1 Hebrews 9A (2014) When high schl students are preparing t apply t cllege, they all experience a rite f passage called standardized testing The SAT r ACT tests are well knwn t every high schl student And n these tests yu will find ne particular kind f questin that many students really dislike: the analgy questin Fr example: medicine is t illness as educatin is t an Aggie Well, the writer f Hebrews is in the middle f his wn analgy f srts He is cmparing the Old Cvenant with the New in all it s key cmpnents In each cmparisn, the writer is making an analgy And in each analgy, the pint is always the same: the New beats the Old hands dwn In fact, the writer shws in each case that New is the better cvenant And since the New is always a better cvenant by Gd s design, it was always intended t replace the Old The Old was never anything mre than a placehlder in Gd s plan It was served a temprary purpse until the New arrives In chapters 7-8, the writer set up this analgy using the priesthd f Jesus as his starting pint Since Jesus wasn t qualified t be an Aarnic priest, He can t be serving the Father under the terms f the Old Cvenant Therefre, Jesus must be a priest f a different rder And He must be serving the Father under a different Law r cvenant The writer then prceeded t shw that Jesus was a priest under the rder f Melchizedek 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
2 Hebrews 9A (2014) 2 f 13 That s an rder that predated (r existed befre) the Levitical priesthd f the Law - As the appearance f Melchizedek in Genesis 14 prved And it is Jesus priesthd is superir t the Levitical priesthd - As Psalm 95 prved S we culd say that as Levi is t the cvenant f Law, s is Jesus is t cvenant f grace There was a New and better cvenant planned fr Gd s peple And when Gd was ready t reveal that better cvenant, the Old cvenant was intended t disappear The writer ended chapter 8 with that very claim Heb. 8:13 When He said, A new cvenant, He has made the first bslete. But whatever is becming bslete and grwing ld is ready t disappear. Nw in chapters 9-10, the writer will explre tw mre analgies First, in chapter 9 the writer examines the place f wrship, which is the tabernacle (r temple), which is the center f Jewish religius bservance That building was the prduct f the Old Cvenant and the Law it delivered It was in the Law itself that Gd stipulated that the peple build a tabernacle where Gd s glry wuld dwell amng the peple S if a new cvenant has arrived, what are we t make f that building in Gd s plan fr His peple? Then in chapter 10, the writer examines the activities that tk place inside that building, namely the sacrificial system itself Under the Old Cvenant Law, Israel was cmmanded t perfrm certain sacrifices regularly in the tabernacle/temple S the writer will shw thrugh analgy hw thse rituals are replaced with better things in the New Cvenant 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
3 Hebrews 9A (2014) 3 f 13 In all these discussins, the writer is wrking very patiently t explain that the things f the Old haven t been thrwn away r dismissed senselessly In fact, they aren t being thrwn away at all They are being replaced We still have need fr a priest We still have need fr a huse where Gd will dwell Men still have need fr atning sacrifice And by analgy, the writer is ging t shw that thse needs are served in a better way by the New Cvenant than by the ld Lking at the first verse f chapter 9, we clearly see the writer utlining this intentins ver the next tw chapters Heb. 9:1 Nw even the first cvenant had regulatins f divine wrship and the earthly sanctuary. We can see him intrducing his analgy when he begins t cmpare the Old Cvenant t the New in the areas f regulatin fr wrship and the earthly sanctuary Thse tw areas are the tpics fr chapters 9 and 10 Interestingly, the writer addresses the tw tpics in reverse rder t the rder he intrduces them in v.1 He will explain his analgy f the tabernacle first in chapter 9 And he will mve t an analgy f the regulatins fr wrship (that is, the sacrificial system) in chapter 10 I m ging t cver these tw chapters a little differently than my usual apprach By that I mean, I am nt ging t spend a lt f time examining the details f the tabernacle and its cnstructin r the sacrificial system as it was practiced under the Law The writer himself will summarize thse things fr us 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
4 Hebrews 9A (2014) 4 f 13 If yu want t dive int the details f thse tpics, I pint yu the VBVMI Exdus study nline Instead, I want t fcus n the writer s larger pint, which is hw and why these things were replaced by the New Cvenant His purpse in writing t the church is t teach us cncerning the New Cvenant and it s superirity, s that s where I want t fcus as well And t understand hw the New, we first need t understand the purpse Gd had in giving the Old in the first place S let s begin with that brief backgrund: hw did the Old arrive and why? First, the Bible teaches that the Old Cvenant was established between Gd and a certain natin f peple: Israel We find the Law and all that it established in the bks f Genesis t Deuternmy But mst f it is fund in Exdus and Leviticus The cvenant was a generatinal agreement, meaning it bund nt just ne generatin f Israel but every generatin f Israel Gd declared in Deut 29 that everyne in Israel will be held accuntable t this cvenant Nt just thse wh std at the muntain with Mses But all generatins f Israel that wuld cme later thrughut histry Furthermre, the Old Cvenant is a cnditinal cvenant r a parity cvenant It spelled ut certain blessings Gd wuld bring Israel But thse blessings were cntingent n Israel perfrming up t the standards f the cvenant Specifically, all Israel was required t keep the Law perfectly frever in rder t receive the blessings f that cvenant If they failed t meet this standard, Israel wuld instead receive the curses f the cvenant 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
5 Hebrews 9A (2014) 5 f 13 Over the curse f many centuries, Israel drifted away frm practicing the Law as Gd intended Increasingly, the natin became crrupted by the surrunding natins and by their evil kings They distrted and perverted the rituals Gd gave them S eventually, the Lrd judged the natin fr their failure t fllw the Cvenant just as He prmised in the Law Gd knew Israel wuld fail in keeping the Law, since n sinful man can keep Gd s Law perfectly S Gd als prvided a sacrificial system fr Israel t fllw By fllwing the sacrificial system, Israel culd cntinue in the Lrd s blessings despite their inability t keep the Law By perfrming the sacrificial rituals, the natin maintained gd standing in the Old Cvenant But the sacrificial system was nt intended t address eternal life fr an individual Jew Under the Old Cvenant, and individual s salvatin came just as it cmes fr us tday - The Jew had t believe in Gd s prmised prvisin f a Messiah - And by their individual faith, they were saved Meanwhile, the sacrificial system f the Old Cvenant made it pssible fr the natin t cntinue in the blessings f the Old Cvenant despite their sin We ll cme back t this discussin in chapter 10 when we lk at the sacrificial system S after that very brief summary f the purpses f the Law, let s lk at the writer s first analgy, between the tabernacle f the Old Cvenant and the Heavenly tabernacle f the New Cvenant 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
6 Hebrews 9A (2014) 6 f 13 Heb. 9:2 Fr there was a tabernacle prepared, the uter ne, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the hly place. Heb. 9:3 Behind the secnd veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Hly f Hlies, Heb. 9:4 having a glden altar f incense and the ark f the cvenant cvered n all sides with gld, in which was a glden jar hlding the manna, and Aarn s rd which budded, and the tables f the cvenant; Heb. 9:5 and abve it were the cherubim f glry vershadwing the mercy seat; but f these things we cannt nw speak in detail. Heb. 9:6 Nw when these things have been s prepared, the priests are cntinually entering the uter tabernacle perfrming the divine wrship, Heb. 9:7 but int the secnd, nly the high priest enters nce a year, nt withut taking bld, which he ffers fr himself and fr the sins f the peple cmmitted in ignrance. We re in the first part f the analgy, where the writer is explaining the practices f the Old Cvenant And specifically, ntice what the writer is emphasizing He s fcused n the design f the tabernacle as a series f chambers r rms The rm with the mst glry and beauty and significance was the inner mst chamber It s called the Hly f Hlies and it cntained the Ark f Cvenant Mre imprtantly, it was the nly place within the tabernacle where the glry f Gd was visible But that rm was clsed ff by a veil, s that n ne culd actually enter and see this wnderful place Except fr a High Priest That man culd enter, but n ne else in Israel culd enter But that High Priest culd nly enter nce per year n the Day f Atnement as prescribed in the Law And even when he did enter, he must first perfrm a sacrifice fr Himself, since he als was a sinful persn And then utside the Hly f Hlies was anther chamber where nly the Levitical priests culd enter 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
7 Hebrews 9A (2014) 7 f 13 In this chamber, called the Hly Place, the priest served by ffering daily sacrifices These sacrifices were required by the Law n accunt f the sins f the peple It was by these daily sacrifices that the natin culd remain in the cvenant f Law despite their inability t keep the Law s regulatins Furthermre, the tw chambers were decrated with very unique and specific furnishings There was an il lamp, a table with bread, an altar where incense was burned, and f curse the ark with the mercy seat These bjects were smething t behld But s few peple every had the chance t see them in all their glry Because unless yu were a high priest, yu never saw any f them And unless yu were the high priest f Israel, yu culd never see the ark and mercy seat with Gd s glry resting upn it All these rules and restrictins were set by the Law and the Old Cvenant that established it And the writer lists these details as the first half f his analgy He wants us t understand that this pattern was given t Israel t tell a stry That stry was abut Christ and the wrk He wuld d as a High Priest in a new and better cvenant S nw the writer turns t the secnd half f the analgy t explain why these things were given and what they meant Heb. 9:8 The Hly Spirit is signifying this, that the way int the hly place has nt yet been disclsed while the uter tabernacle is still standing, Heb. 9:9 which is a symbl fr the present time. Accrdingly bth gifts and sacrifices are ffered which cannt make the wrshiper perfect in cnscience, Heb. 9:10 since they relate nly t fd and drink and varius washings, regulatins fr the bdy impsed until a time f refrmatin Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
8 Hebrews 9A (2014) 8 f 13 Heb. 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest f the gd things t cme, He entered thrugh the greater and mre perfect tabernacle, nt made with hands, that is t say, nt f this creatin; Heb. 9:12 and nt thrugh the bld f gats and calves, but thrugh His wn bld, He entered the hly place nce fr all, having btained eternal redemptin. Heb. 9:13 Fr if the bld f gats and bulls and the ashes f a heifer sprinkling thse wh have been defiled sanctify fr the cleansing f the flesh, Heb. 9:14 hw much mre will the bld f Christ, wh thrugh the eternal Spirit ffered Himself withut blemish t Gd, cleanse yur cnscience frm dead wrks t serve the living Gd? We knw the writer has mved t explaining the analgy, because he says the Hly Spirit was signifying smething in all that was given t Israel In ther wrds, when Mses relayed the instructins f the tabernacle t the natin f Israel, he was relaying things given by the Spirit f Gd This is further evidence that all scripture is inspired and intended by Gd t teach us imprtant things Fr example, while we knw that we are n lnger under the Law, nevertheless the Law is still useful as instructin In studying it we learn abut Gd s plan fr Israel and the way the Law pictured Christ s fulfilled f that plan S what was the Hly Spirit teaching us abut the Old vs. New Cvenants? First, the writer says the multiple chambers and all the barriers t accessing the glry f Gd was a sign that the way t Gd had nt yet been revealed Fr as lng as the tabernacle std in keeping with the Lrd s purpses, it was like a billbard It was telling Israel yur sin is a barriers t accessing Gd And the slutin t sin has nt yet been given by Gd S the tabernacle std like a sign declaring cntinue waiting... The slutin Israel was waiting fr was the Messiah, f curse And the New Cvenant that the Messiah brings 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
9 Hebrews 9A (2014) 9 f 13 And even the design f the tabernacle service itself reinfrced the idea that the slutin t sin was still yet t be revealed In vs.9-10 the writer highlights the way sacrifice was carried ut in the tabernacle t prve his pint He says all the sacrifices and washings and ther rituals prescribed under Law culdn t cleanse the wrshipper s cnscience A wrshipper wh participated in the sacrifice and washings required in the law never experienced relief frm the guilt f sin Only in a temprary, limited way they culd experience sme sense f reslutin But because they als knew that future sin wuld bring abut the need fr future sacrifice, they culdn t feel a truly clean - They still understd that their sin was a prblem - Since it cntinued t frm a barrier t Gd Therefre, they knew that nne f the sacrifices under the Law were actually slving the prblem f sin The washings, fd restrictins and drink requirements nly served t prtect the bdy They culd nt address the fundamental prblem f ur dead spirit Therefre, smething greater than the tabernacle and sacrifices f the Law was still required t recncile men t Gd The nly way t knw freedm frm the guilt f sin is fr Gd Himself t cleanse ur cnscience by assigning His righteusness t us That s the difference between law and grace By law, we are reminded cntinually that we have sin and we need atnement But by Gd s grace, we are made t be righteus, thrugh Christ s sacrifice n ur behalf S in vs.11-14, the writer finishes his analgy by describing the greater tabernacle f the New Cvenant 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
10 Hebrews 9A (2014) 10 f 13 That tabernacle, the writer says, is nt fund n earth This tabernacle is ne nt built by human hands That is t say, it was built by Gd We learned earlier in the letter that the earthly tabernacle is patterned after the heavenly ne It is like a small scale mdel intended t teach us In the case f the Law, the Aarnic high priest entered with a basin f bld taken frm a bull As he entered, he sprinkled it n the mercy seat ver the ark t atne fr the sin f the natin f Israel The writer seems t be suggesting that this ritual is patterned n the sacrifice Christ was t perfrm in the heavenly tabernacle in His wn bld S that just as the high priest applied bld t the mercy seat in the Hly f Hlies n the day f atnement, s did Jesus in His tabernacle Remember the SAT analgies? This suggests that Jesus went t the Heavenly tabernacle sn after His death t apply His wn bld Ntice in v.12 the writer says Jesus entered by way f His wn bld, nt with the bld f bulls and gats But if Jesus did enter the Heavenly tabernacle and apply His wn bld t the mercy seat, when did He accmplish this wrk? Sme believe that we get that answer in Jhn s Gspel after Jesus resurrectin In chapter 20, the resurrected Lrd encunters Mary Magdalene When as she sees Jesus alive, she embraces Him Jhn 20:16 Jesus said t her, Mary! She turned and said t Him in Hebrew, Rabbni! (which means, Teacher). Jhn 20:17 Jesus said t her, Stp clinging t Me, fr I have nt yet ascended t the Father; but g t My brethren and say t them, I ascend t My Father and yur Father, and My Gd and yur Gd Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
11 Hebrews 9A (2014) 11 f 13 This encunter happened n the day f Jesus resurrectin, and s perhaps He was speaking f His ascensin t apply His bld in the Heavenly tabernacle If s, then this was an entirely different ascensin than the ne Jesus perfrmed in Acts 1 That later ascensin wuld have been t sit at the right hand f the Father The significance f sitting indicates that wrk has been finished S like the SAT analgy, the wrk f the earthly high priest was a lessr example f the greater wrk Jesus intended t perfrm n ur behalf in the heavenly tabernacle Jesus atning wrk was greater because the sacrifice He ffered was infinitely better than the ne ffered by the Levitical high priest The earthly priests were cmmanded t use the bld f bulls and gats in their sacrifices But the bld f an animal is nly sufficient t cleanse the bdy, the writer says in v.13 What he means is that an animal s sacrificial death was a payment fr the sins under the law, and s it permitted the restratin f a Jew wh had vilated the law A Jew wh beyed the law and sacrificed an animal as Gd directed was permitted t remain a citizen in gd standing within Israel If a Jew failed t perfrm the required sacrifices, they were t be cut ff frm Israel accrding t the Law S the bld f these animals cleansed the flesh, in the sense that it permitted the physical restratin f a persn Just as tday a criminal is return t sciety after paying his debt in prisn, s was a Jew restred physically by the bld f a bull r gat But as the writer nted earlier, the persn s cnscience was nt cleansed in this prcess 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
12 Hebrews 9A (2014) 12 f 13 They might have satisfied the requirements f the law thrugh the sacrifice f a bull r gat, but that didn t address their debt befre Gd They were still sinful and therefre they still awaited a slutin frm Gd S in v.14 the writer applies the analgy nce mre, saying if the bld f a bull r gat culd restre earthly fellwship, then the bld f Christ Himself was the slutin t recnciling us in fellwship with Gd Christ s bld was capable f atning fr ur sins nce fr all s that we might be called a friend f Gd All ur sins were cvered by the bld f Christ because His life pssessed tw unique qualities nthing else pssessed First, Jesus was a man, s He was a perfect substitute fr thse He died t save The death f an animal isn t sufficient t satisfy the wrath f Gd against ur sin, because they are nt an equal substitute fr us Imagine if smene wed a debt t the bank And then ne day they shwed up t pay ff the debt using Mnply mney Obviusly, the bank wuldn t accept Mnply mney t pay ff the debt, because the persn wed them real mney Only a payment with real mney wuld satisfy the debt Likewise, the debt we we Gd fr ur sin is a human life As Paul says in Rmans 6:23, the ages f sin is death S the death f a bull r gat r lamb isn t capable f paying the debt we we fr ur sin Only a human life can substitute fr ur life Secndly, Jesus bld has the pwer t atne fr ur sin because His life was perfect and withut sin Ntice in v.14 the writer says Jesus ffered Himself withut blemish He lived a sinless life, never cmmitting even ne sin 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
13 Hebrews 9A (2014) 13 f 13 Jesus willingness t resist the devil s temptatins under extreme circumstances in the desert was evidence f His reslve t remain bedient t the Father Therefre, Jesus death was undeserved and s it was available as a payment fr yu and I G back t ur example f the bank debt again What if a persn walked int a bank t pay ff a debt But in this particular case, imagine this persn had never taken ut a lan at that bank in the first place What wuld the bank d with his payment? Assuming the bank kept the mney, they culd apply that payment t smene else s debt That s exactly what Christ s death did fr yu and fr me The payment Christ made in His wn bld was a payment fr a debt that Christ did nt incur Since He had n sin f His wn, He had n debt t pay And yet He paid it nnetheless S the Father is willing t apply that payment t the accunt f anyne wh accepts Jesus payment in their place S the writer says in v.14 that if we accept the payment f Jesus, His bld is capable f cleansing ur cnscience frm dead wrks Ding wrks t please Gd whether wrks dne under the Law f Mses r any ther set f rules cannt cleanse ur cnscience Wrks cannt erase sin and animal bld cannt pay ur debt S ur cnscience cntinues t feel the weight f cndemnatin We knw in ur spirit that we remain in truble with Gd On the ther hand, if we accept the payment f Christ n ur behalf, we feel the weight f cndemnatin lifted Our sins are frgiven and we are freed t serve a living Gd As sin is t cndemnatin, s is Jesus Christ t eternal life 2014 Verse By Verse Ministry Internatinal ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.