15th August 2023
Read (Hebrews 9v23-28)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
First posted 5th November 2022
The earthly tabernacle was purified by blood but the heavenly place has Jesus and His better sacrifice (v23). The Christian doesn't need to go on a pilgrimage to a so called "holy place" instead we lift our eyes to glory where Jesus is. Christ has entered into the heavenly temple which was made without hands (v24). The earthly tabernacle was designed by God but made by man and gave a little glimpse of heavenly realities (v24b) but Jesus is in the real place where He appears day by day before God on our behalf (v24c).
Consider that for a wee moment. As a child of God, by faith in Christ, we have a representative, an advocate and a friend who ever lives to intercede for us. This gives us a blessed assurance that we will not be lost and we will never be forgotten. A little girl at church the other week explained Christ's intercession by saying "Jesus cares for us" She was right, He does.
But lets be clear about what Jesus isn't doing. He certainly isn't in heaven offering Himself repeatedly as a sacrifice (v25). The priests of the old covenant entered into the holy places with blood from animals repeatedly (v25b). If Christ had to offer sacrifice repeatedly then He would have been suffering since the foundation of the world (v26). No. This is not the case. Christ's humiliation and suffering has ended. His sacrifice of Himself was once and for all to put away the sin of His people (v26).
Do you see the difference in the old sacrifices compared to Christ? How many times did the old covenant priests carry out their service? Hundreds and thousands of times I'm sure and yet not once did they manage to deal conclusively with the problem of sin. But by the shedding of His precious blood, Christ's sacrifice was once and enough. His cry was "It is finished" and He spoke truthfully.
So Christ isn't suffering today. He will never again face a cross nor will He stand before another earthly court. Instead Christ has appeared once to put away sin and will appear again to save those who are waiting on Him (v28). The next time this world will see Jesus will be when Christ returns in judgement. It has been appointed for each one of us to die and then on the last day to face the judgement of Jesus (v27).
The Christian should have no fear of the final day but nevertheless we still take it seriously and work towards it. These days are wicked and time is short, we should be busy in the work of the Lord longing for the last day when we will be vindicated in the eyes of everyone who has ever lived. On that day we will enter into the promised rest and be with Christ forever.
The same cannot be said for the one who rejects Christ. The final day will only bring terror to the unrepentant sinner. On that day there will be no second chances, no opportunity to change Christ's mind and no possibility of a reduced sentence. The one who hates Christ will be lost to hell for eternity. Please understand this today. Once again, if you reject the free offer of the Gospel you will spend eternity in hell alongside the devil and his angels. It isn't a place of joy where you and Satan will party eternity away. It is a place of torment and anguish that will never ever end.
Yet no one needs to be lost. The blood of goats and calves cannot save nor can even our very best works. Only the finished work of Christ is sufficient and the one who repents of their sin and puts their faith in Christ will certainly be saved. Christ's work is over and for Him there is no more suffering. Even now He dwells in heavenly glory and will surely answer the call of the one who seeks Him.
Q18 Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell? The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.