he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12)
In what is the middle of main section of the book of Hebrews, recall how the epistle’s author introduced the superior nature of Jesus’s high priestly ministry to that of the Old Covenant; he does this in three points in chapter 8:1-6: 1) the better covenant which He mediates; 2) the true heavenly tabernacle in which He ministers; and 3) His greater sacrifice. So far in our studies, we have expanded on the first two points looking first at the greater covenant from chapter 8:7-13, and secondly, the greater and true heavenly tabernacle in chapter 9:1-11. Now, beginning in verse 12 of chapter 9, the greater sacrifice takes center stage and stays there until the conclusion of the discourse in the middle of chapter 10. This week will be the first of five sermons where we will examine the greater sacrifice that provides the basis for Jesus’s greater ministry as our Great High Priest.
In our last study we saw how the Levitical animal sacrifices offered in Temple worship were ineffective in perfecting the consciences of the worshippers. While the older order house of worship was designed to usher the worshipper into the presence of God, the ritual sacrifices in the wilderness Tabernacle and Jerusalem Temple not only fell woefully short of this goal, but in fact, accentuated the distance and inaccessibility of the worshipper to the presence of God. In and of themselves, these ordinances were carnal; they were but physical types that could only vaguely represent eternal and spiritual things. But where the type failed, the anti-type, the Lord Jesus, succeeded, by entering, once for all into the holy place, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption (9:12). This crucial verse tells us three important things about the new and greater worship which Jesus inaugurates in the New Covenant. 1) how this was accomplished – by his own blood; 2) when it happened – once; and 3) the effect – securing eternal redemption. This third point demonstrates the efficacy of Christ’ s sacrifice. Acts 20:28 refers to the church as having been purchased by the blood of Jesus. But what were we purchased from? The last word of verse 12, redemption, infers a state of slavery from which His people are delivered from bondage. On Sunday we will examine what it is exactly about the blood of Jesus that redeems the sinner from the bondage of sin.