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THE SUPERIORITY OF THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST
Victor M. Eskew
A. The writer of Hebrews introduces subjects briefly, then, comes back to them in later portions of the book.
B. Two earlier themes:
1. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:3)
2. The true tabernacle (Heb. 8:2)
C. He returns to these in the first part of chapter 9 (See vss. 11-12)
D. In Hebrews 9:1-14, the author will show his readers the superiority of Jesus’ sacrifice.
i. THE DESCRIPTION OF THE OT TABERNACLE (Heb. 9:1-5)
ii. THE DEFICIENCY OF THE OT SACRIFICES (Heb. 9:6-10)
iii. THE DOMINANCE OF JESUS’ SACRIFICE (Heb. 9:11-14)
I. THE DESCRIPTION OF THE OT TABERNACLE (Heb. 9:1-5)
II. THE DEFICIENCY OF THE OT SACRIFICES (Heb. 9:6-10)
A. The Work of the Priests (Heb. 9:6-7)
1. The first tabernacle (Heb. 9:6)
Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
a. Authorized by God: “when these things were thus ordained”
1) Before the priest could perform their duties in the tabernacle, God had to first ordain the work.
2) LESSON: In the religious world, man is not free to do as he pleases as he serves God. He must operate through God’s legislation (Col. 3:17).
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
b. Attendants within: “the priests went always into”
1. Only the priests were authorized by God to enter into the first part of the tabernacle.
2. See Exodus 27:21
In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the Lord: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on behalf of the children of Israel.
c. Area of work: “the priests when always into the first tabernacle”
1) The priests were only allowed into the first part of the tabernacle.
2) They were not allowed to into the Most Holy Place.
d. Accomplishing God’s service: “accomplishing the service of God”
1) Two words defined:
- Strong (2005): to fulfill completely, execute
- Thayer: to bring to an end, execute, perfect, execute, complete
- Strong (2999): ministration of God
- Thayer: to perform sacred services, the service and worship of God as required by the Levitical law
2) They had three main functions to fulfill in the Holy Place.
a) To keep the candlestick lit
b) To offer up incense
c) To maintain the table of showbread
e. Two lessons:
1) LESSON #1: God is the one who legislates to man about how to conduct His service.
2) LESSON #2: Man is capable of obeying God’s will when it is revealed to him.
2. The second tabernacle (Heb. 9:7)
But in the second went the high priest alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.
a. The area of service: “But in the second”
1) This place is referred to as the Most Holy Place or holy of holies.
2) It was located behind the second vail of the tabernacle.
3) It was considered the dwelling place of God.
b. The attendant within: “went the high priest alone”
1) No priest, except the high priest could enter into this place. The writer of Hebrews emphasizes that he went in “alone.”
2) Exodus 30:10
And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the Lord.
3) This place was so holy that no man, not even the high priest, could enter any other time of the year.
c. The appointment of entrance: “once every year”
1) The high priest went in on the 10th day of the 7th month
2) It was on the Day of Atonement.
d. The activity of the high priest: “not without blood”
1) This was the day that Israel remembered their sins and moved them forward for another year.
2) It involved blood, the blood of a heifer and the blood of a goat.
3) In his commentary on Hebrews, brother Tom Wacaster lists 8 procedures that took place on that day (Wacaster, p. 331).
e. The aim of the blood: “which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people”
1) It is very significant the blood was also needed by the high priest himself. He, too, was a sinner.
a) Strong (51): a thing ignored, a shortcoming
b) Thayer: a sin committed through ignorance or thoughtlessness
c) Vine: a sin of ignorance
B. The Weaknesses of the OT institutions (Heb. 9:8-10).
1. No entrance into the holiest of all (Heb. 9:8-9a)
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present…
a. The teaching that the writer is about to set forth was not from his own mind. It was the Holy Ghost who was signifying these things.
a) Strong (1213): to make plain
b) Thayer: to make manifest, to make known, to give one to understand
2) The Holy Spirit was the one who was revealing these things to inspired men who wrote them so man could have them (I Cor. 2:9-13).
b. The ultimate goal of man should be to enter into the presence of God. This was not possible under the Old Covenant.
1) No Israelite could enter into the tabernacle unless he was a priest.
2) No priest could enter into the most holy place unless he was the high priest.
3) No high priest could enter into the most holy place without the blood of an animal.
4) Even within the most holy place, they were only in a figure of that which was to come.
a) The tabernacle was not the real thing. It was a likeness of the real thing.
- Strong (3850): Greek: parabole similitude -: comparison
- Thayer: placing one thing by the side another, comparison of one thing with another, likeness, similitude
b) Remember that all of the likenesses were earthly, not heavenly.
c. As long as that first tabernacle remained standing, the way into the holiest of all, heaven, was not yet made manifest.
d. Through Jesus “the way” would be made know.
1) John 14:6
I am the way…
2) Hebrews 10:19-20
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new a living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh.