Through the Book of Hebrews—Exploration and Discussion 9:11-14
v. 11 some manuscripts (MSS) support “…the good things that are already here” (NIV) and others support “…the good things that are to come” (RSV) Morris (1981) quotes, “The good things have begun to come into existence.” In other words, the “good things” in Christ have begun; there is more “good things” to come than we now see. AMEN! It appears that both views are consistent with the Scriptures.
What are some “good things” that “are here” and “are to come?”
The new covenant, illuminating work of the Spirit, forgiveness of sin, a cleansing of the conscience, reconciliation, justification, grace, confidence, eternal life, heaven, power to persevere…etc.,
The focus is Christ, our High Priest. Through Him genuine believers are blessed.
As we ABIDE in Him we experience grace everyday!
Are we sensitive to the Spirit’s leading? Do we recognize the blessing in Christ everyday?
How do we experience God? Should we be aware that God wants us/me to acknowledge Him and fellowship with Him in every context?
God is always doing good. God the Holy Spirit lives inside us! Does this truth get you excited?
May we pray everyday that God will use us as co-participators with Him in making a difference!
Help us to die to self and live for Christ with supernatural power given by God the Holy Spirit.
v. 11b “he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say not part of this creation.”
“Christ entered the holiest of all, into the presence of God. This is an emphatic way of saying that he has won for his people an effective salvation and that this has nothing to do with earthly sacrifices” ( Morris, 1981).
v. 12 Christ did not enter by means of the blood of _______________ __________________; but entered the Most Holy Place __________________ ______ _____ by his own_______________, having obtained eternal ________________________.
What does “once for all” mean? What about “eternal redemption?”
Christ paid the ransom price to set us free, and this was completed through His death, by the shedding of His blood on the cross once and for all. There is no repeating the crucifixion or a need to offer additional sacrifices. Once and for all—Christ was the final sacrifice as payment for our sins. PRAISE GOD!
In regards to eternal redemption, Pett said, “It includes the thought of deliverance from slavery, payment of their debts as their Kinsman Redeemer and deliverance through the paying of a price.”
v. 13-14 The writer is contrasting the Levitical sacrifices to the incomparable greatness of Christ, who offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice to God the Father. In reference to the sacrifices of goats and bulls, Pett said,
“The blood of goats and bulls represented the many sacrifices for sin, and for guilt, and for atonement. The blood of burnt offerings and peace offerings and guilt/trespass offerings was sprinkled on or around the altar (Leviticus 1.5, 11; 3.2, 8, 13; 7.2), the blood of the special guilt/sin offering prescribed for certain offences in Leviticus 5.1-4 was sprinkled on the side of the altar (Leviticus 5.9), and in the case of a sin offering on behalf of the anointed priest or the whole people it was sprinkled before the veil (Leviticus 4.6, 17). On the Day of Atonement the blood of the sin offerings was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat within the veil (Leviticus 16.14, 15) and on the altar to purify it (16.19).”
When we examine Numbers 19:1-10, we see the significance of the ashes of the red heifer mixed with water to provide ceremonial cleansing for those who came into contact with dead bodies.
What was sprinkled? It was the ashes of the heifer mixed with water. The writer is pointing out the value of the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of ashes to make the people OUTWARDLY clean…. ESV says, “purification of the flesh.”
Ceremonial cleansing allowed the defiled person to resume participation in the duties of worship/to be part of the community. Similarly, sacrifices allowed a temporary forgiveness of sin and maintained fellowship between God and His people.
v. 14 We have learned that although the law is good and holy it could not make us right with God. We have learned that every sacrifice performed under the Mosaic Law was a shadow of the ultimate sacrifice that was to come through Jesus Christ.
MacArthur (1983) said, “The old sacrifices had no way of reaching inside a person and changing him…. These sacrifices only sanctified ‘for the cleansing of the flesh,’ the external, but ‘the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God…cleanses our consciences, the internal.”
Who is the eternal Spirit?
In reference to the “eternal Spirit” Bruce (1979) wrote, “Most probably correct is the view that the Saviour depended upon the power and direction of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the will of the Father in all of His life, so He did in death” (p. 1522).
Do we rely on the same Holy Spirit today in our relationship with Christ? How?
What is meant by “cleanse our consciences…?”
For all who come to Christ, He cleanses the inner moral depravity of our being. We continue to struggle, but we can experience true forgiveness within our consciences. A contrast to the powerlessness of the law—read Rom 8:3-4.
What about “…from acts that lead to death” or “from dead works?”
Is any part of the law going to make us right with God? If we obeyed every commandment could we possibly be right with God?
What does Paul say in Gal 3:10-11?
The law is good and holy, (Rom 7:12) but we can’t live up to the moral standard apart from Christ! Even then we fall short every day because of our sinful nature (Rom 7:19).
So, any attempt to attain righteousness with God through observing the law is “dead works” that ends in death. Moreover, recall 6:1 where the writer is exhorting the readers to leave the elementary teachings and go on to maturity. There he says, “not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works…” What is the writer talking about?
Remember the readers were Jewish Christians in danger of returning to Judaism. Therefore, it could mean legalistic adherence to Jewish ways as well as genuinely evil actions.
For us today, we have been saved from genuinely evil actions—saved from our sinful nature and rebellion toward God. Reflect on Eph 2:1-10…. A good reference: repentance from dead works to service for God, through the power of God!
Expositor’s Bible Commentary (1981) Frank Gaebelein (ed)
The International Bible Commentary (1979) F. F. Bruce (ed)
MacArthur, J. (1983) MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Hebrews.
Pett, Peter; http://www.angelfire.com/planet/lifetruth/hebrews2.html