He Is Great Because of the Order of His Priesthood (7:1-10:18), cont’d.
The Preeminence of the Order of His Priesthood (7:1-10:18), cont’d.
As Seen In Its Contrast to Aaron, cont’d.
- It is Sacrificial in Its Order (9:1-28)
The Limitations of the Earthly Sacrifices
They served as a symbol of the future (:8-9)
The very design of the Temple (its structure and furnishings) and the sacrificial system were intended to direct the people’s attention to the future. It was a living demonstration and constant reminder of God’s method to save men and that there would come a time when God would provide the perfect and final sacrifice for sin.
They served as regulations for the present (:9-10,13)
The first covenant was one that was administered in the earthly tabernacle...and had to be done so, continuously (cf. 10:1-2). It could only apply to physical matters. Everything that was done in the Temple served to remind the people of the holiness of God and their accountability to Him. When we disobey God it is sin. Sin has a price…death. This death is spiritual (separation from God)…but also has physical, worldly consequences. In order for sin to be forgiven another life must be given in place of the one who has sinned. The sacrificial system of the Aaronic priesthood served as a reminder of this principle and through its laws helped to provide instruction for life (cf. 10:3). Animal sacrifice was a physical sign, or act of repentance on the part of the one offering it. However, it could not actually pay for the sin (10:4). It was merely a symbol of the actual, real sacrifice. Sin is spiritual. Only one who is spiritually qualified can make the payment for sin. This is what Jesus did when He died on the cross.
- The Holy Ghost hereby signifies that the Old Testament institutions were by external carnal ordinances imposed upon them until the time of reformation, v. 10. Their imperfection lay in three things:
- Their nature. They were but external and carnal meats and drinks, and divers washings. All these were bodily exercises, which profit little; they could only satisfy the flesh, or at best sanctify to the purifying of the flesh.
- They were not such as were left indifferent to them to use or disuse, but they were imposed upon them by grievous corporal punishments, and this was ordered on purpose to make them look more to the promised Seed, and long more for him.
- These were never designed for perpetuity, but only to continue till the time of reformation, till the better things provided for them were actually bestowed upon them. Gospel times are and should be times of reformation, of clearer light as to all things necessary to be known, of greater love, inducing us to bear ill-will to none, but good will to all, and to have complacency in all that are like God, of greater liberty and freedom both of spirit and speech and of a more holy living according to the rule of the gospel. We have far greater advantages under the gospel than they had under the law; and either we must be better or we shall be worse. A conversation becoming the gospel is an excellent way of living; nothing mean, foolish, vain, or servile becomes the gospel.
The Purpose of the Heavenly Sacrifice
It serves to cleanse our conscience (:14)
The sacrifice of Jesus provides forgiveness for our sins and cleanses our conscience from guilt.
It serves to pay for our sin (:15)
The sacrifice of Jesus is the payment for the consequences, the cost of sin. He literally buys us back (“redemption”) from the consequences of sin.
The Basis of the Heavenly Sacrifice
The blood of Christ (:14-26)
When we speak of the “blood of Christ” we are speaking of His life. Christ gave His life, His perfect, sinless life, as payment for our sinful life.
The Outcome of the Heavenly Sacrifice (:27-28)
Jesus is coming again…and when He does it will not be in regards of sin and its punishment…He has already taken care of that. Instead, He will come to gather together all of those who have accepted Him as their Savior.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for cleansing me of my sins...once, and for all!