Hebrews 9/ June 23
“Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (9:22)
The Old Testament is the symbolical representation of the truths found in Jesus Christ. The high priests are symbolical of the intercession that Christ has performed on our behalf. The shed blood of animals represents the blood He shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.
Here in chapter nine it begins with a discussion of the tabernacle, the portable representation of the dwelling place of God that would later be replaced by the Temple in Jerusalem. In modern society, to many churches represent the presence of God.
The chapter begins, “Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary.” (9:1) Even though the first covenant was centered on the keeping of rules, it still made provisions for worship. Continuing, “For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies,” (9:2,3)
The tabernacle was a portable type building that God directed Moses to have built during their 40 years in the wilderness. In Exodus we read, “And they are to make a sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them.”. (Exodus 25:8) The primary areas of the tabernacle were the holy place and the holy of holies. Into this holy of holies, we read, “but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.” (9:7).
The holy of holy area was only entered once a year for a purification of sins for the people. But the author clarifies a couple of verses down that this was all a symbol for the present time (9:8).
Christ performed in actuality what was done every year by the priests, but His was for real. We read in v12, “and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” (9:12)
Once and for all, Christ shed His blood for the remission of sin. We continue, “For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (9:13,14) The blood of animals served to temporarily delay the wrath of God, it showed the people having an acknowledgement of their sins, but the animal’s blood did not truly satisfy God. Only the blood of Jesus offers a cleansing of your conscience for you can have assurance of absolute forgiveness, the debt caused by sin has been paid.
In v22 we read that, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”. (9:22) The shedding of blood speaks of their being a cost of the most severe level, the life of another. Life cannot be replaced, once gone it is forever gone. In the tabernacle and temple it was the blood of animals, but that didn’t reach the true depth of the cost of sin. As the chapter concludes, “so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (9:28). Christ was offered once on the cross for the sins of all who will receive Him as their Savior. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5) This is the purpose of the death of Christ- payment for our transgressions. For the healing of our relationship with God that was broken by sin.
Peter wrote, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree,” (I Peter 2:24) and “For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God,” (I Peter 3:18).
Sinful mankind will be judged (9:27), there is a Righteous God who hates sin and demands payment for wrong doings. That is a righteous God. But the same God who demands recompense has provided payment for sin by His Son, the blood of the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He who is Just is also the Justifier. Ask yourself, do I know God in this way, are my sins forgiven? Do I know Jesus?