I. 1st covenant carried specific but symbolic regulations, structures and appointments for the High Priest
1. 1st covenant: regs for worship and sanctuary
2-5a. Tabernacle: structure, appointments, specifications
5b-7. Priests enter continually, High Priests enters annually with blood
8. Holy Spirit makes clear: No holy place entry by common man while temple stands
9-10a. Gifts & sacrifices were symbolic – could not perfect
10b. External regulations until new order came
- Regulations and structure of the tabernacle were part of the 1st covenant
- Only High Priest could enter inner sanctum annually with blood
- Gifts and sacrifices of the temple were symbolic
- How well do I understand the structure and holy intent of God’s regulations? Do I see it as legalistic or do I see it as symbolism that helps bring me closer to God?
- Do I try to enter the inner sanctum without repenting and being cleansed by the blood of the lamb?
- Have I praised God for creating a “new order”?
II. Jesus, the High Priest of Good Things to Come, entered the Heavenly temple by His own blood
11a. But Now: Christ is High Priest of Good Things to Come
11b-12. Jesus Christ entered Heavenly Holy of Holies once for all by His own blood: secured eternal redemption
13. Blood of animals provided ritual purity
14. Blood of Christ, through Holy Spirit, purifies our conscience to worship God
- Christ is the High Priest of Good Things to Come
- Blood required for High Priest to enter Holy of Holies, Jesus by His own blood
- Blood of Jesus, through H/S, purifies our conscience to worship
- Are my thoughts mired in the problems all around or is my focus on “the Good Things to Come”?
- When I think of heaven’s doors open, do I see the price of the blood offering that was given for them to be opened?
- Have I prayed for not only a clean heart and renewed spirit, but also a purified conscience so that I can truly worship God?
III. Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant, shed His blood, died, appears to God in Heaven & will return bringing salvation
15. Jesus is mediator of the new covenant – paid price for unfaithfulness (violation of old covenant)
16-17. To execute a will – death certificate is required
18-20. 1st covenant: inaugurated by Moses with blood
21-22a. All temple spaces & utensils purified with blood
22b. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness
23. Earthly tabernacle purified with animal blood + Heavenly required more
24. Christ did not enter earthly temple but heavenly + appears to God for us
25-26a. Jesus does not repeat sacrifices like earthly priests
26b. One appearance for consummation of the ages: defeated sin
27. We die once => face judgment
28. Jesus offering once (bearing sins of many), appearing again to bring salvation.
- New covenant (like a will) is an inheritance
- Death & blood required to execute a will
- Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness
- Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient / complete
- Jesus died once, bearing the sins of many and He will appear again to bring salvation
- Am I living as and adopted child of God? Have I accepted the inheritance that Jesus died to provide for me?
- Do I take responsibility for my sins and the death and blood that they require for forgiveness? What is my view of blood: negative or the essence of life being sacrificed for my sin?
- Do I try to earn salvation or do I fully accept that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient and complete?
Jesus fulfilled the symbolism of the 1st covenant by entering the temple of heaven through His own blood to mediate the new covenant of salvation.
The life is in the blood. We can think of blood as gory, dark, something negative, but it is life.
God gave life to man. He made man in His image and it was very good. He gave one restriction, one thing that drew a distinction between creator and created: Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But man chose sin and disobedience. Man chose to put faith in our own discernment instead of in the word of God.
When we chose that path, we were obligated to give the 1st and foremost gift that we received from God back to God. In other words, we had to give back the gift of life.
But God chose a substitution instead of what was really due. It wasn’t sufficient. Giving the life of an animal was symbolic only and could not truly recreate perfection. That would require the life of a man who did not sin (so that the shedding of blood would not be simply the requirement of restitution for his own sin). In other words, something no man could ever possibly do – Until Jesus.
Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. But with the blood of the lamb or God, Jesus Christ, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, the conscience of believers is purified to enter into true and direct worship of our Creator. Jesus provided His perfect sacrifice once, bearing the sins of many. Jesus will also come again to bring salvation – the Good News of the New Covenant of Good Things to Come.
If I ever start a church, I’m calling it “The Church of Good Things to Come!” Amen.