The Weekend Word
15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
- Notice that in v 11 Jesus becomes the High Priest and now in v 15 he is the mediator of a new covenant.
- Covenant – Testament – A Will
- A testament and a will are a specific kind of covenant
- God’s covenant is not just a covenant between God and Israel
- See how essential the death/sacrifice of Christ is. Without it, there would be no new covenant in force and no eternal inheritance for anyone.
16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.
17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is live.
- What is in my will is meaningless until I die – then it is binding. Up to the point of my death I can continually change my mind and will.
- It is the death that is important.
- If it is God making these promises – who must die?
- How is Jesus both the subject of the will and the executor?
- He rose from the dead.
18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.
19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
- Covenant making was always a bloody mess
- Something got killed and blood got sprinkled.
- Cutting a Covenant – Cutting a deal – blood was shed.
- Blood even in the garden when God replaced fig leaves with animal skins.
- How do you get the skin – hides – fur off an animal?
20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.”
21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship.
22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
- Why do people continually think they can do it on their own? – by their own efforts.
23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
- Difficult passage – but it was necessary
- Do the things in heaven represented by the earthly tabernacle and rites also need cleansing … but with a better sacrifice?
- Some would try to rationalize this away “oh it can’t mean that.” – but the Lutheran mind just accepts the words of God as they are.
- What are those better sacrifices being performed in heaven?
- And what about the plural ‘sacrifices’? It could just be the way the wording flows from the many earthly sacrifices – but does God waste words?
24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
- Jesus has entered the TRUE tabernacle
- Appears before the Father for us.
25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,
26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
- Once – appeared once and once only
- If you ever needed a verse to show that Jesus’ death on the cross was an actual sacrifice – here it is.
27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
- Interesting verse – usually you hear this verse used in an apologetics manner to defend against those who say you get a 2nd chance
- But that is not the primary use. It is talking about what we cannot avoid and the finality.
- At the moment of death, the judgment is delivered.
28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
- Bear the sins of many? What happened to all?
- Died for all = Objective Justification or Universal Justification
- Effective for those who come to believe – Subjective Justification.
- Those who are waiting for him – Advent
- Sin is no longer the issue – people for whom Jesus died will be in hell.
- The new issue is belief – those who believe Jesus died for their forgiveness will go to heaven.
- Those who reject that Jesus died for their forgiveness will go to hell.
- No one in hell will be able to ask “well why didn’t Jesus die for my sins?”