The Blood of Christ
Comments for Study 7
Memory Verse 8:1
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I. The Earthly Tabernacle (9:1-10)
>1. What were some of the things of the earthly sanctuary? (1-5) Why do you think the author didn't want to discuss them at the time of writing?
Hebrews 9:1-5 "Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lamp stand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now."
* "Now" -The author continues he train of thought in the previous chapter.
* "the first covenant" -The covenant between the Lord and Israel at Mt. Sinai. It is obsolete and will soon disappear because the Lord found fault with the people, the broke the covenant. (8:13)
* "tabernacle" -The covenant with Israel centered around worship at the tabernacle (tent). (Ex. 25-30) The tabernacle moved with the people until they reached the promised land. Eventually, the LORD told them, when they occupied the promised land the tabernacle would be replaced by a permanent temple at a sight he had chosen. Jerusalem, on the same mountain Abraham offered Isaac.
* "lamp stand" -Exodus 25:31-40
* "the table and the consecrated bread" -Exodus 25:23-30
* "golden altar of incense" -Exodus 27:1-8 and 30:1-10
* "gold-covered ark of the covenant" -Exodus 25:10-22
* "the gold jar of manna" -Exodus 16:31-36
* "Aaron's staff that had budded" -Numbers 17:8-13
* "But we cannot discuss these things now" -The author wanted to move onto his point about the new covenant. Why even bring them up? The author was writing Hebrews (Jews) in Jerusalem from Italy (13:24) Perhaps to show them he knew about the old covenant's system of worship..
>2. What was the outer room for? (6) What was the inner room for? (7) who entered it? What one requirement was needed to enter the inner room? (8) What was it needed for? What could it not clear?
Hebrews 9:6-7 "When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance."
* Different people were given different access to the tabernacle and later the temple. The LORD would reside in the temple. He would be with his people. (25:22) However, because of our sins and his holiness, the people were only allowed in the courtyard outside the temple. (27:9-17, 38:9-20) The priest were the only ones allowed in the temple. The two parts of the temple and who entered them is talked about here in Hebrews.
* "the sins the people had committed in ignorance" -Just because a person doesn't know, doesn't understand, or rejects the law (written and unwritten) doesn't take away from the fact that we have sinned. Paul talks about this in Romans.
* "once a year" -On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the tenth day of the seventh month (Lev 16:29, 34). Leviticus 16 describes the annual event.
>3. What were all the things of the old way for? How long were they needed?
Hebrews 9:8-10 "The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings--external regulations applying until the time of the new order.
* "The Holy Spirit was showing" -The Holy Spirit showed Moses the pattern for the tabernacle and its worship on Mt. Sinai as often stated in Exodus.
* "the way into the Most Holy Place" -The author later in the letter will state that sacrificed blood was the way to enter.
* "as long as the first tabernacle was still standing" -A tent was the first. King David designed and his son Solomon built the first temple. It was destroyed and rebuilt when the Jews came back from captivity. Herod the great expanded this temple just before Jesus came into the world and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
* "This is an illustration for the present time" -The entire system of worship was a foreshadow of things to come, things we now understand. As a person studies the old testament, especially the first five books it is important to remember that God used all that to point to Jesus, his ministry, and what it means for our relationship with him, the one and only true God..
* "not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper" -Sin was forgiven by faith, yet they still felt guilty. Since the onld system was a foreshadow and not the real thing it could do nothing to help sinners be free from sin, guilt, and death.
* Jesus taught, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean." (Matt. 23:25-26)
* "until the time of the new order" -The author makes it clear that we are in the time of the new order. When Jesus will come again, this order will end and a new one will begin.
II. The Blood of Christ (9:11-28)
>4. When Jesus died and rose again where did he go? What did he bring with him? What did he obtain? What does Jesus' blood cleanse that the old system could not? (14) Why?
Hebrews 9:11 "When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation."
* When Jesus rose from the dead he said to Mary at the tomb, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (John 20:17) Then he went to above the heavens and presented himself to his father, as the firstfruits offering. (John 14:3, 12, 28; 16:10, 28) This is what this verse is referring to. Then he returned to earth and was with his disciples for forty days. (Acts 1:3) Then he ascended again and was seated at the Father's right hand where he has been to this day acting as our great high priest. He will come again soon to start a new a glorious age, one that the author of this letter mentions several times.
Hebrews 9:12-13 "He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean."
* "by means of the blood of goats and calves" -Numbers 19.
* "once for all" -Jesus only need to offer himself once for everyone who will be a part of the kingdom of God.
* "having obtained eternal redemption" -We are forever redeemed. Redeemed is a slave transaction meaning to recover ownership by paying a sum (price). Jesus' blood was the price to redeem those under slavery to sin and death to be bought back to the rightful owner, God.
Hebrews 9:14 "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"
* "unblemished" -Without sin. Jesus' blood is unique in that it was not tainted by Adam's nor his own sin. See earlier study in Hebrews.
* "so that we may serve the living God" -Once redeemed we can now serve God. We have service to do while in this world. Jesus taught, "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4) Our work is not random. we work for (serve) the living God. We do his work; not our own.
Hebrews 9:15 "For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant."
* "mediator" -Go between, acting on both parties behalf.
* "may receive the promised eternal inheritance" -We have not received it now. We will when Jesus comes again. Once received it remains eternally. Inheritance is obtained from another when they die. Jesus died and we inherited what is his. It is still his, yet he shares it with us. The author repeats this several times in this letter.
* "inherit" -Jeremiah 31:31-34 quoted in 8:8-12)
>5. What is needed for a will to be enacted? (16-17) What did Moses do and proclaim at the introduction of the old covenant? (18-21) Why? (22)
Hebrews 9:16-17 "In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living."
* A will is needed for one to inherit something.
Hebrews 9:18-22 "This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, "This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep." In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."
* "first covenant was not..." -The death for the first covenant was the death of animals.
* Exodus 24:4-8
>6. What did Jesus do at his first coming? What will be do at his second coming?
Hebrews 9:23-26 "It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself."
* "now to appear for us in God's presence" -He has been there for us for nearly two thousand non-stop earth years.
* "at the end of the ages" -The ages of mankind started at creation mark the restoration of paradise. Some believe the ages are one thousand years each with there being a total of seven ages (reflecting seven days of creation) and us being right now at the end of the sixth age and the Millennium being the seventh and last age of restoration. Other ancient cultures also refer to ages of mankind.
Hebrews 9:27-28 "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."
* "die once" -physically
* "after that" -physical death is not the end of existence.
* "face judgement" -all face judgement. The unredeemed will be a judgement leading to eternal separation (punishment). Believers will stand before Jesus and give an account for their life. This is mentioned in this letter.
* "will appear a second time" -Jesus will come again. This is a common theme in the Old and New Testament. Before his coming very few if anyone knew that there would be two thousand years between his two comings, even though the Old Testament hinted it.
* "to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him' -One of the themes of Jesus' teachings. (i.e. the virgins and their lamps, the rich young worker and the servants he put in charge of his field, etc.)
III. Christ's Sacrifice Once For All (10:1-18)
>7. What was the old covenant capable of and not capable of? What did Jesus do because of this?
Hebrews 10:1-4 "The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins."
* "The law" -Most say this is the first five books of the Old Testament (aka Pentateuch). Others point out this the law is all of the Old Testament. The Greek word here "nomos" is always translated law in the KJV. 'Nomos' root meaning is; "to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals."
* "is only a shadow of the good things" -When a light shines on something a mean though not complete image is the shadow. The shadow has not depth, color, sound and temperature. It only gives a small idea of how the real object looks.
* "that are coming" -They have not fully come. They are still on the way. This age is also a shadow of that which is coming.
* "those who draw near to worship" -Since the old was a shadow of what was coming the worshipper had to recognize that it was a shadow. That is why faith is so important and a part of worship. Faith reflects the hope that God will accomplish his love and will.
* "felt guilty for their sins" -We get a sense that the writer worshipped the old way and still felt guilty.
* "those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins" -In other letters Paul makes this same claim; all the law did was point out sin in our inner self.
Hebrews 10:5-10 "Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am--it is written about me in the scroll-- I have come to do your will, O God.'" First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
* This is the conclusion that the author keeps telling us. All points to Jesus' work on the cross.
>8. What did Jesus do when he assented to heaven? What is he waiting for?
Hebrews 10:11-14 "Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."
* "waits for his enemies to be made a footstool" -Quoted at the beginning of the letter.
* "those who are being made holy" -God's work with us in continual while we are in this flesh.
Hebrews 10:15-18 "The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin."
* "The Holy Spirit also testifies" -Through the prophets.
* "I will write them" -This is what is meant by the statement, "We live by the Spirit." Our relationship with God the Spirit is dynamic. He interacts with us continually. We can accept his leading or reject his leading. Rejecting his leading causes our hearts to grow hard. Thus, the word written on our heart will become no good to our life of faith; a faith that becomes dead.
IV. Perseverance (10:19-39)
>9. Because of what Jesus did, what five things can we do with confidence? (22-25) What hope do we have? What Day is approaching?
Hebrews 10:19-25 "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
* "Therefore" -After repeating his point several times he makes a concluding statement.
* "brother" -Brothers in the family of God with Jesus our oldest brother, the firstborn, the heir of all things. The author views himself equal in all that he is writing to them.
* "we have confidence" -based in Jesus and his work, the shedding of his blood for us, members of his family.
* "to enter the Most Holy Place" -the very throne of God in heaven. For now we enter by prayers. When we get to heaven we can go in whenever he summons us.
* "curtain... his body" -we enter to the place of God through Jesus very being.
* "let us" -The author gives five of these. They are directions based on what Jesus has done for his family.
1) draw near to God
2) hold to the hope we profess
3) spur one another on toward love and good deeds
4) keep meeting together
5) encourage one another
* "with a sincere heart" -We come as we are, with humility. Jesus said to a Samaritan women, "Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:21-24)
* "hold unswervingly to the hope we profess" -Jesus promised us, "I will come and take you to be with me in my Father's house with many rooms."
* "toward love and good deeds" -repeated several times in this letter. Jesus himself told his disciples to, "love one another." He called it a new commandment.
* "not give up meeting together" -There are many reasons we could come up on why we don't want to meet with another believer in Jesus. We all have different characters. Jesus apostles had different characters and ideas. They often argued together about things that in the end really didn't matter. Are we any different than the twelve? And what of Paul and Barnabas? They worked together many years but let a disagreement between them cause them to stop working together on missions for a while. Love our brothers in the Lord is difficult while we are in this world. Yet we are to love each other based on what Jesus did.
>10. What does it mean by deliberately keep on sinning? If someone hears the truth and keeps on doing this, what awaits them? Who will judge God's people?
Hebrews 10:26-31 "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
* "deliberately" -We know it is wrong and yet keep sinning. This is resisting the Holy Spirit's work.
* "keep on sinning" -As is described in this letter, especially going against the five "let us" just mentioned.
* "after we have received the knowledge of truth" -The truth just lined up in the early part of this chapter and letter.
* "no sacrifice for sins is left for us" -Since Jesus "died once for all." Before you worry remember the author was saying this so that they stop do what they are doing. They could repent. We can always repent and turn to Jesus for forgiveness. Remember Peter denied Jesus three times and yet was forgiven by Jesus. (John 21)
* "judgement" -At the throne of Jesus.
* "raging fire that will consume the enemies of God" -When Jesus comes again and at the final judgement day after the Millennium in hell. I discuss this in my manuscript The Believers Future - Hope that Inspires.
* "the Lord will judge his people" -Jesus taught, "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:47-48)
>11. Describe the Hebrew's earlier faith? What awaits those who persevere to the end? What awaits those who shrink back?
Hebrews 10:32-34 "Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.
33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.
34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions."
* "Remember those earlier days" -As mentioned in an earlier study in Hebrews, some were probably from the original three thousand Jewish converts on Pentecost and some came to know of Jesus by the apostles. They received great persecution, some from Paul who is considered the author of this letter.
* "stood ground in a great contest" -As mentioned in an earlier study God brings what the world calls bad events in our life to test and refine our faith.
* Many believers have undergone these. Some less than others. But all have hardships come because of our faith in Jesus. As the time of the end of this age approaches more and more are killed in the name of Jesus. It is estimated that in the last one hundred years as many believers in Jesus were martyred as the previous nineteen hundred years. Persecution of believers will only increase per Jesus' words and the book of Revelation.
* "better and lasting possessions" -We should always remember what is really important. Jesus taught, "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matt. 10:37-39)
Hebrews 10:35-39 "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved."
* "it will be richly rewarded" -more than we can imagine. How much can you imagine?
* "when you have done the will of God" -Every person has God's will to accomplish. Each person's task is different, and all is given tasks.
* "for just in a little while" -We should always be ready for Jesus' coming. Jesus said, "look" "Watch" and "be ready."
* "you will receive what he has promised" -Salvation is free because Jesus paid the price. However, Jesus will give rewards for a life service by faith.
* This chapter ends with a verse of encouragement. The author rebukes them and us with this letter, but we all have hope while in the flesh for repentance and reinstating.