12th August 2023
Read (Hebrews 9v11-22)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
First posted 3rd November 2022
During the days of the old covenant the priests would offer sacrifice day after day and year after year. Priests would live and die and more priests would follow. In the wilderness and later in the temple this system continued but as we have already discovered, it could do nothing to help the conscience of the worshipper.
The new covenant is the covenant of grace made new in Christ and everything that Christ has ushered in has brought substance to where there was once only shadow. He has entered the heavenly tent which wasn't made by human hands (v11) and He entered that place by His own blood and not that of goats and calves (v12). Christ has secured for us an eternal redemption by His finished work (v12b) which is far superior to the old covenant days.
Back then the blood of goats and calves made the people ceremonially clean and they held back the wrath of God for a time. But they needed to be completed again and again, they were temporary and pointed forward to the sacrifice of Christ which would put an end to sin forever. In this we see God's patience and forbearance. Thanks be to God for His mercy and thanks be to God for Christ.
His blood has done immeasurably more than the blood of animals could ever do. He has paid the price for our sin and He has purified our conscience from dead works (v14). We are no longer slaves to sin but instead we live to serve Almighty God.
Christ is the mediator of the new covenant and this has been established by His death (v16-17). Just as your great-granda made a will that gave all his belongings to his wife after his death, so too has the death of Christ brought great change. The inheritance we have in Christ isn't silver or gold or a bungalow. By His death the old covenant has been put away once and for all and Christ's blood has paid the price for the faithful in every age (v15).
When we sing about the power of Christ's blood we should really, really mean it. During the days of the old covenant Moses sprinkled blood on the book, the people, the tent and all the vessels used in worship (v19-21). This was necessary to inaugurate the old covenant and to purify the people as the came before the Lord.
But the blood of Christ was shed as a ransom for many and without the shedding of His blood there can be no forgiveness for sin (v22). No wonder we say that Christ has ushered in a new and better covenant than the one made with Moses. No more priests ministering in weakness. No more repeated and repeated and repeated sacrifices that can't deal with sin or calm our conscience. Instead we have Jesus and His completed work.
So as the old song goes..."would you be free from your burden of sin? There's power in the blood! Power in the blood!" Amen and amen.
Q16 Did all mankind fall in Adam’s first transgression? The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression.