Alright let us take our Bibles this morning and turn to Hebrews 9. We are looking at verses 23 to 28. This will be the last part of this message about pulling back the curtain from the old and the new. It finishes up in Hebrews 9 but it is significant before getting into chapters 10 to the end of the book where it gets more practical. After the doctrine is laid, the practice happens. Today we are going to look at the necessity and superiority of Christ’s sacrifice. By way of reminder, I want to let you know that the new covenant that I have been talking about offers a superlative plan for the salvation of humanity. In other words, there is no greater plan that can replace it. If you remember, the basic idea of a covenant is a relationship between God and man. How can a sinful man have a relationship with a holy and just God and escape His judgment.
Remember the old covenant was dependent upon man keeping the law. As soon as that person broke the law, the covenant because ineffective and the access to God was broken and shut down and they were not able to get to God. The new covenant is basically that Jesus inaugurated it with His blood. All that are called by the gospel and receive Jesus as their substitute sacrifice, have access to God and fellowship with Him forever. We are still in imperfect bodies and in an imperfect environment. But someday we will be ushered into heaven, have resurrected bodies and enjoy all the promises that God has promised in the Word of God. In this section that I am looking at this morning in Hebrews, we are addressing the importance of blood shedding. This once again highlights the superiority and necessity of the sacrifice of God. Blood is used to cleanse everything unclean in the Old Testament. It makes things and people clean. But when it comes to remitting sin, there is no remission apart from bloodshed.
Look at Hebrews 9:22 it says:
According to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Your translation might say that there is no remission of sin rather than forgiveness. The word remission is a good word because it means to send away. It is all the blood of the Old Testament and the sacrifices which were only pointing to the one Great Sacrifice in Jesus Christ where He would shed His blood. Jesus could not have died in any other way than the manner in which He died. It is blood unto death that saves us. He had to not only bleed in His sufferings because He represented all the sufferings of the Old Testament, because the animal had to be killed, but also for someone to have their sins remitted or sent away. In Jesus Christ, our sins and guilt are taken care of. He takes our just punishment. The reason for this is because our sin and punishment sticks so close to sinners and we cannot get away from it. There is no place we can go to run from it. It is only the holy, precious, and all-sufficient blood of Christ that the sins of the children could ever be wiped away.
It is this remission of the penalty of sin that God takes care of in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. This blood shedding, with respect to heaven and earth, is typical of pointing to the original sanctuary and the far better blood that is Christ Himself. On the earthly tabernacle there is the sacrificial system with all the blood that was offered. Blood is necessary. For the old covenant to be put into force, and also for the new covenant for it to be put into force. Sacrificial blood shedding is necessary. Without the shedding of blood, there is no salvation or approach to God or way to come into His presence.
There is a vast difference between the blood of sacrificial animals and the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ. His blood was better, it says in Scripture. It was better because it was the blood of the Messiah. It was the blood of the anointed One, the prophesied One. It was the blood of the innocent Lamb. He did not die because He was a sinner, He was innocent. It was the blood that only needed to be shed once, so He is the unrepeatable One. It was the blood that was original of all the copies, and He has come to us to earth to make sure that our salvation is complete and that nothing needs to be added to it or to be done. You need to know that you are a believer and a Christian and that you have come to be saved by the Lord. It does not just happen to you when you are sitting in church. It happens when the Lord convicts you of your own sin. The only way you are going to be rescued is by the blood of Christ. Someone has to pay for your sin and all of your offenses that you committed against God. It is either going to be you in the Lake of Fire or it is going to be Christ on the cross.
When you come to Christ, your whole position before God changes and God wants us to know that and He wants us to know that now. We do not want to wait for death to find out. These are the things that he takes up in this section of Scripture. Today I want you to see how necessary Christ’s sacrifice is and how it is superior to secure the salvation of all His children.
There are three simple points that I want to make. The first one is that Christ’s sacrifice was necessary and superior because it purified everything. It made everything clean before God. Look at Hebrews 9 23, it says:
Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
In other words, why the necessity of the blood here? The answer should be obvious, it is sin. The defilement of sin must be removed and the only thing that can be possibly remove that defilement is the sacrificial blood of Christ. That is the point being made here. The entire cleaning power of sacrifice lies in the washing away and sending away of the covering of our sin. As was said already, God does not see you in your sin when He looks at you. He sees Christ in His blood and the sacrifice offered on your behalf. Because these sacrifices serve sinners then both the earthly and heavenly tabernacles require the necessity of sacrificial blood. It says in Hebrews 9:24:
For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands.
He did not enter the earthly tabernacle or temple that was represented all through the ages. The earthly tabernacle needed to be cleansed because sinful hands ministered in it. The original tabernacle that was given to Moses was not made with hands and did not need to be cleansed. What needed to be cleansed were those who would enter into the heavenly tabernacle later on. Sinners needed to be cleansed in order to enter into God’s presence. He cannot let you in unless you are covered with the blood of Jesus Christ. In the hand made tabernacle, the priest entered once a year to offer blood to cover sin for a year’s period. The high priest was the only one allowed to go into the presence of God but he could not go into heaven because he was a sinner. He needed an offering and to be cleansed himself.
Notice in Hebrews 9:24 that Christ enters into the true holy place. The last part of the verse says that no mere man can enter into the sanctuary on his own for he has no way to get in. He needs someone to take him there and to cleanse him. Hebrews calls the genuine, original sanctuary heaven. He enters into heaven itself! That becomes very important for you and I because this is where Jesus appeared after His atoning sacrifice and His earthly ministry finished on earth. He appeared face to face with God. No high priest was able to do that. Jesus goes there and you would think that he went there for Himself. But if you look again at the text, He did not. The verse says:
He appear[ed] in the presence of God for us.
He was there on our behalf and on behalf of those who are cleansed by His blood. He goes and blazes a trail, look back at Hebrews 6:20. It says:
Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
A forerunner is someone who runs before. It was especially said of soldiers who were sent to explore before an army would advance. They were to explore and go ahead to give the reconnaissance so that an army could go in. Somewhat in a position where they know what they are getting into. Jesus does all the reconnaissance for us so that we do not have to be concerned about it. He has blazed His way into the presence of God with all of our names in mind. He does it for us. That is the love of Christ!He has entered heaven and is finished with the work of redemption. Through Jesus we are washed from our sin. Our lives have been muddied and stained by sin but dead sinners have no way to remove that stain. The sinner is unclean, polluted and full of the filth of sin. Only Jesus has the power to cleanse you and to make you ready and prepared to enter into God’s presence and stay there forever.
Does that change your life if you consider those things? As it says in the book of Acts, why do you delay? Get up and be baptized and wash away your sins! What precedes washing away sins is the sacrifice of Christ that washes away the sins. The baptism is an identification of you believing that and making it public for those to hear the testimony of what changed in your life.
The finished work of Christ, now that we are cleansed, gives us access to God, that is his point. That Christ’s atoning sacrifice brings worshippers that are purged to God. He expands that a little more in Hebrews 10:2, it says:
Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?
Once you have realized that the blood of Jesus Christ makes you clean, then the whole sense of the guilt that comes and the consciousness of the sins that come is gone because of the realization that Christ takes care of every sin ever committed. He takes care of every action, word, deed, and thought! There is no way we could ever identify every sin ever committed. It is impossible.
We come with the great sin of unbelief and rejection of Christ and He forgives you all the rest of it, past, present, and future sin that you commit. He takes care of it all!
Look at Hebrews 10:22, this is called the lettuce bowl of Scripture. Get it? The â€œLet usâ€ bowl of Scripture? It says:
Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
You are the person with the evil conscience! I am riddled with guilt even though I try to suppress that truth. Here he says that bodies are all washed pure. He purifies everything! He purifies things that have anything that prevents us from getting into God’s presence. Christ’s sacrifice is necessary for your salvation and entry into heaven because it completely purifies you so that you can remain in the presence of God. What person can offer that? Nobody except Jesus Christ. Christianity is exclusive, there is no other way to be saved and enter into the presence of God. Here is a second point in Hebrews 9.
Christ’s sacrifice was necessary and superior because it finished everything. In Hebrews 9:25 it says:
Nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own.
In other words, Jesus Christ takes care of everything. He put away sin. In verse 26 it says:
Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
How does He finish everything? By putting away sin by means of the sacrifice. The point here is the unrepeatable event. He is finished unlike the high priests that were never finished. They had to get ready for the next sacrifice as soon as they were done. Theres was a very repetitious work month after month, day after day, day of Atonement after day of Atonement. But Christ in the fullness of time, comes to earth and finishes it. He comes as the High Priest and finishes it with one sacrifice. That is why Jesus Christ is so different than the Jewish high priest. It will never be necessary for Christ to suffer again and again.
He has been saying that and will continue to say it so we get it through our minds. This was a Jewish audience that he was writing to and the sacrificial system was still in place. He was driving home to them that they were going to see those sacrificed animals but Christ has finished it. He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Depend on Christ and not on the old religious system.
Jesus does not need to leave and reenter heaven often. He does not need to shed His blood often, or die often. He does not need to offer the sacrifice often or come into this world as a man often. It would be absurd to make Christ do what the Scriptures say He did once and for and all, and that was to die. Any form of re-sacrificing of Jesus Christ whether real or symbolic is against Scripture. We need to get that out of our minds. We need to be thinking about what the Bible says about the sacrifice, which purifies and finishes everything. The repetition is done. Our religion is not one of repetition. It is a relationship with Christ in which it is done.
Go back to Hebrews 7:27, it says:
Who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
Now look at Hebrews 10:10:
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
This is being repeated so that we do not repeat the sacrifice again or think that Jesus did not finish it all and that He is the Old Testament priest that has to go back and finish taking care of something. Christ’s sacrifice is necessary for your salvation because it finished everything needed to give you entryway into the presence of God and keep you there.
A last thing I want you to consider in Hebrews 9:26 is that Christ’s sacrifice is necessary and superior because it consummated everything. This is a very interning thing he says in this passage of Scripture. This verse says:
Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
A very interesting term and significant phrase he uses here because it gives us a timeframe. It says once at the consummation of the ages, eons is the Greek word for â€œagesâ€ here. What does this mean? It means that all the past ages of the world, all of world history have come to their joint goal to which God intended them to come in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That is everything with pointing to Him. The consummation of the ages all come together in Christ. All of world history comes together in Christ. In fact, in His first appearance in Hebrews 9:26, He comes to take away sin. He has been made to appear the first time as a man who comes into the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. The consummation of the ages has always pointed to this one final Lamb of God who dies in the place of sinners to put away sin forever by His own death on the cross. After that He appears in heaven face to face with the Father on our behalf. He prepares for the second advent. John 14:3 says:
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Jesus right now, while we are considering the consummation of the ages, is sitting at the right hand of the Father and He is preparing for His second advent or coming. Jesus is coming again, for you who have never heard that. In between the first and the second coming, we still experience the effects of sin because we are born into a world that will eventually go the way of death. The reality of it is that you and I are going to die, unless Christ comes while you and I are alive.
In this point in Scripture, He wanted to remind the people not only of the oneness of Christ dying but the oneness of us dying. The oneness of us dying brings the next event that happens in the Word of God. Look in Hebrews 9:27:
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.
I think the best thing that proves Scripture is that we all die. Death has come into the world and sin has come with us. We die because it is part of the judgment of God on our sin. People die of heart attacks and cancer but that is not the reason why we die. Those things bring about your death.
Here it is saying that it is reserved for people to die once and that Christ died once like men but not because of His sin. But because of your and my sin. One thing that Jesus Christ did on the cross is that He defeated death. He rose triumphantly over death and over the grave. He defeated our greatest enemy at the cross. This becomes an incentive now to say that I die. Christ died. But in my death what do I face next? What do you face when you die? You need to think about what awaits you at your death. The second part of Hebrews 9:27 talks about the leveler that is greater than physical death. It is judgment. God’s verdict in Scripture is either acquittal which gives you entryway and access to God, or condemnation, which is hell and separation from God which is permanent and eternal. You never get a second chance after death. It is in this life that God begins to speak to us and convinces us that we need Christ and believe Him.
When He saves us, we learn to live for Him. There is no purgatory in Scripture or limbos or second places where you get your sins burned off and make it to heaven. Scripture is clear that there is the broad way or the narrow way. We all think that we can be merciful that God will give second chances, but there are no seconds in Scripture.
For those who have been brought forward and bought literally by the blood of Christ, the throne of judgment has been changed to the throne of mercy. But those who do not come to Christ are ushered to the throne of judgment after they die. There is no mercy, only justice. A just God has to hold a person responsible for His sin. If you do not have Christ, then God’s justice still must be satisfied, that is why there is a place called hell. The separation it brings to those who do not know Christ come to those who do not know Christ. God is a just Judge, He sees things clearly and accurately. He must judge that way because of who He is as God revealed in Scripture, holy and righteous. That is why the great plan of salvation is the cross of Jesus Christ. That is where you get rescued from God’s justice and eternal damnation at the cross of Jesus Christ. Wherever you are at today, do not put this off.
Most are concerned about the physical part of death, the mode of death and how someone is actually going to die whether it is in a crash or disease or in war. People are interested in the inconsequential things and remain ignorant about the vital issues. People are not very interested in that vital issue at death, the vital issues is that death is a spiritual thing. What you think about God in your life when it comes to death is so important. You should be thinking about how you will die and be ready for dying. You might say that you are too young and cannot think about those kinds of things. But the thing is that death is no respecter of age or color or creed. Death takes babies as well as teenagers and old people.
I have been in ministry long enough to have buried all of them. Death did not come knocking at the door asking if people wanted more time. It just comes and swoops down. Before you know it, that person is wrong. I do not know if you have been to funerals as have seen people but they have deadpan faces. You wonder if you have gone through but you just go and hurl the gospel at them and pray that God will show them that death is a wise thing to think about. Funerals bring you to reality.
Do you know that what you think about on the matter of death is either a matter of wisdom or folly. Only fools live lives of pleasure denying and ignoring the reality of death at every point. But the wise live every day aware of the reality of death. Jesus says in the gospels that there are only two ways that you can die. They include dying in the Lord or in your sin. You have to ask yourself how you are going to die, in your sin by rejecting the implications of Jesus Christ? Everyone dies, including you and me.
This is true of all of us but we cannot evade it. You will keep your appointment and you will not be late. The other side is unknown. I do not know what is on the other side apart from what is there. I know the Person on the other side and He has me covered as my Lord and Savior. It is not just a profession of faith but it is my every day following and loving of the Lord that is part of salvation. Just as the Scriptures say that we have only one shot at dying, how about you die well. Let us die knowing where we are going, proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ. We are sinners but we are dying in Christ who took care of sin and purified us and finished it all.
Do not die with guilt and grudges and hatred and not knowing what is going to happen. You hear stories of people feeling a great warm light. That is a bunch of hogwash. Satan creates people to trust and depend on that rather that on Christ. They are going to be greatly deceived. This warm place will instead be separation from Christ for all eternity. Everyone needs to seriously consider the consequences of the way they die. I love what it says in Scripture in John 8:24:
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.
If you believe in Jesus Christ as the Resurrection and the Life, then He is the One who rescues. The way you die has everything to do with how you respond to Jesus as to whether you have believed in Him or not. This very thing will alter the way in which you die. Let me ask you a question, do you consider things in that way? Do you wake up in the morning and consider that you will die.
Psychologists will tell you that you should not be thinking of those things but instead happy thoughts. But the Scriptures say that when you wake up tomorrow, to ask yourself how you are going to die. It is going to happen and if you were ready, what you think about God is going to matter at that point. But it matters all throughout your life. Death is going to take on the picture of you dying in Christ. Most have not considered the fact that death is a supremely spiritual matter and that this question of Jesus Christ will be the most important issue there when one dies.
The Bible says that after death is judgment. Who is the Judge? Jesus. The point in Scripture being made is that if Christ is my Savior, Lord and sacrifice here, He will not be my Judge there. If He is not your Savior here and has given you access to God, He will be your Judge there. You cannot get away from that. Either you will meet Jesus Christ here or there. But He will be the most important Person on your mind at death.
These are sobering thoughts but so also much needed for the health and well-being of believers and the church. We would be much more serious about life if we considered death every day. It would be a helpful thing to do because you would be ready every day and watch you live and think because you love the Lord and you do not want to do something that displeases your Father but instead something that shows you love your Father.
Here is the real issue, that most do not think about death in the right way. A failure to realize the spiritual part of death and that the condition of a person’s soul is the most important matter at one’s death. When I go to a funeral somewhere and do not know the person, but am asked to go down by the funeral director, I cannot preach them into heaven or hell. So I forget about that and just give the gospel. People do not really get for death in that way to realize the condition of their souls.
Here is the most important thing for God’s children to grasp. You can know God’s verdict right now. It is wise to ponder your death and if you get once chance to die, do not be foolish but do it well. Know that you are going to die in the Lord and not in your sin. Men do not die again and again, but once. Know where you are going and know what your verdict is now. This brings me to the last thing that we want to consider in Hebrews 9:28. This is the point that the author is making about the second coming of Jesus Christ. Here is what it says:
Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father and is waiting to come again. He is waiting for the second part of His program. He died once to bear the sins of many. He bore the entire penalty of our guilt and achieved the eternal putting away of sin and defilement and made us clean to enter into the presence of God. He makes an obstacle free way to enter into heaven. Through the cross I go into God’s presence. Look at the last part of the verse: Jesus will appear a second time for salvation.
He will appear a second time but what is the difference from the first coming? The purpose is that Jesus is coming for salvation. This means that it is not in reference to shedding blood or as a substitute of sinners or a fulfillment of the shadows and types again. All these have reference to sin and are finished? No, He will appear a second time to fulfill His new covenant promise. And what is that? To come and get us and to finish our salvation. All He foreknew, He predestined, and all He predestined, He called, and all He called, He justified and all He justified, He glorified. He is going to finish that chain of salvation. That is what He is doing the second time He comes. He is going to finish salvation and complete it totally. What is interesting about this passage of Scripture is that He is coming to those who are expecting Him.
Here is a person who trusts Jesus Christ, knows they are cleansed by the blood of Christ, and are eagerly waiting for the coming of their Lord and their Savior. That is part of the new covenant when it says that He will put His law within His people on their hearts. God will give us the desire to eagerly await Him. We cannot wait to get out of these bodies and get into His presence. But we are working for the Lord until that time, expecting our Lord to come. I am going into the presence of God. When I die in Christ, I am expecting to see Christ. I am expecting to see if He tarries and I die before Him, but I am also living with expectancy every day. That is what every believer should do.
Christ’s sacrifice is necessary because it consummates all things that God could carry out until His intended goal. Turn to Revelation 21:3:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, â€œBehold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.
That is the fulfillment of the new covenant. Everything is done and now we have each other in all eternity. Look at the next verse, verse 4-6:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. And He who sits on the throne said, â€œBehold, I am making all things new.â€ And He said, â€œWrite, for these words are faithful and true.â€ Then He said to me, â€œIt is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
That is an invitation to come. If God has caused in you a thirst to come and be saved, then go! It is not going to cost you a thing. God is not requiring you any good works or deeds. He says come with all your sin and He will take care of it. You are going to walk away in Christ purified with the finished work of Christ and looking forward and expecting Christ to come because He has consummated everything. You cannot bypass or ignore the finished work of Christ. It is necessary for your salvation and superior to any other thing. Amen? Let us pray.
Lord, this morning, I thank You again for the Word of God. I thank You, Lord, that You did not keep these things for Yourself. You have not been silent concerning the most serious matters of life. I pray and thank You that we are able to listen to these things and see them with our own eyes and Scripture. But I pray that it would not be a matter of seeing and hearing and being exposed to them, but that it would be a matter of committing ourselves to them. I pray that if someone does not know You as their Lord and Savior, that today would be the day they call upon You. Open their eyes to see and grant them faith and repentance. Come and be their Savior, their substitute sacrifice and take care of everything for them so they can have access to God. For us who know those things and how we are going to die, let us live each day with expectancy and being ready for Your coming and let us live in the light of our Lord coming back to get us that we may see You face to face. Thank You for revealing Your first coming and its purpose and Your second coming and its purpose. Let us live for You all with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. I pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen.