Don’t starve yourself and die! Have your daily spiritual meals with Jesus and grow strong and well-nourished in Him. Then, and only then, can we gain all things, especially eternal life!
Dear Lord, Heavenly Father, may Your glory be shown and revealed to all who read this study of Your Word. May Your Holy Spirit fill us, and may we be healed of our sickness, infirmity, and sinfulness by looking to Christ as revealed in You Word. We give You the glory, honor, and praise for what You have done, are doing, and will do, in Christ’s name, Amen.
In the previous study we saw that Christ’s sacrifice was “one and done,” meaning that He died once for all sins for all men, women, and children. This was found to be way superior to all Old Testament sacrifices, including the ultra-concentrated and powerful ritual of the “red heifer.” Now, Paul makes a conclusion based on those verses.
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:15, NIV
Paul concludes the explanation from the previous verses, stating that if an animal could have so much cleansing power so as to provide ceremonial cleansing to God’s people for generation upon generation, and Christ’s blood surpasses such amazing cleansing power, then He is completely qualified to be the Mediator (or go-between) of the new covenant between man and God.
Wuest writes: “The word ‘mediator’ is the translation of mesites which refers to the one who intervenes between two, to make or restore peace and friendship, to form a compact, or to ratify a covenant. Here the Messiah acts as a go-between or mediator between a holy God and sinful man. By His death on the cross, He removes the obstacle (sin) which caused an estrangement between man and God. When the sinner accepts the merits of Messiah’s sacrifice, the guilt and penalty of his sin is no more, the power of sin in his life is broken, he becomes the recipient of the divine nature, and the estrangement between himself and God, both legal and personal, disappears.” (Kenneth S. Wuest, Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, p. 162-163)
Jesus has ratified a New Covenant formed with His blood to remove the obstacle of sin between us and God. Now we are set free from the sins of the first covenant. Let us keep in mind that the first covenant was based on what man could do. We made promises to God that we would obey His word and follow His law. With each failure, not only are we violating His law, we are also violating the old covenant promise to do what God instructs. In making a new covenant, Jesus frees us from the prison of our inadequacy, washing away the debts we incurred by sinning against God and breaking our promises to Him, essentially lying to His face.
This text doesn’t only illustrate Christ resolving our inadequacy with this blood-bought covenant. It also refers to the salvation of those who lived and died before Christ came. They had little to no knowledge of what Christ would do. So, how could they be saved? Was there any hope for them? MacDonald describes this situation, stating that Old Testament believers were saved “on credit” in a sense. God knew what sacrifice Christ would make for them, so He counted them as accepting Christ once they accepted then-known revelation from God. This is known as he pretermission of sins. It’s also noted in Romans 3:25
And so we see, the power of the new covenant is that it still sets us free as the old covenant intended, but it sets us free from our imperfection, because now the power of the covenant’s success is in the all-powerful God who never lies, rather than weak and sinful men and women. Would you like to be free based on the new covenant? Accept Jesus, look to Him, and never take your eyes off of Him. He is your healing. He is your salvation. He Himself is your deliverance! Look to Him, and be saved. Feel free to share any questions or thoughts in the comments. God bless!
Source: MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary (1995).
Dear Lord, Heavenly Father, as we look more into Your Word, may we be encouraged, edified, lifted up, and changed by beholding the wondrous sacrifice and ministry of Your Son. May all who need to read this read it, and may Satan and his demons be rebuked at every attempt to hinder or pluck out this message, in the omnipotent name of Jesus, Amen!
So sorry about the long absence! I need to get a schedule together! It has really been a while, but God has a Word in His Word for us to get into. Just like in the previous study, Paul is currently comparing the sacrifice of Christ’s body against the Old Testament sacrificial system to prove that Christ is better. He continues in verses 13 and 14:
13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[c] so that we may serve the living God! (Hebrews 9:13-14, NIV)
These verses tell the story of the cleansing ritual of the “red heifer” (Mantle, J. Gregory. “Better Things: A Series of Bible Readings on the Epistle to the Hebrews”) If a person touched a dead body in ancient times, according to Levitical law he/she was considered ceremonially unclean for seven days. The remedy to this unclean condition was to take the ashes of a heifer and pour pure spring water over it and sprinkle it over the person on the third and seventh days. This made the person ceremonially clean once more to take part in communal worship services. (Numbers 19:17)
Now according to Mantle, the ashes were considered a concentrated form of the sin offering. Think of an extremely concentrated laundry detergent; only a little bit does a lot of cleaning! This concentrated form of the regular sin offering could be quickly, easily, and conveniently used. The ashes of one red heifer would last for hundreds of years, since only a small amount of ashes was necessary to give the water its ceremonial cleansing properties. It has been said that the ashes of only six heifers have been used throughout all of Jewish history.
For so few ashes to provide cleansing power to water shows us that the ashes of a red heifer contained immense amounts of ceremonial cleansing power. So, if this simple earthly animal could provide so much cleansing, how much more power can we find un the blood of the Perfect, Holy, Son of God?! He created the animal and His blood is infinitely more powerful to cleanse us of our sins for good!
One female cow, turned to ashes cleansed the outward blemishes of ceremonially unclean worshippers for centuries. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from even our deepest inward moral sickness forever and ever! Hallelujah for the almighty cleansing and healing we find in Jesus Christ!
With all of this power, Jesus’ blood cleanses us from the acts that lead to death. No amount of work or animal sacrifices could cleanse us from our sins and set us free. It is Christ’s blood that washes us inside and out, character and behavior, in order to enable us to be able to; and want to, serve God. God stated that animal sacrifices must be without physical spot or blemish; Christ as a Sacrifice went further by being morally spotless.
So the moral of the story is, Jesus is just better! Better than our crutches, our addictions that get us by, or the people we lean on for security. What comes to your mind when you see that Jesus went above and beyond to save you?
Source: MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary (1995).