Hebrews 9:23–10:4 (NKJV)
The author of Hebrews further describes the new testament in Christ by going beyond the significance of His death. In this passage, he also describes the reach and power of Christ’s sacrifice and death. What animal sacrifices atoned for on a case-by-case basis, Christ atoned for once for all.
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.Hebrews 9:23-28
The items in the temple and the people were cleansed with the blood of bulls and goats. These copies of heavenly things were to be purified by this type of blood, but the things which were truly heavenly in nature had to be cleansed with a much better sacrifice. This we know to be the blood of Jesus. Christ entered into heaven itself, appearing in the presence of God for mankind not often, not even annually or once in a while, but once only, to offer the eternal sacrifice for sin. He does not have to repeat the process every year as the earthly high priest did in the Most Holy Place. No, He offered His own blood once at the end of the ages, in order “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” The writer pens the phrase “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Christ was appointed once to die in order to bear the sins of many. Those who long for His appearing, eagerly awaiting for His return, will see Him and realize His salvation. Jesus fulfilled the law of blood sacrifice for forgiveness of sins. He made a way for eternity.
1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.Hebrews 10:1-4
The earthly offers of blood sacrifices offered by human priests are simply a shadow of what was to come through Christ. Since they are just shadows and types of the real offer of a blood sacrifice, and they cannot make the one offering them perfect, they must be offered over and over again. If they had the power to forgive all sins, then they would have ceased, for they would be efficacious for all time. However, they continued offering these sacrifices day after day, year after year. If they were able to forgive all sin, then the offerer would have had no more guilt and would have been purified. But yet they continued to return to the tabernacle, then the temple, for year after year. It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin. Perhaps they atoned for a time and a limited scope, but not forever. Mankind still needed Jesus to fully and completely forgive all sin by the one sacrifice on the cross to be taken into the heavens and the better sanctuary. Jesus paid it all!
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