Hebrews chapter nine speaks of the Mosaic law having “ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary” (Hebrews 9:1). The author goes on to describe the function of the priests who entered the tabernacle daily. He also speaks of the function of the high priest who entered the second part of the tabernacle annually with an offering for the people’s sins. Despite the ceremony and sacrifice, the Holy Spirit indicated that the way into the Holiest of All was not revealed during the time the original tabernacle was standing (Hebrews 9:2-8). It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience – concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation (Hebrews 9:9-10 NKJV). Reformation is the process of making changes to improve an institution or practice. Christ arrived to institute those changes, replacing the earthly with the spiritual.

Christ serves as High Priest offering His own blood rather than the blood of goats and calves. The blood offered under the Mosaic Law fulfilled its purpose to sanctify the flesh. If that blood was adequate, imagine how much more can be accomplished by the blood of the perfect Christ. Christ’s blood can cleanse the conscience (Hebrews 9:11-14)! And for this reason, He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15 NKJV). This sacrifice offered redemption for all the transgressions committed under the Mosaic Law and access to an eternal inheritance. That is a significant improvement!

Sadly, the change in testament required the death of the Christ. Otherwise, the new testament would not have taken effect. It is a matter of law that one must be deceased before their last will and testament can be executed. It is also a matter of law that blood be shed to accomplish remission of sins. Even the Mosaic Law, which we know as the Old Testament, required the shedding of blood. The book, the people, the tabernacle and the vessels used in the service were all sprinkled with the blood of calves and goats (Hebrews 9:16-21). And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission Hebrews 9:22 NKJV).

If it is necessary for the earthly copies to be purified with blood, then heavenly things must be purified with superior sacrifices. Remember that the High Priest entered the Holy Place annually to make atonement. Christ, as High Priest, entered heaven itself, the Holiest of All, appearing in the very presence of God on our behalf! His superior sacrifice allowed for one sacrifice sufficient “to put away sin” (Hebrews 9: 23-26).

It is not pleasant to contemplate our mortality. We avoid the thought of dying and most people fail to plan appropriately. How many postpone purchasing life insurance or postpone creating a will? Tragically, many also fail to plan for their spiritual future. How many of you are postponing baptism? If you have been baptized, are you taking your salvation seriously? Jesus paid the price for sin but it is up to us to meet the conditions of his testament in order to inherit. This lifetime is our only opportunity. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NKJV). And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation (Hebrews 9:27-28 NKJV). Judgment is coming. It is time to change!

Ken Fleeman (4/11/2021)

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