Lesson 31

The Epistle to the Hebrews

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

9:23 It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 9:24 For Christ hasn't entered into holy places made with hands, which are representations of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 9:25 nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy place year by year with blood not his own, 9:26 or else he must have suffered often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the end of the ages, he has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 9:27 Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment, 9:28 so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, without sin, to those who are eagerly waiting for him for salvation.

Today's Lesson   

When Moses ushered in the Law at Mt. Sinai, he did so by sprinkling the people, the tabernacle and the vessels of ministry with the blood of bulls and goats. According to the Law everything is cleansed with blood for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.


Now the things that Moses sanctified with blood were only a copy of heavenly things. The tabernacle of Moses was a shadow of the heavenly tabernacle that was made by the hands of God. If the blood of sacrificial animals sanctified the earthly copies it was necessary that the heavenly tabernacle be cleansed with a better sacrifice. The blood of Jesus Christ cleaned the heavenly tabernacle. His was the more perfect sacrifice because He was the Son of God who offered His life as a substitute for those who are separated from God through sin.


But there is one way in which the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is very different from the sacrifice of the Levitical priest. Under the Law, the priest entered the holy place over and over and offered up their sacrifices for the sins of the people. Jesus offered up His life once for sin. He bore the punishment for the sins of the whole world once for all time. Through His one sacrifice God reconciled Himself to all sinners.


The blood of bulls and goats could never completely cleanse sin because the life of the animal ended with the sacrifice. The sin was dealt with for the moment, but those sacrifices could do nothing for future sins. Because Christ was raised from the dead, His life is eternal. He always lives to intercede for sinners. Because Christ lives forever, the effectiveness of His sacrifice will last forever.


If the sacrifice of Christ were like every other, He would have had to die many times since the foundation of the world. But because His life and His death were precious to the Father, Christ only had to die once for our sins. He will appear a second time, not as a sacrifice for sin, but to gather up those that are eagerly awaiting His return.


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