In the midst of Hebrews 9's heavy theology, there are amazing promises that benefit you right now.
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Hebrews 9 (ESV)
1 Now even the first covenant had
regulations for worship
and an earthly place of holiness.
2 For a tent was prepared,
the first section, in which were
and the table
and the bread of the Presence.
It is called the Holy Place.
3 Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place,
4 having the golden altar of incense
and the ark of the covenant
covered on all sides with gold,
in which was a golden urn holding
and Aaron’s staff that budded,
and the tablets of the covenant.
5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat.
Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 These preparations having thus been made,
go regularly into the first section,
performing their ritual duties,
7 but into the second only the high priest goes,
and he but once a year,
and not without taking blood, which he offers
and for the unintentional sins of the people.
8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that
the way into the holy places is not yet opened
as long as the first section is still standing
9 (which is symbolic for the present age).
According to this arrangement, that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,
gifts and sacrifices
10 but deal only with food and drink
regulations for the body
imposed until the time of reformation.
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come,
then through the greater and more perfect tent
(not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)
12 he entered once for all into the holy places,
not by means of the blood of goats and calves
but by means of his own blood,
thus securing an eternal redemption.
13 For if
the blood of goats and bulls,
and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer,
sanctify for the purification of the flesh,
14 how much more will
the blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit
purify our conscience
from dead works
to serve the living God.
15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant,
those who are called
may receive the promised eternal inheritance,
since a death has occurred
that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
16 For where a will [testament] is involved,
the death of the one who made it must be established.
17 For a will takes effect only at death,
since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.
18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.
19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people,
he took the blood of calves and goats,
with water and scarlet wool and hyssop,
sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.”
21 And in the same way
he sprinkled with the blood
both the tent
and all the vessels used in worship.
22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood,
and without the shedding of blood
there is no forgiveness of sins.
23 Thus it was necessary
for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites,
but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ has entered,
not into holy places
made with hands,
which are copies of the true things,
but into heaven itself,
now to appear
in the presence of God
on our behalf.
25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters the holy places
with blood not his own,
26 for then he would
have had to suffer repeatedly
since the foundation of the world.
But as it is,
he has appeared
once for all
at the end of the ages
put away sin
by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And just as it is appointed
for man to die once,
and after that comes judgment,
28 so Christ, having been offered
to bear the sins of many,
will appear a second time,
not to deal with sin
but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews 9 Summary
Hebrews 9 has one main point, as expressed in v22:
without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
This is why Old Testament worship was so bloody, as we noticed reading Leviticus 16 last week.
The main problem with this sacrificial system, was that although it was visually rich in reminding people that the wages of sin is death, it could never perfect the conscience of the worshiper (v9).
But Christ came as the mediator of a new covenant (v15). Jesus put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (v26).
All of this talk about bloody sacrifices, covenantal language and methods of atonement may not seem very relevant to whatever issues you happen to be facing at the moment.
But don't miss out on the key benefits that Hebrews 9 communicates to you:
v12 - Christ as secured an eternal redemption for you, therefore it can never be taken away! Even though you certainly will experience seasons of doubt, deep down you can be assured that you will always remain saved since your debt has already been paid.
v14 - You have been purified to serve the living God. You're not just going through the motions in life, but everything you do can be done is service to the Lord!
v15 - Since you've been called to Christ, you will receive the promised eternal inheritance. God is with you every moment of life, but yet the best is still to come.
v24 - Christ has appeared, in the presence of God advocating for you on your behalf. What a promise!
v28 - You need not fear the coming judgment since Christ has already dealt with your sin. You can eagerly anticipate His return!
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our faithful Father, and covenant God
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for cleansing your conscience through the blood of Christ so that you may serve Him, the living God (v14)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: