 9:28) anaphero means to take up and bear sins by imputation (act of laying the responsibility or blame for) as typified (foreshadowed) by the Old Testament sacrifices which God had prescribed for Israel.
Anaphero - 10x in 9v - Matt 17:1; Mark 9:2; Luke 24:51; Heb 7:27; 9:28; 13:15; Jas 2:21; 1 Pet 2:5, 24. NAS = bear(1), bore(1), brought(1), led(1), offer(3), offered(2).
Anaphero - 140x in the Septuagint - Gen 8:20; 22:2, 13; 31:39; 40:10; Exod 18:19, 22, 26; 19:8; 24:5; 29:18, 25; 30:9, 20; Lev 2:16; 3:5, 11, 14, 16; 4:10, 19, 26, 31; 6:8, 19; 7:5, 31; 8:16, 20f, 27f; 9:10, 20; 14:20; 16:25; 17:5f; 23:11; Num 5:26; 14:33; 18:17; 23:2, 30; Deut 1:17; 12:13f, 27; 14:24; 27:6; Judg 6:26, 28; 11:31; 13:16, 19; 15:13; 16:8, 18; 20:26, 38; 21:4; 1 Sam 2:19; 6:14f; 7:9f; 10:8; 13:9f, 12; 15:12; 18:27; 20:13; 2 Sam 1:24; 6:17; 21:13; 24:22, 24f; 1 Kgs 2:35; 3:4; 5:27; 8:1; 10:5, 22; 12:27; 17:19; 2 Kgs 3:27; 4:21; 1 Chr 15:3, 12, 14; 16:2, 40; 21:24, 26; 23:31; 29:21; 2 Chr 1:4, 6; 2:3; 4:16; 5:2, 5; 8:12f; 9:4, 16; 23:18; 24:14; 29:21, 27, 29, 31f; 35:14; Ezra 3:2, 6; Neh 10:39; 12:31; Ps 50:21; 65:15; Prov 8:6; Job 7:13; Isa 18:7; 53:11f; 57:6; 60:7; 66:3; Jer 39:35; Ezek 36:15; 43:18, 24
Peter teaches the same truth about Christ our Sin Bearer writing that "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that (purpose clause - introduces why He died) we might die to Sin (the power of Sin to tempt us to commit sins - see notes Ro 6:11; 12; 13 see notes Ro 6:11; 12; 13) and live to righteousness (right conduct before God and men) for (explains how this is possible) by His wounds you were healed (used figuratively here to refer to Christ's effecting our deliverance from spiritual sickness - from Sin as our master). For (amplifies that the "healing" was not from a physical illness but a spiritual sickness that made us prone to wander) you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. (See note 1 Peter 2:24; 25)
Leon Morris - Sin-bearing is a concept found in the NT only here and in 1Peter 2:24, but it is quite frequent in the OT, where it plainly means "bear the penalty of sin." For example, the Israelites were condemned to wander in the wilderness for forty years as the penalty for their failure to go up into the land of Canaan: "For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins" (Nu 14:34; cf. Ezek 18:20, et al.). Many see here an echo of the fourth Servant Song: "He will bear their iniquities" (Isa 53:11); "he bore the sin of many" (Isa 53:12). So the author is saying that Christ took upon himself the consequences of the sins of the many (cf. Mark 10:45).
Jesus our Great High Priests bore our sins as our substitutionary sacrifice, dying in our place, in order to bring about atonement for our sins. The priests in the Old Covenant could not bear our sins.
It is notable that anaphero is used 25 times in the Septuagint translation of Leviticus regarding offerings! For example, Moses records that
Aaron's sons shall offer it up (anaphero = bear, carry) in smoke on the altar on the burnt offering, which is on the wood that is on the fire; it is an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. (Lev 3:5)
Jesus, as our Great High Priest , offered up the sacrifice of Himself by bringing His body up to the Cross.
Anaphero is used in Hebrews 7 where the writer records that Jesus
does not need daily, like those (Jewish) high priests, to offer up (anaphero) (present tense = continually) 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 (anaphero) (aorist tense = past tense completed historical event) Himself. (see note Hebrews 7:27)
Exodus discusses the parallel role of the OT high priests (but Lxx does not use anaphero here) recording that
Aaron shall take away (Lxx = exairo - to lift, to carry) the iniquity of the holy things which the sons of Israel consecrate, with regard to all their holy gifts; and (the turban) shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. (Ex 28:38)
Isaiah in his famous prophecy of the suffering Servant (the Messiah) records that
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried. Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. (Is 53:4-6)
Isaiah adds that
As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear (LXX = anaphero) their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong, because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors. Yet He Himself bore (LXX = anaphero) the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors. (Is 53:11-12)
When John the Baptist saw "Jesus coming to him" he declared the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy (and all the OT Messianic prophecies for that matter) saying
Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (Jn 1:29)
Hebrews describes the role of NT believer priests:
Through Him (Jesus our Great High Priest) then, let us continually offer up (anaphero) a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. (see note Hebrews 13:15)
Jews did not crucify criminals, but instead stoned them. However if the victim was especially evil, his dead body was hung on a tree until evening which was a mark of shame (Dt 21:23). Jesus died on a tree (the cross) and bore the curse of the Law (Gal 3:13).
Once (530) (hapax) means of perpetual validity, not requiring repetition. The sacrifice for sins is finished, the penalty paid in full forever and ever.
Anaphero is the same word used to describe the first altar offering in Genesis 8:20!
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
The OT repeatedly pointed to the Messiah and His sacrifice as in Leviticus 14:19 where Moses records that…
The priest shall next offer the sin offering and make atonement (kaphar) for the one to be cleansed from his uncleanness. Then afterward, he shall slaughter the burnt offering." (see Lev 16:25 for anaphero on Day of Atonement)
Sins (266) (hamartia) originally conveyed the idea of missing the mark as when hunting with a bow and arrow and then came to mean missing or falling short of any goal, standard, or purpose. In Scripture sin often describes our thoughts, words and deeds that miss the ultimate purpose God has for each individual, these thoughts, words and deeds falling short of God’s perfect standard of holiness.
Many (4183) (polus) means literally much (amount or quantity).
Cole writes that…
Christ did not come to die and then leave salvation up to the fallen sinner’s choice. Rather He came to “save His people from their sins” (Mt 1:21). He came to lay down His life for His sheep (John 10:11, 14, 15). “Christ … loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph 5:25). He was “offered once to bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28, reflecting Is. 53:12). He will not fail in His purpose to save al that the Father gave Him (John 6:37, 38, 39, 40). His sacrifice on the cross put away all of our sin once and for all.
You may wonder, “How can I know that Christ offered Him-self for my sins?” That is a vitally important question! First, are you aware of your need for cleansing from your sin? Christ didn’t come to put away sin from those who think that they are righteous in them-selves (Luke 5:31, 32). Second, are you aware that you can do nothing to pay for your sin? You cannot put away your own sin through penance, personal determination, or self-denial. Years of good deeds cannot pay your debt of sin. Even the Old Testament sacrificial system could not put away sin (10:4)! Only Christ, by His death on the cross, could put away sin. If your trust is in Him and in Him alone, then you can be assured that He has put away your sins.
In a sermon on this verse, Spurgeon puts it like this (Spurgeon's Expository Encyclopedia [Baker], 14:211-212): He says that if any are conscious of the burden of their guilt and the impending judgment of God on their sins, the news of one who can put away sin should be of great joy. If your house were on fire, you would rejoice to hear that the fire engines were coming down the street. You would be absolutely certain that they were coming for you, because your house was in a blaze if no one else’s might be. Thus the news of Christ’s coming into the world to put away sin will sound like a trumpet blast of joy “to those who know themselves to be full of sin, who desire to have it put away, who are conscious that they cannot remove it themselves, and are alarmed at the fate which awaits them if the sin be not by some means blotted out.”
SHALL APPEAR A SECOND TIME FOR SALVATION WITHOUT REFERENCE TO SIN: ek deuterou choris hamartias ophthesetai (3SFPI) eis soterian:
- Zechariah 14:5; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 15, 16; 2Th 1:5, 6, 7, 8, 9; 2:1; 1John 3:2; Re 1:7
- Romans 6:10; 8:3
- Isaiah 25:9; Romans 8:23; 1Corinthians 15:54; Philippians 3:21; 1Thessalonians 4:17; 2Th 1:10
- Hebrews 9 Resources
Related Resource: Table comparing Rapture vs Second Coming.
Shall appear (3708) (horao) is one of several Greek words for seeing and generally means to be seen. Here horao refers not only the act of seeing but also the actual perception of what one sees. This at the time of this great event on the prophetic calendar Messiah returns as the victorious Warrior, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the King of kings in all of His splendor, majesty and glory (Rev 19:11; 19:16 see notes Re 19:11; 16)
Spurgeon - The appearing will be of the most open character. He will not be visible in some quiet place where two or three are met, but He will appear as the lightning is seen in the heavens. At His first appearing He was truly seen: wherever He went He could be looked at and gazed upon, and touched and handled. He will appear quite as plainly by-and-by among the sons of men. The observation of Him will be far more general than at His first advent, for “every eye will see him” (Rev 1:7). Every eye did not see Him here when He came the first time, for He did not travel out of Palestine, save only when, as an infant all unknown, He was carried down into Egypt. But when He comes a second time all the nations of the world shall behold Him. They that are dead shall rise to see Him (1 Thess 4:16), both saints and sinners, and they that are alive and remain when He shall come shall be absorbed in this greatest of spectacles.
Wiersbe asks "Did you notice that the word “appear” is used three times in Hebrews 9:24, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28? These three uses give us a summary of our Lord’s work. He has appeared to put away sin by dying on the cross (Heb. 9:26). He is appearing now in heaven for us (Heb. 9:24). One day, He shall appear to take Christians home (Heb 9:28). These “three tenses of salvation” are all based on His finished work. (Wiersbe, W. W. The Bible Exposition commentary. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books)
Second time (ek deuteron) - Vincent observes that this is "A phrase quite common in N. T., but not in Paul. The idea is, beginning from the second: the second in a series taken as the point of departure. As among men judgment follows as the second thing after death, so, when Christ shall appear for the second time, he will appear as the sinless Saviour.
Wuest has an intriguing analysis "The Rapture is not in view here, neither the Church. This is Jewish. The expression refers to the second Advent of Messiah to Israel for the Millennium. The first appearance of the high priest on the Day of Atonement was at the Brazen Altar where the sacrifice was slain. This corresponds to Messiah’s first appearance on earth to die on the Cross. The second appearance of the high priest was in the Holy of Holies. This corresponds to Messiah’s present appearance before God in heaven now. The third appearance of the high priest was out the gate of the court surrounding the tabernacle, to Israel, having in a symbolic way accomplished salvation. This corresponds to Messiah’s appearance upon earth in the second Advent to Israel, having actually accomplished salvation. His return will be apart from sin in that He settled the sin question the first time He came. Now He comes with salvation for the one who puts his faith in Him. (Hebrews Commentary)
For salvation - This might at first seem confusing for you might be reasoning "once saved always saved." And to be sure if a person is genuinely saved, he or she is secure in Christ, safe and saved for all times. However, believers still live in these frail mortal, physical bodies, and we still carry about the old fallen Sin nature (defeated at Calvary but still present to harass and tempt us). So in that sense the believer's salvation is waiting completion, that glorious day when we exchange the mortal body for an immortal body in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (cf 1 Cor 15:51, 52, 53, 54, 55). That moment is referred to as the future aspect of our salvation ("future tense salvation" - see notes below and also see Three Tenses of Salvation) or glorification, when believers receive their glorified body
In Romans Paul describes the final redemption of our bodies (which have been redeemed already by the blood of Christ [Ephesians 1:7-note], but which need to be glorified to complete the redemption process.)
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God (In our glorified bodies). 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope (absolute assurance of future good) 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (another reference to believer's possessing their glorified bodies). 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (another description of our final glorified body). 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it (so we are eagerly anticipating the time when "hope" becomes reality, which it will for Biblical hope is not "I hope so" but reflects an absolute confidence that God will do good to me in the future - in this case the good being to transform our bodies of corruption into bodies that are incorruptible) (see notes Romans 8:18; 8:19; 8:20; 8:21; 8:22; 8:23; 8:24; 8:25).
Salvation (4991) (soteria from soter = Savior in turn from sozo = save, rescue, deliver) (Click word study on soteria) (Click here or here for in depth discussion of the related terms soter and sozo) describes the rescue or deliverance from danger, destruction and peril. "Salvation" is a broader term in Greek than we often think of in English. Other concepts that are inherent in soteria include restoration to a state of safety, soundness, health and well being as well as preservation from danger of destruction.)
Second time - No word for "time" in the original Greek. Added by translators to smooth out the reading.
Second (1208) (deuteros form duo = duo) refers here to second in order, specifically not Messiah's first advent but His second advent (See Table comparing Rapture vs Second Coming). It is interesting that although the Second Coming (first and second phases) are referred to in about one of every 25-30 verses in the NT, this is the only passage in the New Testament where the return of Christ is actually called a second coming.
Furthermore, when Messiah returns the second time, it is to Judge those who have rejected His free gift of salvation. There is no suggestion in this passage that when He comes, His purpose is to give His rejecters a second chance!
Hebrews alludes to the Second Coming in two other passages…
And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, "AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM." (see note Hebrews 1:6)
FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. (see note Hebrews 10:37)
Without reference (5565) (choris) means separate, apart from and in this context means without any relation to sacrifice for sin. John sees the Messiah in heaven in Revelation 5 (see note Revelation 5:6) as a Lamb slain (the marks from Calvary that eternally document and validate His everlasting new covenant), in His Second Coming at the end of Daniel's Seventieth Week - CHART, He does not return as a Lamb to be sacrificed again. There is no need for a second sacrifice, because His one time sacrifice was for all time.
Spurgeon on without reference to sin - That is to say, He will bring no sin offering with Him, and will not Himself be a sacrifice for sin. What need that it should be so? We have seen that He once offered Himself without spot to God, and therefore, when He comes a second time, His relation to human guilt will finally cease. He will then have nothing further to do with that sin that was laid upon Him. Our sin, which He took to Himself by imputation, He has borne and discharged. Not only is the sinner free, but the sinner’s Surety is free also, for He has paid our debt to the utmost farthing. Jesus is no longer under obligation on our account. When He comes a second time, He will have no connection of any sort with the sin that once He bore. He will come, moreover, without those sicknesses and infirmities that arise out of sin. At His first advent, He came in suffering flesh, and then He came to hunger and to thirst, to be without a place to lay His head (Matt 8:20). He came to have His heart broken with reproach, and His soul grieved with the hardness of men’s hearts. He was compassed with infirmity; He came unto His God with strong crying and tears; He agonized even unto bloody sweat, and so He journeyed on with all the insignia of sin hanging about Him. But when He comes a second time it will be without the weakness, pain, poverty, and shame that accompany sin. There will then be no marred visage nor bleeding brow. He will have reassumed His ancient glory. It will be His glorious appearing.
Sin (266) originally conveyed the idea of missing the mark as when hunting with a bow and arrow and then came to mean missing or falling short of any goal, standard, or purpose. In Scripture sin often describes our thoughts, words and deeds that miss the ultimate purpose God has for each individual, these thoughts, words and deeds falling short of God’s perfect standard of holiness.
Cole writes that…
If our trust is in Christ alone to pay for our sins, then when Christ comes again, we can look forward to salvation, not to judgment (Hebrews 9:27, 28).
In the first half of Hebrews 9:27, 28, the author draws a comparison between the deaths of all people and the death of Christ. “It is appointed to men to die once….” Even so, it was God’s purpose for Christ to be offered once to bear the sins of many. But the second half of both verses contains an unexpected contrast. Men die once and then comes judgment. You would expect verse 28 to be parallel: “Christ died once and He’s coming back for judgment” (which is true). But instead, he says that Christ died once, but He “will appear a second time,” not for judgment, but “for salvation with-out reference to sin, to those who eagerly wait for Him.”
There are four important, practical truths here…
A. God has appointed death for all people. - Enoch, Elijah, and those living when Christ returns are the exceptions. But apart from them, all must die by God’s appointment. In other words, death is not a “natural” process. Death is a reality because man sinned and God ordained that the penalty for sin is death. I once attended a funeral at a liberal church where the minister tried to soothe everyone by saying that death is just part of the natural cycle of all things. It is not! Death is God’s curse on our sin. For the believer, the sting of death is removed by the cross (1Co 15:54, 55, 56, 57), but even so, death is a reminder of our sin and of God’s holy justice.
Also, the Bible teaches that God sovereignly appoints both our birthday and our death day. David proclaimed (Ps 139:1 6), “in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Death may seem accidental to us, but it is never accidental to God. No one lives a day less or a day longer than God ordains. That should give us great comfort when we lose a loved one, especially if it is a younger per-son. God has reasons and purposes that we do not know, but we can trust Him. As Job said when his ten children were killed in a sudden windstorm, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
This truth that God has ordained the day of death should also give us peace as we think about our own death. While we should not take reckless chances with our lives by doing foolish things, and while we should be sensible with regard to diet, exercise, and proper medical care, the fact is, our lives are in God’s hands. We will die at His appointed time.
At age 54, Jonathan Edwards, the godly revivalist preacher, received a vaccination for smallpox when that treatment was in its earliest practice. No doubt he thought that it was a wise precaution that could extend his life. Instead, the doctor gave him too much vaccine, and he contracted the deadly disease. On his deathbed, he spoke to his younger daughter, who was there with him. He did not question the sovereign will of God. He said (Iain Murray, Jonathan Edwards, a New Biography [Banner of Truth], p. 441),
Dear Lucy, it seems to me to be the will of God, that I must shortly leave you; therefore, give my kindest love to my dear wife, and tell her, that the uncommon union, which has so long subsisted between us, has been of such a nature, as I trust is spiritual, and therefore will continue for ever. And I hope she will be supported under so great a trial and submit cheerfully to the will of God.
He went on to commend his children
“to seek a Father who will never fail you.” “Then, when those at his bedside believed he was unconscious and expressed grief at what his absence would mean… they were surprised when he suddenly uttered a final sentence, ‘Trust in God, and you need not fear.’”
For her part, when the news reached Edwards’ wife Sarah, she was suffering so much from rheumatism in her neck that she could scarcely hold a pen. But she wrote to her daughter Esther, who had lost her husband, Aaron Burr, just months before:
What shall I say? A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands on our mouths! The Lord has done it. He has made me adore his goodness, that we had him [Jonathan] so long. But my God lives; and he has my heart. O what a legacy my husband, and your father, has left us! We are all given to God; and there I am, and love to be (ibid., p. 442).
B. Apart from Christ, people die and face judgment. - Men “die once and after this comes judgment” (9:27). This verse clearly refutes reincarnation. People do not die and come back in another life as someone or something else. I once heard a radio interview with a woman in Southeast Asia who was dying of AIDS, which she contracted from her husband, who got it from prostitutes. The interviewer asked her if she was angry at her husband. She answered that she was not angry, because she knew that she would come back in the next life in a better situation because of her unjust suffering in this life. I thought, “What a lie of Satan!” Reincarnation is totally at odds with the truth of the Bible. We die once, and then comes judgment.
This verse also refutes the idea that people get a second chance to receive Christ after they die. Death is final. Philip Hughes writes (p. 388), “To refuse the cross as the instrument of salvation is to choose it as the instrument of judgment (cf. John 12:48).” This is why the Bible urgently warns us, “now is ‘the day of salvation’” (2Cor. 6:2). Delay in trusting Christ could be eternally fatal!
Believers in Christ, however, do not come into judgment, but have passed out of death into life (John 5:24; see also Ro 8:1). Believers will appear before the judgment seat of Christ to be recompensed for the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad (2Cor 5:10). Our faithless, evil deeds will be burned up as wood, hay, and stubble, whereas the gold, silver, and precious stones will be the basis for reward. But, “If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1Cor. 3:10, 11, 12, 13,14, 15).
C. Christ died once to bear our sins, but is coming again to finalize our salvation. - Christ was offered once to bear our sins (Heb 9:28). This clearly refutes the Roman Catholic practice of the mass, where Christ is offered as a sacrifice repeatedly in the communion elements, which they believe become the actual body and blood of Christ. Catholic theologians claim that the priests are making present the eternal and timeless sacrifice of Christ (P. H. Davids, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. by Walter Elwell [Baker], p. 697). But the average Catholic worshiper scarcely understands such fine distinctions! They do not understand that the instant they trust in Christ’s all-sufficient sacrifice, God forgives all their sins and imputes the righteousness of Christ to them.
Christ’s Second Coming will not be with reference to sin, since that issue was completely resolved at His first coming. Rather, He will appear for salvation for those who eagerly await Him. There are three tenses to our salvation. We were saved in the past at the moment we trusted in Christ. Presently, we are being saved as God works His holiness into our daily lives. And, in the future when Christ comes, we shall be saved completely and finally. “When He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2). Because of this great promise,
D. Those whom Christ has saved eagerly await His coming. The picture behind the last phrase of 9:28 is of Jewish believers on the Day of Atonement. Their high priest took the blood and went out of their sight, behind the veil, to make atonement for their sins. The minutes that he was there seemed like hours, as they anxiously awaited his reappearance. Finally, he came out again, and the people rejoiced because they knew that God had accepted their offering and their sins were covered (see F. F. Bruce, Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews [Eerdmans], pp. 223-224). Even so, our High Priest has gone into the true Holy of Holies in heaven, out of our sight. He took His own blood with Him. We eagerly wait to see Him come again, because then all of God’s promises of salvation will be fully realized!
Do you eagerly await the coming of our Lord? As Paul faced martyrdom, he wrote, “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day.” Then he added, “and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2Ti 4:8). If, because Jesus Christ is your Savior you love His appearing, then He will not mete out judgment, but as the righteous Judge, He will award you the crown of righteousness.
Conclusion - Years ago, in a frontier town, a horse bolted and ran away with a wagon that had a little child in it. A young man risked his life to catch the horse, stop it, and rescue the child. Sadly, the rescued child grew up to become a lawless man. One day he stood before a judge to be sentenced for a serious crime. The prisoner recognized the judge as the same man who, years before, had saved his life. He pled for mercy on the basis of that experience. But the words from the bench silenced all his pleas: “Young man, then I was your savior; today I am your judge, and I must sentence you to be hanged” (“Our Daily Bread,” 8/84).
Today, Jesus Christ offers salvation to all who will trust in Him. But if we refuse to turn to Him in faith, one day we will stand before Him as our righteous Judge. Will you die and face judgment? Or, will you trust in Christ’s supreme sacrifice of Himself for your sins and receive His salvation? (Hebrews 9:23-28 Judgment or Salvation?)
|He has appeared at Calvary's Cross for propitiation of our sins||He does appear at the right hand of the throne of God to carry out intercession for us||He shall appear at the Second Advent for the final deliverance of His elect.|
|He has appeared for our redemption.||He does appear for our representation.||He shall appear for our rewards at His Second Coming.|
|He has appeared in humiliation.||He does appear
|He shall appear in world wide manifestation.|
|He has appeared for atonement.||He does appear at the right hand of the Father in priesthood.||He shall appear for salvation.|
|He has appeared for justification.||He does appear for sanctification (which He carries out now on our behalf)||He shall appear for our glorification.|
THREE TENSES OF SALVATION
IN HEBREWS 9
Hebrews 9:24, 26, 27, 28 in a sense pictures all three "tenses" of salvation (see study of Three Tenses of Salvation)…
Hebrews 9:24 (note) For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us (Ed: This speaks of Christ's present tense work for us as we are in the process of being progressively sanctified);
Hebrews 9:26 (note) Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested (phaneroo = to make an an external manifestation to the senses which is visible for all to see) to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Which makes possible "past tense" salvation or justification by faith)
Hebrews 9:27 (note) And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,
Hebrews 9:28 (note) so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him (Ed: This is His future tense work at which time we receive our glorified bodies).
TO THOSE WHO EAGERLY AWAIT: tois auton apekdechomenois (PMPMPD) eis soterian:
To those who eagerly await - The Jewish readers would have been familiar with the OT ceremony surrounding the Day of Atonement. On that Day the people eagerly waited for the High Priest to come back out of the Holy of Holies. When he appeared, they knew that the sacrifice on their behalf had been accepted by God. In the same way, when Christ appears at His Second Coming, it will be confirmation that the Father has been fully satisfied with the Son’s sacrifice on behalf of believers. At that point salvation will be consummated (cf.1Pe 1:3, 4, 5).
Spurgeon - At His coming He will set His foot upon the dragon’s head and bruise Satan under our feet. He will come to have all His enemies put under His feet. Today we fight, and He fights in us. We groan and He groans in us, for the dread conflict is raging. When He comes again the battle will be ended. He shall divide the spoil of vanquished evil and celebrate the victory of righteousness. I will tell you what it is to look for that second appearing. It is to love the Lord Jesus, to love Him so that you long for Him as a bride longs for her husband. Why are His chariots so long in coming? Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Strong love hates separation, it pines for union. It cries, “Come, Lord! Come, Lord!” Longing follows on the heels of loving. To look for His coming is to prepare for Him. If I were asked to visit you tomorrow evening, I am sure you would make some preparations for my call—even for one so commonplace as myself. You would prepare, because you would welcome me. If you expected the Queen to call, how excited you would be! What preparation good housewives would make for a royal visitor! When we expect our Lord to come, we shall be concerned to have everything ready for Him. I sometimes see the great gates open in front of the larger houses in the suburbs, and it means that they are expecting company. Keep the great gates of your soul always open, expecting your Lord to come.
Vine has an interesting comment noting that "As the high priest of old, having gone into the Holy of Holies to do his service on behalf of the nation of Israel, reappeared to the people, so will Christ appear again on behalf of His saints. Those who wait for Him are not spoken of as a select number who will be waiting, in contrast to those who are not in that attitude. The phrase, which in the original consists of the definite article with the present participle of the verb (apekdechomai), is equivalent to the name of a whole company, and is descriptive of believers as a class of people whose characteristic attitude is that of waiting for Christ. (Ibid)
Who eagerly await (553) (apekdechomai from apó = intensifier + ekdéchomai = expect, look for <> from ek = out + déchomai = receive kindly, accept deliberately and readily) (Click word study on apekdechomai) means waiting in great anticipation but with patience (compare our English expression "wait it out"). To expect fully. To look (wait) for assiduously (marked by careful unremitting attention) and patiently. )
Apekdechomai - 8x in 8v (No uses in the Non-apocryphal LXX) - Rom 8:19, 23, 25; 1 Cor 1:7; Gal 5:5; Phil 3:20; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 3:20. NAS = awaiting eagerly(1), eagerly await(1), eagerly wait(1), wait eagerly(1), waiting(2), waiting eagerly(1), waits eagerly(1).
Kenneth Wuest explains that apekdechomai is "a Greek word made up of three words put together, the word, “to receive,” (dechomai) which speaks of a welcoming or appropriating reception such as is tendered to a friend who comes to visit one; the word “off,” (apo) speaking here of the withdrawal of one’s attention from other objects, and the word “out,” (ek) used here in a perfective sense which intensifies the already existing meaning of the word. The composite word speaks of an attitude of intense yearning and eager waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus into the air to take His Bride to heaven with Him, the attention being withdrawn from all else and concentrated upon the Lord Jesus." (Wuest Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, Volume 5, Page 102 - Comments on use in Php 3:20+ "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;")
Apekdechomai is in the present tense indicating this is a heavenly citizen's continual mindset (Do you frequently contemplate His return beloved?) and the middle voice which indicates the subject is the beneficiary of the waiting. Wuest picks up on this nuance of the middle voice with the translation "eagerly waiting to welcome the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to receive Him to ourselves" where "to ourselves" is the reflexive aspect of the middle voice. What a beautiful picture of the Bride, His Church, waiting to receive Him to herself! A waiting, welcoming mindset will motivate the bride to keep herself pure and holy.
Stated another way, present tense waiting speaks of one's lifestyle as marked by an "upward outlook". Such a saint lives focused on the things above (Col 3:1, 2 see notes Col 3:1; 3:2) and not on the temporal things of this world nor the passing pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25- note). Those things which are seen are temporal and those which are unseen are eternal (2Cor 4:18-note) because we know we have a better possession, an abiding one (Hebrews 10:34-note). Now we are to live as those who see Him Who is unseen. (Matthew 5:8 note, Hebrews 11:27-note). They are constantly assiduously and patiently waiting for and fully expect His appearance at any moment!
Waiting is not passive but the most active life you would have ever believed possible because you are redeeming the time (see Ephesians 5:16-note). When the Church losing the sense of imminency, she becomes listless, lethargic and tends to compromise with this present world.
Marvin Vincent writes that…
the compounded preposition apo denotes the withdrawal of attention from inferior objects. The word is habitually used in the New Testament with reference to a future manifestation of the glory of Christ or of His people. (Vincent, Marvin R. - Word Studies in the New Testament Vol. 3, Page 1-453)
A T Robertson adds that apekdechomai is a…
Rare and late double compound (perfective use of prepositions like wait out) which vividly pictures Paul’s eagerness for the Second Coming of Christ as the normal attitude of the Christian colonist whose home is heaven. (Robertson, A. T. Word Pictures in the New Testament)
Apekdechomai pictures waiting in great anticipation but with patience. Awaiting eagerly and expectantly for some future event and so to look forward eagerly. Note that seven of the eight NT uses of apekdechomai are related in some way to our blessed hope, the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. (See also Rapture vs Second Coming.)
As alluded to above, in the Jewish context of the Day of Atonement the picture of EAGERLY WAITING brings to mind the anxious, almost fearful waiting of the people of Israel as they anticipated the emergence of the High Priest from the Holy Place on the Day of Atonement… one could almost sense an audible gasp of relief as his appearance alive signaled that the sacrifice had been acceptable to Yahweh (Yahweh was "satisfied" = propitiated cp Ro 3:25-note, Heb 2:17-note) and their sins were covered for the past year!
WHO are "those who eagerly await Me"? We know that the writer is addressing this book primarily to Jewish believers (some of whom are only professors and not possessors of eternal life), so that this verse could have very special meaning to those Jews who are alive at the end of the last 3.5 yrs which Jesus referred to as the Great Tribulation when the Messiah returns and brings salvation to those Jews who eagerly await Him not shrinking back in face of the most fierce "anti-Semitism" the world has ever known ~ the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7 - see notes), Daniel's time of distress (Daniel 12:1 -see notes Da 12:1), Jesus' Great Tribulation (see notes) (Mt 24:13 - see note Mt 24:13). At the appointed time of the end "all Israel" will be saved (Ro 11:25-note; Ro 11:26-note, Zech 12:10,11, 13:8,9 see notes Zec 12:10,11, 13:8,9, and Da 12:10-note). Obviously the verse is applicable to those Gentiles who come out of the tribulation ("great multitude" - see Revelation 7:9-note) refusing the Mark of the beast 666 (Revelation 13:16; 17; 18 notes Re 13:16; 17; 18).
Barnes writes that…
It is one of the characteristics of Christians that they look for the return of their Lord, 2 Timothy 2:13 (note), 2 Peter 3:12 (note); comp. 1Th 1:10 (note). They fully believe that he will come. They earnestly desire that he will come, 2Ti 4:8 (note), Revelation 22:20 (note). They are waiting for his appearing, 1Th 1:10 (note).. He left the world and ascended to heaven, but he will again return to the earth, and his people are looking for that time as the period when they shall be raised up from their graves; when they shall be publicly acknowledged to be his, and when they shall be admitted to heaven. John 14:3. — Barnes' Notes on the New Testament
Spurgeon (Faith's Checkbook)…
This is our hope. He to whom we have already looked as coming once to bear the sins of many will have another manifestation to the sons of men; this is a happy prospect in itself. But that second appearing has certain peculiar marks which glorify it exceedingly.
Our Lord will have ended the business of sin. He has so taken it away from His people and so effectually borne its penalty that He will have nothing to do with it at His Second Coming. He will present no sin offering, for He will have utterly put sin away.
Our Lord will then complete the salvation of His people. They will be finally and perfectly saved and will in every respect enjoy the fullness of that salvation. He comes not to bear the result of our transgressions but to bring the result of His obedience; not to remove our condemnation but to perfect our salvation.
Our Lord thus appears only to those who look for Him. He will not be seen in this character by men whose eyes are blinded with self and sin. To them He will be a terrible Judge and nothing more. We must first look to Him and then look for Him; and in both cases our look shall be life.
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.
We were out on the lake and the fish were biting. Suddenly we heard a rumble in the distance. Looking up, we saw a mass of dark clouds in the west. The sound of thunder warned of a coming storm. It was a long way off, I thought, so I didn't heed the suggestion of my fishing partner that we start back to the cottage. I hoped the bad weather would move to the north or south of us. But then it happened! A fresh breeze sprang up, and the clouds mounted quickly overhead. We tried starting the motor—but no response. I cranked while my partner rowed frantically. The waves became whitecaps; the rain came in sheets; and the gale tossed our aluminum boat like an autumn leaf. That experience taught me a valuable lesson. Never wait when a storm is brewing!
It also preached a powerful sermon. Judgment is coming! It may seem far off to those who are in good health, but our motor can "conk out" at any time. To heed the foreboding signals of death is true wisdom. Look in the mirror before you go to work and observe some of its warnings. Notice those gray hairs and wrinkles. Remember your stiffening joints, shortness of breath, that dizzy spell—it's all "thunder in the distance." Why not hasten to find shelter in Christ before it is too late? Don't depend on your motor or the oars of self-effort. You will have no excuse, for you have been warned! —M. R. De Haan, M.D. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
We are not truly ready to live until we are prepared to die.
THE PERFECT SACRIFICE - High atop the main pyramid of the temple of Tenochtitlan in Mexico, the ancient Aztecs performed their vile ritual of human sacrifice. According to their beliefs, the sun god needed the nourishment of human blood to drive back the darkness each dawn.
Human sacrifice is abhorrent to us -- and even more so to God. That makes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ so amazing. yet as we examine it, we see how different it was from those tragically misguided pagan rituals.
God's Word tells us that because of Adam's fall sin entered the human family. Because God is holy, something would have to be done to take away sin if man was to be restored to fellowship with Him. Jesus, who was God in the flesh, alone lived a perfect life and could open the way to God by paying the penalty for man's sin. And His sacrifice did that for us.
The Aztecs sacrificed human beings, hoping to appease the whims of the gods. The living and true God, however, sent His own Son to die in our place, thus satisfying both the demands of His holiness and the desires of His love. In God's righteous Son Jesus we have a perfect sacrifice. But just to know that truth is not enough. We must accept Him.
Have you put your trust in God's perfect sacrifice?-- J. David Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Here we rest in wonder, viewing
All our sins on Jesus laid,
And a full redemption flowing
From the sacrifice He made.-- Shirley
Our salvation is free because Christ paid the price.
WHEN THE END IS A BEGINNING - "Jesus Christ… has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." - 2Ti 1:10
Our faith in Jesus Christ ought to make a difference in the way we live -- and in the way we die.
God wants us to live with zest and happiness. Indeed, Jesus said He came to offer us abundant life (Jn 10:10). Paul too affirmed that God "gives us richly all things to enjoy" (1Ti 6:17).
Yet we can't escape the fact that our days on earth are numbered. So it is wise to think about our inevitable appointment with death (Heb 9:27).
Is our attitude toward our departure from this world like that of famous scientist Marie Curie, who with her husband Pierre discovered radium? When he was accidentally killed, she lamented, "It is the end of everything, everything, everything!"
Our attitude should be radically different. Because of our trust in the death-conquering Savior, we can say as a young German theologian did the night before the Nazis hanged him in 1945, "For me, this is the beginning."
For the believer, death is the end of all pain, loneliness, and sorrow, the end of whatever has made this life less than abundant, and the beginning of unimaginable blessing (Rev 21:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). That prospect enables us to exclaim, "O Death, where is your sting?" (1Co 15:55).- Vernon C. Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
To Him I trust my soul, my dust,
When flesh and spirit sever;
The Christ we sing has plucked the sting
Away from death forever.-- Anon.
Christ is the difference between hope and hopelessness.
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TODAY IN THE WORD - In our secular culture we can easily forget about the connection between the events we celebrate at Christmas and Easter. Hebrews reminds us that all of Jesus’ life on earth–His birth, growth, death, and resurrection–belongs together. Jesus’ life is unified by one goal: the eradication of sin (Hebrews 9:26-note). We must not forget that the accomplishment of this goal was not an end in itself; rather, the superior sacrifice of Jesus was made so that God’s people can “receive the promised eternal inheritance,” namely salvation (Hebrews 9:15, 9:28 - see notes He 9:15, 28).
Why, we may ask, did Jesus have to die to accomplish our salvation? Our text today addresses this very question. God’s covenants are much like a will–they cannot go into effect apart from death (Heb 9:16; 17; 18 -see notes He9:16; 17; 18). So, the promises of God regarding the forgiveness of sins are ratified by sacrifice. The old covenant teaches us that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22-note).
The problem, as we have seen, is that the old covenant sacrifices only made things clean on the outside. The blood of bulls and goats didn’t open the way into the real, heavenly sanctuary–God’s very presence (Hebrews 9:8-9, 13). This is why a superior sacrifice was required. This is why Jesus had to die, and also why He has become the mediator of a new and better covenant (see Hebrews 9:15-note). The cleansing accomplished by Jesus opens the way into the very presence of God (Hebrews 9:24) and sets us free from sin and judgment so that, when He comes again, we will receive the promised eternal salvation in full (see Hebrews 9:5-note, 26-28).
TODAY ALONG THE WAY - With good reason some hymnals list Charles Wesley’s great hymn “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” as both a Christmas and an Easter hymn. As you finish your devotions today, meditate on the words of this classic song. (Copyright Moody Bible Institute. Used by permission. All rights reserved)
Way Into the Holiest
F B Meyer in Way Into the Holiest writes the following comments on Hebrews 9:15-28 that…
ROUND and round this ancient window into the past (Hebrews 9:15-28) is bound the red cord of blood. Twelve times at the very least does this solemn, this awful, word occur. The devil himself seems to admit that it is invested with some mystic potency; else why should he compel so many of his miserable followers to interlard each phrase they utter by some reference to it? Man cannot look on or speak of blood without an involuntary solemnity; unless, indeed, he has done despite to some of the deepest instincts of his being, or through familiarity has learned con-tempt. And we feel whilst reading this chapter, as if we have come into the very heart of the deepest of all mysteries, the most solemn of all solemnities, the most awful of all tragedies or martyrdoms or sacrificial rites. Take off the shoes from your feet; for the place on which we stand together now is holy ground.
Blood is becoming increasingly recognized as one of the most important constituents of the human body. Scientific and other research is more and more inclined to verify the ancient sayings, which may have been broken in the colleges of Egypt, where Moses learned the most advanced science of his time, before ever they were stamped with the imprimatur of inspiration, "the blood is the life"; "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Deut 12:23; Lev. 17:2). We know that the red corpuscles of the blood play an important function in carrying the oxygen of the air to consume the decaying tissues, and to light fires in every part of the human frame. But who can tell all the mysterious functions of the numberless colorless disks which float along the currents of the blood, and which may be intimately connected with the very essence of our vitality? Certain it is that impoverished blood means decrepit life; tainted blood means corruption and disease; ebbing blood means waning life. The first effort of the physician is to feel the pulse of the blood; whilst the most fatal disease is the poisoning of the blood. The blood is the life. And shed blood is life poured forth from its source and fountain-head.
There is nothing, therefore, in man more precious than blood. If he gives that, he gives the best he has to give. His blood is his life-his all; and it is a noble act when a man is ready to make this supreme gift for others. It is this which lights up the devilry of war, and sheds a transient gleam of nobility on the coarsest, roughest soldiery, that they are prepared to sacrifice their lives in torrents of blood, to beat the foeman back from hearth and home and fatherland. This is why women have treasured up handkerchiefs dipped in the blood that has flowed on the heads-man's block from the veins of martyrs for liberty or religion. This is why men point without a shudder to the stains of blood on blades that have been drawn in freedom's holy cause; or on tattered banners which led the fight against the battalions of Paganism or Popery. This is why the historian of the Church does not feel too dainty to make frequent reference to the blood which flowed in rivers on the eve of the Sicilian Vespers, and on the day of black St. Bartholomew. No, we glory in the blood which noble men have poured out as water on the ground. None of us is too sensitive to dwell with exultation on the phrase.
Why, then, should we hesitate to speak of the blood of Christ? It was royal blood. "His own" (Hebrews 9:12-note); and he was a King indeed. It was voluntarily shed: " He offered himself" (see Hebrews 9:14-note). It was pure "innocent blood," "without spot" (see Hebrews 9:14-note). It was sacrificial. He died not as a martyr, but as a Saviour (see Hebrews 9:26-note). It flowed from his head, thorn-girt, that it might atone for sins of thought; from his hands and feet, fast nailed, that it might expiate sins of deed and walk; from his side, that it might wipe out the sins of our affections, as well as tell us of his deep and fervent love, which could not be confined within the four chambers of his heart, but must find vent in falling on the earth. Why should we be ashamed of the blood of Christ? No other phrase will so readily or sufficiently gather up all the complex thoughts which mingle in the death of Christ. Life; life shed; life shed violently; life shed violently, and as a sacrifice; life passing forth by violence, and sacrificially, to become a tide of which we must also all stoop down and drink, if we desire to have life in ourselves (Jn 6:53, 54, 55, 56).
"This is he that came by water and blood; not by water only, but by water and blood" (1John 5:6).
Oh, precious words, recalling that never-to-be-forgotten incident when, following the rugged point of the soldier's spear, there came out blood and water from the Saviour's broken heart (John 19:34). Had it been water only, we had been undone. Water might do for respectable sinners-fifty-pence debtors, Pharisees, who are not sinners as other men. But some of us feel water would be of no avail at all. Our sins are so deep-dyed, so inveterate, so fast, that nothing but blood could set us free. Blood must atone for us. Blood must cleanse us. In other words, life must be shed to redeem us, such life as is poured from the very being of the Son of God.
But there is a deep sense in which that blood is flowing, washing, cleansing, and feeding soul, all down the age. Like the stream of desert, it follows us. "It speaketh" pleading with God for man, and with man for God (see Heb 12:24 note). "It cleanseth," not as a single past act, but as a perpetual experience in the believer's soul, removing recent sin, and checking the uprisings of our evil nature (1Jn 1:7). It is the drink of all devout souls; and its perennial presence and efficacy is well symbolized by the appearance still on the communion table of the church of the wine, which tells the worshiper that the blood of Calvary, once shed, and never shed again, is a s fresh and efficacious as ever, or as the wine poured freshly into the cup. Let men say what they will, the shedding of the blood of Christ is an embodiment of an eternal fact in the Being of God, and is an essential condition of the healthy life of man.
It purges the defiled conscience more completely than the ashes of a heifer purged of flesh of the ceremonially unclean (see Hebrews 9:14 note). Why, then, do you carry about the perpetual consciousness of sin? Confess sin instantly (see discussion of Confessing Sins and J C Ryle's Do You Confess?), of ever you are aware of it. Claim the blood of sprinkling, and go at once top serve the living God.
by Martha Snell Nicholson
I sinned, and straightway, post-haste, Satan flew
Before the presence of the Most-High God,
And made a railing accusation there.
He said, “This soul, this thing of clay and sod,
Has sinned. “Tis true that he has named thy Name,
But I demand his death, for Thou has said,
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. ”Shall not
Thy sentence be fulfilled? Is justice dead?
Send now this wretched sinner to his doom.
What other thing can righteous ruler do?”
And thus he did accuse me day and night.
And every word he spoke, Oh God, was true!
Then quickly One rose up from God's right hand,
Before whose glory angels veiled their eyes.
He spoke. “Each jot and tittle of the law
Must be fulfilled” The guilty sinner dies!
But wait. Suppose his guilt was all transferred
To Me and that I paid his penalty!
Behold my hands, my side, my feet! One day
I was made sin for him, and died that he,
Might be presented faultless, at Thy throne!”
And Satan fled away, full well he knew
That he could not prevail against such love.
For every word my dear Lord spoke was true!
(Meyer continues) It put away the sin of previous dispensation. It was in virtue of the death to be suffered on Calvary that the holy God was able to forgive the offences and accept the imperfect services of Old Testament saints. The shadow of the cross fell backward, as well as forward. And it is because of what Jesus did that all have been saved, who have passed within the pearly gate, or shall pass it (Hebrews 9:15 note, and compare Romans 4:24 [note]).
It ratifies the covenant. No covenant was ratified in the old time, except in blood. When God entered into covenant with Abraham, five victims were divided in the midst, making a lane, down which the fire-symbol of the divine presence passed. "There is of necessity the death of the covenant maker." And in pursuance of this ancient custom, the first covenant was solemnly sealed by blood (see Hebrews 9:18 note; Hebrews 9:19 note). How sure and steadfast must that covenant be into which God has entered with our Surety on our behalf! The blood of Jesus is an asseveration which cannot be gain-said or transgressed. All God's will is opened to us since Jesus died. We may claim what we will. We are his heirs, the heirs of the wealth of our Elder Brother, Jesus.
It opens the way into the holies. What the high-priest did every year in miniature, Christ has done once (Hebrews 9:24, 25, 26). "He died unto sin once." By virtue of his own shed blood, he went once for all into the real holiest place, appearing in the presence of God for us as our High-Priest, and leaving the way forever open to those who dare to follow. "The heavenly things themselves" need cleansing; not because of any intrinsic evil in themselves, but because they are constantly being used and trodden by sinful men. Now, however, though that is so, there is an efficacy in the work of Jesus which is always counterveiling our impurity, and making it possible for us to draw near to God with boldness and acceptance.
It put away sin. "Once for all." " Once in the end of the world." Not for each dispensation, but for all dispensations. Not for one age, but for all ages Not for a few, but for the "many," comprehending the vastness of the number which no man can compute of the great family of man. As the year's sin of a nation was borne away into the desert by the scapegoat, and put away, so was the whole sin of the race centered on the head of Jesus. He was made sin. As a physician might be imagined drawing on himself all the maladies of his patients, so did Jesus draw to himself and assume all the sins of mankind. He was the propitiation for the whole world. And when he died, he dropped sin as a stone into the depths of oblivion. And he put away sin. The Greek word is very strong; annihilated, made nothing of made as though it had never been. Sin, in the mind and purpose of God, is as entirely done away as a debt when it is paid. Hallelujah! in heaven and on earth (see Revelation 5:9-note; Re1:5-note). But whilst this is an eternal truth with him who knows not our distinctions of time, yet it will avail only as a fact when each individual sinner lays claim to this wonderful provision, confesses his sin, and realizes that there is now no longer condemnation, because the Lamb of God has borne away his sin and the world's. Will you now dare to reckon this to be true for you, not because you feel it, but because God says it? Dare to repeat 1 Peter 2:24 (note), and Isaiah 53:5, substituting "my" for "our.
"What marvelous appearances are these three! He appeared once in the end of the world as a sacrifice. He appears now in heaven as a Priest. He will appear the second time without sin unto salvation; as of old the high priest, at the close of the day of atonement, came out with outstretched hands to bless the people. Oh, to be looking for him, that we may not miss the radiant vision or the tender blessing of peace!