May 18, 2024


Hebrews 9:23-28 - 23Thus 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. 24For 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. 25Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26for 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. 27And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28so 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.


In Hebrews 9:23-28, the author explains the superiority of Christ's sacrifice and heavenly ministry compared to the earthly tabernacle and its rituals. The earthly tabernacle and its furnishings were merely copies of the true heavenly realities. While these earthly copies required purification through animal sacrifices, the heavenly things required a better sacrifice - the sacrifice of Christ himself. Christ entered into heaven itself, not a man-made sanctuary, to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Unlike the high priests who had to enter the holy places every year with animal blood, Christ's sacrifice was a one-time event. He appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as humans are appointed to die once and then face judgment, Christ was sacrificed once to bear the sins of many. He will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly waiting for him. Christ's superior sacrifice and heavenly ministry provide the basis for the believer's confident access to God and assurance of eternal redemption.


This passage from Hebrews highlights the incredible hope and assurance we have as believers because of Christ's finished work on the cross and his ongoing heavenly ministry. The old covenant tabernacle and sacrifices were never meant to be permanent solutions for sin. They were shadows and copies pointing forward to the ultimate reality found in Christ. When Jesus offered himself as the perfect, sinless sacrifice, he accomplished what no animal sacrifice ever could - the complete removal of sin and the securing of our eternal redemption. His death was a one-time event, never to be repeated, because it was fully sufficient to pay the penalty for sin. But Christ's work didn't stop at the cross. The author of Hebrews reminds us that Christ has now entered into heaven itself, appearing in the very presence of God on our behalf. What an incredible thought! Right now, Jesus is standing before the Father, interceding for us, representing us, and securing our access into the Most Holy Place. As believers, we no longer have to wonder if our sins are forgiven or if we'll be accepted by God. Christ's once-for-all sacrifice has completely dealt with sin, and his ongoing ministry guarantees our salvation. We can approach God with confidence, knowing that we are cleansed, forgiven, and welcomed into his presence. But this passage also reminds us that Christ's return is imminent. Just as surely as each person is appointed to die once and then face judgment, Christ will appear a second time. But for those who have put their faith in him, this won't be a terrifying prospect. He won't come to deal with sin again, because he's already done that once and for all. Instead, he'll come to bring the fullness of salvation to those who are eagerly waiting for him. So how should we respond to these incredible truths? With gratitude, worship, and hopeful anticipation. We should marvel at the wisdom and love of God in sending his Son to be our perfect sacrifice and high priest. We should approach God boldly in prayer, knowing that we have a mediator who understands our weaknesses and intercedes on our behalf. And we should live in eager expectation of Christ's return, knowing that our full and final redemption is drawing near.


Heavenly Father, Thank you for the incredible gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you that through his once-for-all sacrifice, our sins have been completely atoned for and we've been granted eternal redemption. Thank you that he now appears in your presence on our behalf, interceding for us and securing our access to your throne of grace. Forgive us for the times we take this incredible reality for granted. Forgive us for doubting your love, questioning your forgiveness, or hesitating to draw near to you in prayer. Remind us afresh of the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice and the power of his ongoing ministry. Give us a deeper appreciation for the incredible privilege we have as your redeemed children. Help us to approach you with reverence and awe, but also with bold confidence, knowing that we are fully cleansed and welcome in your presence. And as we await Christ's return, keep us hopeful and expectant. Help us to live in light of eternity, storing up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. May we be found faithful and ready when he appears, so that we can experience the fullness of our salvation. Thank you that because of Christ, our hope is not in vain. We look forward with joy to the day when we'll see you face to face. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

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Radiant Intercessor, Eternal Hope

Radiant Intercessor, Eternal Hope

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