Through the Book of Hebrews—Exploration and Discussion 9:6-10
v. 6 When everything had been arranged like this… Like what? Referring back to v. 1-5, Do you get a mental picture of the two “tabernacles” or “tents?” How was the first tabernacle set up according to the writer? Let’s review to understand the context:
The priests entered_____________ into the holy place or first tabernacle to do what?
What was their ministry? They took care of the lampstand, bread, golden alter of incense…
They were continually ministering on behalf of the people. They reflect/picture Christ in that our Lord never ceases illuminating us, enlightening us, feeding us, and interceding on our behalf today. Jesus is our ever-living High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.
v. 7 Only the high priest entered the most holy place, or second tabernacle (NIV says, inner room). How often did he enter?
“once” should be understood “on one day” that day was Day of Atonement (Lev 16) also known as (Yom Kippur).
He never entered without ________________, which he offered for his own sins and the sins of the people.
It was dangerous for the High Priest to go into the Most Holy Place. Pett writes,
“And it was always with great relief that he would finally, after two such visits, first to make atonement for himself, and then to make atonement for the people, withdraw again the second time, grateful to be alive and could recognise at last that what he had done had been accepted. The people and the priests would meanwhile have been waiting in silent awe all through the process, filled with tension until he reappeared, and at that point there would be huge jubilation. Atonement had been satisfactorily accomplished for another year. All the sins of Israel for a whole year had been ‘covered’. (Indeed so holy was the place that there grew up a tradition, not mentioned in Scripture, that sometimes a rope would be tied around his leg so that if God should strike him down his body could be recovered without anyone else entering, for none would dare to enter in order to recover it even in such an emergency).”
The committed Jew longed for the Day of Atonement. Sin breaks our communion with God. Therefore, the work of the priests offering daily sacrifices was ongoing to cover the sins of the people committed in ignorance.
Pett writes, “The errors (or ‘ignorances’) of the people’ man’s sins were a mixture of error, folly, wilfulness and ignorance. And all had to be atoned for.”
Were/are there sins that could have been missed or even forgotten by us today? An angry thought, a bitter word, a lustful eye, hatred, maybe sins of omission? etc.,
What if we sin in ignorance? Should we get a pass because “I didn’t know?” Isn’t God loving and kind and accepts my ignorance?
Morris (1981) said, “The sins ‘committed in ignorance’ point to the truth that there is ignorance that is culpable. [liable, blameworthy, responsible, guilty]. Sins of this kind do matter, and we should be on our guard against minimizing their seriousness. In Ecclesiasticus 23:2 the son of Sirach asks not to be spared discipline for these sins of ignorance (he uses the same word that appears here), lest they multiply and bring him low.”
The Day of Atonement was intended to make sacrifice and “cover” these sins that lingered and kept one from fellowship with our Holy God. It was a day of liberation for the Jew. He could not go into God’s presence, but the High Priest would go in for him and make atonement for his sins. Yom Kippur was a time of release and relief for the devout Jew.
If we think about it, we commit sins of both commission and omission everyday. Does this hinder or even break our communion with our loving and holy, holy, holy, God?
How do we find liberation and relief from our daily sins?
Through Jesus our High Priest we confess our sins, both known and unknown, commission and omission (I really should have done….) A healthy and vibrant prayer life has “confession” occurring daily, Psalm 32:1-5…
Only then does restoration come through our Lord
Jesus—His blood was shed as the final sacrifice—we just have to apply His sacrifice to our daily sins and we are forgiven, fellowship restored, power experienced, joy, peace, patience, kindness…. to the glory of God EVERYDAY!
Is this kind of prayer essential to experiencing a dynamic and meaningful relationship with God?
May we long to understand and experience the holiness of God in our everyday lives.
May we cry out to God to really understand and appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins: past, present, and future!
The CROSS (Jesus’ sacrifice) is what makes the exclusive nature of the gospel necessary and acceptable.
Only with an attitude of humility, and that by the power of God the Spirit, can we enter the Most Holy Place through prayer with a sense of awe.
As radical disciples we want to be clean before our God and then we can expect sweet fellowship and blessings, even through the storms, trials, and tribulations experienced in this life.
Let’s explore a few Scriptures that highlight how we should consider our sinfulness in light of our Holy God.
Psalm 19; 66:16-20; James 5: 13-16; 1John 1:8-10;
v. 8 God the Holy Spirit is teaching that through the earthly tabernacle and priestly system that ordinary mankind had no direct access to the presence of God as depicted in the Most Holy Place.
Pett writes, “This is not, of course, to deny that men could as it were enter His presence in private prayer, and know that He watched over them. The Psalmists make that clear. But that was the spiritual entry of a forgiven ‘saint’, and had nothing to do with the Holy of Holies. But publicly the stress was on the fact of God’s unique ‘otherness’ so that none could approach where He was depicted as being, in the holiest place on earth (although all were aware that He was in Heaven, and that His presence there on earth was but partial).”
Who has access to God today? Are you able (or confident enough) to tell someone how to gain access to God? Who have you talked to this week about Jesus outside of the Body of Christ?
Are you praying for opportunities to share how Christ has transformed your life and wants to love others too through you?
Are we so caught up in our own world that we miss the leading of the Spirit? Are we afraid of rejection? Do you feel you don’t know enough to speak? Would you rather not be classified as a radical disciple?
Let’s deal with our actual fears related to sharing the gospel? Maybe you’d rather not share because then you’d have to be disciplined and equipped to know how to answer seeking sinners!
Remember as we confess our sins and walk humbly with our God, He will empower us to accomplish His will—hence growing in obedience and sharing the gospel with all who will listen!
Have you been challenged lately to come out of your comfort zone and allow God to be glorified through your efforts to demonstrate love and compassion toward others?
v. 9 Moreover, the sacrifices were limited and were “not able to clear the ________________ of the worshiper.”
V. 10 Bruce (1979) said, “They were wholly external regulations and did not penetrate deeply enough into the moral realm to clear the conscience from its sense of guilt….These things, however, the tabernacle with its two tents, it symbolic furnishings and elaborate ritual, etc., were not valueless or wrong—only temporary for they were imposed (presumably by God) until the time of the new order, until the shadow should give way to the reality” (pg. 1522).
Is it clear, from our study through Hebrews so far, that Jesus Christ is the “new order” and we are made right with God the Father through Him?
What do we mean when we say “through Him?” Do you have a better understanding when we call Jesus our High Priest? Our continual intercessor? The ultimate and final sacrifice?
Become very knowledgeable in responding to these questions. God is calling each of us to grow in our understanding of the Scriptures. However, knowledge is not just for our own sake, it is meant to be shared with others and glorify God!
What is the benefit of “digging” into Scripture? Try it and truly experience the sweet fellowship of God through the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit!
Persevere and “Maintain” accountability!
Expositor’s Bible Commentary (1981) Frank Gaebelein (ed)
The International Bible Commentary (1979) F. F. Bruce (ed)
Pett, Peter; http://www.angelfire.com/planet/lifetruth/hebrews2.html
NIV Study Bible (1985)