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Hebrews Chapter Nine


Hebrews 9

The epistle, recounting some particular circumstances which characterised the first covenant shews that neither were sins put away, nor was the conscience purged by its means, nor the entrance into the holiest granted to the worshipers. The veil concealed God. The high priest went in once a year to make reconciliation-no one else. The way to God in holiness was barred. Perfect, as pertaining to the conscience, they could not be through the blood of bulls and of goats. These were but previsionary and figurative ordinances, until God took up the real work itself, in order to accomplish it fully and for ever.

But this brings us to the focus of the light which God gives us by the Holy Ghost in this epistle. Before proving by the scriptures of the Old Testament the doctrine that he announced and the discontinuance of the actual sacrifices-of all sacrifice for sin, the writer, with a heart full of the truth and of the importance of that truth, teaches the value and the extent of the sacrifice of Christ (still in contrast with the former offerings, but a contrast that rests on the intrinsic value of the offering of Christ). These three results are presented:-first, the opened way into the sanctuary was manifested, that is, access to God Himself, where He is, second, the purification of the conscience; third, and eternal redemption (I may add the promise of an eternal inheritance).

One feels the immense importance, the inestimable value, of the first. 'The believer is admitted into God's own presence by a new and living way which he has consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; has constant access to God, immediate access to the place where He is, in the light. What complete salvation, what blessedness, what security! For how could we have access to God in the light, if everything that would separate us from Him, were not entirely taken away through Him who was once offered to bear the sins of many? But here it is the precious and perfect result, in this respect, which is revealed to us, and formally proved in chapter 10, as a right that we possess, that access to God Himself is entirely and freely open to us. We are not indeed told in this passage that we are seated there, for it is not our union with Christ that is the subject of this epistle, but our access to God in the sanctuary. And it is important to note this last, and it is as precious in its p]ace as the other. We are viewed as on earth and being on earth we have free and full access to God in the sanctuary. We go in perfect liberty to God, where His holiness dwells, and where nothing that is contrary to Him can be admitted. What happiness! What perfect grace! What a glorious result, supreme and complete ! Could anything better be desired, remembering too that it is our dwelling-place? This is our position in the presence of God through the entrance of Christ into the sanctuary.

The second result shews us the personal state we are brought into, in order to the enjoyment of our position; that we may, on our part, enter in freely. It is that our Saviour has rendered our conscience perfect, so that we can go into the sanctuary without an idea of fear, without one question as to sin arising in our minds. A perfect conscience is not an innocent conscience which, happy in its unconsciousness, does not know evil, and does not know God revealed in holiness. A perfect conscience knows God; it is cleansed, and, having the knowledge of good and evil according to the light of God Himself, it knows that it is purified from all evil according to His purity. Now the blood of bulls and goats, and the washing repeated under the law, could never make the conscience perfect. They could sanctify carnally, so as to enable the worshiper to approach God outwardly, yet only afar off, with the veil still unrent. But a real purification from sin and sins, so that the soul can be in the presence of God Himself in the light without spot, with the consciousness of being so the offerings under the law could never produce. They were but figures. but, thanks be to God, Christ has accomplished the work; and, present for us now in the heavenly and eternal sanctuary, He is the witness there that our sins are put away; so that all conscience of sin before God is destroyed, because we know that He who bore our sins is in the presence of God, after having accomplished the work of expiation. Thus we have the consciousness of being in the light without spot. We have the purification not only of sins but of the conscience, so that we can use this access to God in full liberty and joy, presenting ourselves before Him who has so loved us.

The third result, which seals and characterises the two others, is that Christ, having once entered in abides in heaven. He has gone into the heavenly sanctuary to remain there by virtue of an eternal redemption, of blood that has everlasting validity. The work is completely done, and can never change in value. If our sins are effectually put away, God glorified, and righteousness complete, that which once availed to effect this can never not avail. The blood shed once for all is ever efficacious.

Our High Priest is in the sanctuary, not with the blood of sacrifices, which are but figures of the true. The work has been done which puts sin away. This redemption is neither temporal not transitory. It is the redemption of the soul, and for eternity, according to the moral efficacy of that which has been done.

Here then are the three aspects of the result of the work of Christ: immediate access to God; a purged conscience; and eternal redemption.

Three points remain to be noticed before entering on the subject of the covenants, which is here resumed.

First, Christ is a High Priest of good things to come. In saying "things to come",the starting-point is Israel under the law before the advent of our Lord. Nevertheless, if these good things were now acquired, if it could be said, "we have them," because Christianity was their fulfillment, it could hardly be still said-when Christianity was established-"good things to come." They are yet to come. These "good things" consist of all that the Messiah will enjoy when He reigns. This also is the reason that the earthly things have their place. But our present relationship with Him is only and altogether heavenly. He acts as Priest in a tabernacle which is not of this creation: it is heavenly, in the presence of God, not made with hands. Our place is in heaven.

In the second place, "Christ offered himself, [1], without spot, to God." Here the precious offering up of Christ is viewed as an act that He performed as man, though in the perfection and Value of His Person. He offered Himself to God-but as moved by the power, and according to the perfection of the Eternal Spirit. All the motives that governed this action, and the accomplishment of the fact according to those motives, were purely and perfectly those of the Holy Ghost; that is, absolutely divine in their perfection, but of the Holy Ghost acting in a man (a man without sin who, born and living ever by the power of the Holy Ghost, had never known sin; who, being exempt from it by birth, never allowed it to enter into Him); so that it is the Man Christ who offers Himself. This was requisite.

Thus the offering was in itself perfect and pure, with out defilement; and the act of offering was perfect, whether in love or in obedience, or in the desire to glorify God, or to accomplish the purpose of God. Nothing mingled itself with the perfection of His intent in offering Himself. Moreover, it v.was not a temporary offering, which applied to one sin with which the conscience was burdened and which went no farther than that one an offering which could not, by its nature, have the perfection spoken of, because it was not the Person offering up Himself, nor was it absolutely for God, because there was in it neither the perfection of will nor of obedience. But the offering of Christ was one which, being perfect in its moral nature, being in itself perfect in the eyes of God, was necessarily eternal in its value. For this value was as enduring as the nature of God who was glorified in it.

It was made, not of necessity, but of free will, and in obedience. It was made by a man for the glory of God, but through the Eternal Spirit, ever the same in its nature and value.

All being, thus perfectly fulfilled for the glory of God, the conscience of every one that comes to Him by this offering is purged; dead works are blotted out and set aside; we stand before God on the ground of that which Christ has done.

And here the third point comes in. Being perfectly cleansed in conscience from all that man in his sinful nature produces, and having to do with God in light and in love, there being no question of conscience with Him, we are in a position to serve the living God. Precious liberty! in which, happy and without question before God according to His nature in light, we can serve Him according to the activity of His nature in love. Judaism knew no more of this than it did of perfection in conscience. Obligation towards God that system indeed maintained; and it offered a certain provision for that which was needed for outward failure. But to have a perfect conscience, and then to serve God in love, according to His will-of this it knew nothing.

This is christian position: the conscience perfect by Christ, [2] according to the nature of God Himself; the service of God in liberty, according to His nature of love acting towards others.

For the Jewish system, in its utmost advantages, was characterised by the holy place. There were duties and obligations to be fulfilled in order to draw near, sacrifices to cleanse outwardly him who drew near outwardly. Meanwhile God was always concealed. No one entered into "the holy place:" it is implied that the "most holy" was inaccessible. No sacrifice had yet been offered which gave free access, and at all times. God was concealed: that He was so characterised the position. They could not stand before Him. Neither did He manifest Himself. They served Him out of His presence without going in.

It is important to notice this truth, that the whole system in its highest and nearest access to God was characterised by the holy place, in order to understand the passage before us.

Now the first tabernacle-Judaism as a system-is identified with the first part of the tabernacle, and that open only to the priestly part of the nation, the second part (that is, the sanctuary) only shewing, by the circumstances connected with it, that there was no access to God. When the author of the epistle goes on to the present position of Christ, he leaves the earthly tabernacle-it is heaven itself he then speaks of, a tabernacle not made with hands, nor of this creation, into which he introduces us.

The first tent or part of the tabernacle gave the character of the relationship of the people with God, and that only by a priesthood. They could not reach God. When we approach God Himself, it is in heaven; and the entire first system disappears. Everything was offered as a figure in the first system, and even as a figure shewed that the conscience was not yet set free, nor the presence of God accessible to man. The remembrance of sins was continual]y renewed (the annual sacrifice was a memorial of sins and God was not manifested, nor the way to Him opened).

Christ comes, accomplishes the sacrifice, makes the conscience perfect, goes into heaven itself; and we draw nigh to God in the light. To mingle the service of the first tabernacle or holy place with christian service is to deny the latter; for the meaning of the first was that the way to God was not yet open; the meaning of the second, that it is open.

God may have patience with the weakness of man. Till the destruction of Jerusalem He bore with the Jews; but the two systems can never really go on together, namely, a system which said that one cannot draw nigh to God, and another system which gives access to Him.

Christ is come, the High Priest of a new system, of "good things," which, under the old system, were yet " to come;" but He did not enter into the earthly most holy place, leaving the holy place to subsist without a true meaning. He is come by the (not a) more excellent and more perfect tabernacle. I repeat it, for it is essential here: the holy place, or the first tent, is the figure of the relationship of men with God under the first tabernacle (taken as a whole); so that we may say, " the first tabernacle," applying it to the first part of the tabernacle, and pass on to the first tabernacle as a whole, and as a recognised period having the same meaning. This the epistle does here. To come out of this position, we must leave typical things and pass into heaven, the true sanctuary where Christ ever lives, and where no veil bars our entrance.

Now it is not said, that we have " the good things to come." Christ has gone into heaven itself, the High Priest of those good things, securing their possession to them that trust in Him. [3] God in the light by virtue of Christ's presence there. That presence is the proof of righteousness fully established; the blood, an evidence that our sins are put away for ever; and our conscience is made perfect. Christ in heaven is the guarantee for the fulfillment of every promise. He has opened an access for us, even now, to God in the light, having cleansed our consciences once for all-for He dwells on high continuously-that we may enter in, and that we may serve God here below.

All this is already established and secured; but there is more. The new covenant,of which He is Mediator, is founded on His blood.

The way in which the apostle always avoids the direct application of the new covenant is very striking.

The transgressions that were imputed under the first covenant, and which the sacrifices it offered could not expiate, are by the blood of the new covenant entirely blotted out. Thus they which are called--observe the expression (ver. 15)-can receive the promise of the eternal inheritance; that is to say, the foundation is laid for the accomplishment of the blessings of the covenant. He says, " the eternal inheritance," because, as we have seen, the reconciliation was complete, our sins borne and canceled, and the work by which sin is finally put away out of God's sight accomplished, according to the nature and character of God Himself. This is the main point of all this part of the epistle.

It is because of the necessity there was for this sacrifice-the necessity that sins, and finally sin, should be entirely put away, [4] in order to the enjoyment of the eternal promises (for God could not bless,as an eternal principle and definitively, while sin was before His eyes), that Christ, the Son of God, Man on earth, became the Mediator of the new covenant, in order that by death He might make a way for the permanent enjoyment of that which had been promised. The new covenant, in itself,did not speak of a Mediator. God would write His laws on the hearts of His people, and would remember sins no more.

The covenant is not yet made with Israel and Judah. But meanwhile God has established and revealed the Mediator, who has accomplished the work on which the fulfillment of the promises can be founded in a way that is durable in principle, eternal, because connected with the nature of God Himself. This is done by means of death, the wages of sin and by which sin is left behind; and expiation for sins being made according to the righteousness of God, an altogether new position is taken outside and beyond sin. The Mediator has paid the ransom. Sin has no more right over us.

Verses 16, 17 are a parenthesis, in which the idea of a " testament " (it is the same word as "covenant " in the Greek, a disposition on the part of one who has the right of disposal) is introduced, to make us understand that death must have taken place before the rights acquired under the testament can enjoyed. [5] This necessity of the covenant being founded on the blood of a victim was not forgotten in the case of the first covenant. Everything was sprinkled with blood. Only in this case it was the solemn sanction of death attached to the obligation of the covenant. The types always spoke of the necessity of death intervening before men could be in relationship with God. Sin had brought in death and judgment. We must either undergo the judgment ourselves or see our sins blotted out through it having been undergone by another for us.

Three applications of the blood are presented here. The covenant is founded on the blood. Defilement is washed away by its means. Guilt is removed by the remission obtained through the blood that has been shed.

These are in fact the three things necessary. First the ways of God in bestowing blessing according to His promise are connected with His righteousness, the sins of those blessed being, atoned for, the requisite foundation of the covenant, Christ having withal glorified God in respect of sin when made sin on the cross.

Second the purification of the sin by which we were defiled (by which all things that could not be guilty were nevertheless defiled) is accomplished. Here there were cases in which water was typically used: this is moral and practical cleansing. It flows from death, the water that purifies proceeded from the side of the holy Victim already dead. It is the application of the word-which judges all evil and reveals all good-to the conscience and the heart.

Third, as regards remission. In no case can this be obtained without the shedding of blood. Observe that it does not here say " application." It is the accomplishment of the work of true propitiation, which is here spoken of. Without shedding of blood there is no remission. All-important truth! For a work of remission, death and blood-shedding must take place.

Two consequences flow from these views of atonement and reconciliation to God.

First, it was necessary that there should be a better sacrifice, a more excellent victim, than those which were offered under the old covenant, because it was the heavenly things themselves, and not their figures, that were to be purified. For it is into the presence of God in heaven itself that Christ has entered.

Secondly, Christ was not to offer Himself often, as the high priest went in every year with the blood of others. For He offered up Himself. Hence, if all that was available in the sacrifice was not brought to perfection by a single offering once made, He must have suffered often since the foundation of the world. [6] This remark leads to the clear and simple declaration of the ways of God on this point--a declaration of priceless value. God allowed ages to pass (the different distinct periods in which man has in divers ways been put to the test, and in which he has had time to shew what he is) without yet accomplishing His work of grace. This trial of man has served to shew that he is bad in nature and in will. The multiplication of means only made it more evident that he was essentially bad at heart, for he availed himself of none of them to draw near to God. On the contrary, his enmity against God was fully manifested.

When God had made this plain, before the law, under the law, by promises, by the coming and presence of His Son, then the work of God takes the place, for our salvation and God's glory, of man's responsibility-on the ground of which faith knows man is entirely lost. This explains the expression (ver. 26) " in the consummation of the ages."

Now this work is perfect, and perfectly accomplished. Sin had dishonoured God, and separated man from Him. All that God had done to give him the means of return only ended in affording him opportunity to fill up the measure of his sin by the rejection of Jesus. But in this the eternal counsels of God were fulfilled, at least the moral basis laid, and that in infinite perfection, for their actual accomplishment in their results. All now in fact, as in purpose always, rested on the second Adam, and on what God had done, not on man's responsibility, while that was fully met for God's glory. (Compare 2 Tim. 1:9, 10; Titus 1:1, 2.) The Christ, whom man rejected, had appeared in order to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Thus it was morally the consummation of the ages.

The result of the work and power of God are not yet manifested. A new creation will develop them. But man, as the child of Adam, has run his whole career in his relationship with God: he is enmity against God. Christ, fulfilling the will of God, has come in the consummation of ages, to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and His work to this end is accomplished. This is the moral power of His act, [7] of His sacrifice before God; in result, sin will be entirely blotted out of the heavens and the earth. To faith this result, namely, the putting away of sin, is already realised in the conscience, [8] because Christ who was made sin for us has died and died to sin, and now is risen and glorified, sin (even as made it for us) left behind.

Moreover, this result is announced to the believer--to those who are looking for the Lord's return. Death and judgment are the lot of men as children of Adam. Christ has been opened once to bear the sins of many; and " unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation," not to judgment.

For them, as to their standing before God, sin is even now put away: as Christ is, so are they; their own sins are all blotted out. Christ appeared the first time in order to be made sin for us, and to bear our sins; they were laid upon Him on the cross. And, with regard to those who wait for Him, those sins are entirely put away. When He returns, Christ has nothing, to do with sin, as far as they are concerned. It was fully dealt with at His first coming. He appears the second time to deliver them from all the results of sin, from all bondage. He will appear, not for judgment, but unto salvation. The putting away of sin on their behalf before God has been so complete, the sins of believers so entirely blotted out, that, when He appears the second time, He has, as to them nothing to do with sin. He appears apart from sin, not only without sin in His blessed Person-this was the case at His first coming-but (as to those who look for Him) outside all question of sin, for their final deliverance.

"Without sin" is in contrast with " to bear the sins of many. [9] But it will be remarked, that the taking up of the assembly is not mentioned here. It is well to notice the language. The character of His second coming is the subject. He has been manifested once. Now He is seen by those who look for Him. The expression may apply to the deliverance of the Jews who wait for Him in the last days. He will appear for their deliverance. But we expect the Lord for this deliverance, and we shall see Him when He accomplishes it even for us. The apostle does not touch the question of the difference between this and our being caught up, and does not use the word which serves to announce His public manifestation. He will appear to those who expect Him. He is not seen by all the world, nor is it consequently the judgment, although that may follow. The Holy Ghost speaks only of them that look for the Lord. To them He will appear. By them He will be seen, and it will be the time of their deliverance; so that it is true for us, and also applicable to the Jewish remnant in the last days.

Thus the christian position, and the hope of the world to come, founded on the blood and on the Mediator of the new covenant, are both given here. The one is the present portion of the believer, the other is secured as the hope of Israel.

How wonderful is the grace which we are now considering!

There are two things that present themselves to us in Christ-the attraction to our heart of His grace and goodness, and His work which brings our souls into the presence of God. It is with the latter that the Holy Ghost here occupies us. There is not only the piety which grace produces; there is the efficacy of the work itself. What is this efficacy? What is the result for us of His work? Access to God in the light without a veil, ourselves entirely clear of all sin before Him, as white as snow in the light which only shews it. Marvelous position for us ! We have not to wait for a day of judgment (assuredly coming as it is), nor to seek for means of approach to God. We are in His presence. Christ appears in the presence of God for us. And not only this: He remains there ever; our position therefore never changes. It is true that we are called to walk according to that position. But this does not touch the fact that such is the position. And how came we into it? and in what condition? Our sins entirely put away, perfectly put away, and once for all, and the whole question of sin settled for ever before God, we are there because Christ has finished the work which abolished it, and without it in God's sight. So that there are the two things--this work accomplished, and this position ours in the presence of God.

We see the force of the contrast between this and Judaism. According to the latter, divine service, as we have seen, was performed outside the veil. The worshipers did not reach the presence of God. Thus they had always to begin again. The propitiatory sacrifice was renewed from year to year-a continually repeated testimony that sin still was there. Individually they obtained a temporary pardon for particular acts. It had constantly to be renewed. The conscience was never made perfect, the soul was not in the presence of God, this great question was never settled. (How many souls are even now in this condition!) The entrance of the high priest once a year did but furnish a proof that the way was still barred that God could not be approached, but that sin was still remembered.

But now the guilt of believers is gone, their sins washed away by a work done once for all; the conscience is made perfect; nor is there any condemnation for them. Sin in the flesh has been condemned in Christ when a sacrifice for sin, and Christ appears ever in the presence of God for us. The High Priest remains there. Thus, instead of having a memorial of sin reiterated from year to year, perfect righteousness subsists ever for us in the presence of God. The position is entirely changed.

The lot of man (for this perfect work takes us out of Judaism) is death and judgment. But now our lot depends on Christ, not on Adam. Christ was [10] -the work is complete, the sins blotted out, and to those who look for Him He will appear without having anything, to do with sin that question having been entirely settled at His first, coming. In the death of Jesus, God dealt with the sins of those who look for Him; and He will appear, not to judge, but unto salvation-to deliver them finally from the position into which sin had brought them. This will have its application to the Jewish remnant according to the circumstances of their position; but in an absolute way it applies to the Christian, who has heaven for his portion.

The essential point established in the doctrine of the death of Christ is, that He offered Himself once for all. We must bear this in mind, to understand the full import of all that is here said. The tenth chapter is the development and application of this. In it the author recapitulates his doctrine on this point, and applies it to souls, confirming it by scripture and by considerations which are evident to every enlightened conscience.

1. The law, with its sacrifices, did not make the worshipers perfect; for, if they had been brought to perfection, the sacrifices would not have been offered afresh. If they were offered again, it was because the worshipers were not perfect. On the contrary the repetition of the sacrifice was a memorial of sins; it reminded the people that sin was still there, and that it was still before God. In effect the law, although it was the shadow of things to come, was not their true image. There were sacrifices; but they were repeated instead of there being one only sacrifice of eternal efficacy. There was a high priest, but he was mortal, and the priesthood transmissible. He went into the holiest, but only once a year, the veil which concealed God being unrent, and the high priest unable to remain in His presence, the work being not perfect. Thus there were indeed elements which plainly indicated the constituent parts, so to speak, of the priesthood of the good things to come; but the state of the worshipers was in the one case quite the opposite of that which it was in the other. In the first, every act shewed that the work of reconciliation was not done; in the second, the position of the high priest and of the worshiper is a testimony that this work has been accomplished, and that the latter are perfected for ever in the presence of God.


[1] The reader will remark how anxiously, so to speak, the Epistle here attaches the epithet "eternal" to everything. It was not a temporary or earthly ground of relationship with God, but an eternal one; so of redemption; so of inheritance. Corresponding to this, as to the work on earth, it is once for all. It is not unimportant to notice this as to the nature of the work. Hence the epithet attached even to the Spirit.

[2] For in Christ we are the righteousness of God. His blood cleanses us on God's part. Jesus wrought out the purification of sins by Himself, and glorified God in so doing.

[3] It is all-important thoroughly to understand, that it is into the presence of God that we enter; and that, at all times, and by virtue of a sacrifice and of blood which never lose their value. The worshiper, under the former tabernacle, did not come into the presence of God; he stayed outside the unrent veil. He sinned-a sacrifice was offered: he sinned again-a sacrifice was offered. Now the veil is rent. We are always in the presence of God without a veil. Happen what may, He always sees us-sees us in His presence-according t the efficacy of Christ's perfect sacrifice. We are there now, by virtue of a perfect sacrifice, offered for the putting away of sin, according to the divine glory, and which has perfectly accomplished the purification of sins. I should not be in the presence of God in the sanctuary, if I had not been purified according to the purity of God, and by God. It was this which brought me there. And this sacrifice and this blood can never lose their value. Through them I am therefore perfect for ever in the presence of God; I was brought into it by them.

[4] The work in virtue of which all sin is finally put away out of God's sight-abolished-is accomplished, the question of good and evil is come to a final issue on the cross, and God perfectly glorified when sin was before Him; the result will not be finally accomplished till the new heavens and the new earth. But our sins having been borne by Christ on the cross, He rises, atonement being made, an eternal testimony that they are gone for ever, and that by faith we are now justified and have peace. We must not confound these two things, our sins being put away, and the perfectly glorifying God in respect of sin, when Christ was made sin, the results of which are not yet accomplished. As regards the sinful nature, it is still in us; but Christ having died, its condemnation took place then, but, that being in death, we reckon ourselves dead to it, and no condemnation for us.

[5] Some think that these two verses are not a parenthesis speaking of a testament, but a continuation of the argument on the covenant, taking the word "diatithemai" to mean, not the testator, but the sacrifice, which put a seal, more solemn than an oath, on the obligation of observing the covenant. It is a very delicate Greek question, on which I do not here enter. But I cannot say they have convinced me.

[6] And He must have repeatedly suffered, for there must be reality in putting away sin.

[7] The more we examine the cross from God's side of it, the more we shall see this: man's enmity against God, and against God come in goodness, was absolutely displayed; Satan's power in evil over man too; man's perfectness in love to the Father and obedience to Him; God's majesty and righteousness against sin, and love to sinners, all He is; all good and evil perfectly brought to an issue, and that in the place of sin, that is, in Christ made sin for us. When sin was as such before His face in the sinless One where it was needed and God perfectly glorified, and indeed the Son of man too, morally the whole thing was settled, and we know it: the actual results are not yet produced.

[8] The judgment, which will fall upon the wicked, is not sin. Much more also is involved in the work and position of Christ, even heavenly glory with God: but it is not our subject here.

[9] It is of moment to see the difference between verses 26 and 28. Sin had to be put away abstractedly out of God's sight, and hence He had to be perfectly glorified in respect of it, in that place where sin was before Him. Christ was made sin, appeared to abolish it out of God's sight, "eis athetesis (?) hamartia". Besides this, our sins (guilt) were in question, and Christ bore them in His own body on the tree. The sins are borne, and Christ has them no more. They are gone as guilt before God for ever. The work for the abolition of sin in God's sight is done, and God owns it as done, having glorified Jesus who has glorified Him as to it when made sin. So that for God the thing is settled, and faith recognises this, but the result is not produced. The work is before God in all its value, but the sin still exists in the believer and in the world. Faith owns both, knows that in God's sight it is done, and rests as God does in it but the believer knows that sin is still, de facto, there and in him: only he has a title to reckon himself deadto it-that sin in the flesh is condemned, but in the sacrifice for sin, so that there is none for him. The athetesis (?) is not accomplished, but what does It is; so that God recognises it, and so does faith, and stands perfectly clear before God as to sin and sins. He that is dead (and we are, as having died with Christ) is justified from sin. Our sins have all been borne. The difficulty partly arises from " sin " being, used for a particular act, and also abstractedly. In the word "sins" there is no such ambiguity. A sacrifice for sin may apply to a particular fault. Sin entered into the world is another idea. This ambiguity has produced the confusion.

[10] The word " many" has a double bearing here, negative and positive. It could not be said " all," or all would be saved. On the other hand the word many generalises the work, so that it is not the Jews only who are its object.

── John DarbySynopsis of Hebrews


Hebrews 9

Chapter Contents

The Jewish tabernacle and its utensils. (1-5) Their use and meaning. (6-10) These fulfilled in Christ. (11-22) The necessity, superior dignity, and power of his priesthood and sacrifice. (23-28)

Commentary on Hebrews 9:1-5

(Read Hebrews 9:1-5)

The apostle shows to the Hebrews the typical reference of their ceremonies to Christ. The tabernacle was a movable temple, shadowing forth the unsettled state of the church upon earth, and the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. The typical meaning of these things has been shown in former remarks, and the ordinances and articles of the Mosaic covenant point out Christ as our Light, and as the Bread of life to our souls; and remind us of his Divine Person, his holy priesthood, perfect righteousness, and all-prevailing intercession. Thus was the Lord Jesus Christ, all and in all, from the beginning. And as interpreted by the gospel, these things are a glorious representation of the wisdom of God, and confirm faith in Him who was prefigured by them.

Commentary on Hebrews 9:6-10

(Read Hebrews 9:6-10)

The apostle goes on to speak of the Old Testament services. Christ, having undertaken to be our High Priest, could not enter into heaven till he had shed his blood for us; and none of us can enter, either into God's gracious presence here, or his glorious presence hereafter, but by the blood of Jesus. Sins are errors, great errors, both in judgment and practice; and who can understand all his errors? They leave guilt upon the conscience, not to be washed away but by the blood of Christ. We must plead this blood on earth, while he is pleading it for us in heaven. A few believers, under the Divine teaching, saw something of the way of access to God, of communion with him, and of admission into heaven through the promised Redeemer, but the Israelites in general looked no further than the outward forms. These could not take away the defilement or dominion of sin. They could neither discharge the debts, nor resolve the doubts, of him who did the service. Gospel times are, and should be, times of reformation, of clearer light as to all things needful to be known, and of greater love, causing us to bear ill-will to none, but good-will to all. We have greater freedom, both of spirit and speech, in the gospel, and greater obligations to a more holy living.

Commentary on Hebrews 9:11-14

(Read Hebrews 9:11-14)

All good things past, present, and to come, were and are founded upon the priestly office of Christ, and come to us from thence. Our High Priest entered into heaven once for all, and has obtained eternal redemption. The Holy Ghost further signified and showed that the Old Testament sacrifices only freed the outward man from ceremonial uncleanness, and fitted him for some outward privileges. What gave such power to the blood of Christ? It was Christ's offering himself without any sinful stain in his nature or life. This cleanses the most guilty conscience from dead, or deadly, works to serve the living God; from sinful works, such as pollute the soul, as dead bodies did the persons of the Jews who touched them; while the grace that seals pardon, new-creates the polluted soul. Nothing more destroys the faith of the gospel, than by any means to weaken the direct power of the blood of Christ. The depth of the mystery of the sacrifice of Christ, we cannot dive into, the height we cannot comprehend. We cannot search out the greatness of it, or the wisdom, the love, the grace that is in it. But in considering the sacrifice of Christ, faith finds life, food, and refreshment.

Commentary on Hebrews 9:15-22

(Read Hebrews 9:15-22)

The solemn transactions between God and man, are sometimes called a covenant, here a testament, which is a willing deed of a person, bestowing legacies on such persons as are described, and it only takes effect upon his death. Thus Christ died, not only to obtain the blessings of salvation for us, but to give power to the disposal of them. All, by sin, were become guilty before God, had forfeited every thing that is good; but God, willing to show the greatness of his mercy, proclaimed a covenant of grace. Nothing could be clean to a sinner, not even his religious duties; except as his guilt was done away by the death of a sacrifice, of value sufficient for that end, and unless he continually depended upon it. May we ascribe all real good works to the same all-procuring cause, and offer our spiritual sacrifices as sprinkled with Christ's blood, and so purified from their defilement.

Commentary on Hebrews 9:23-28

(Read Hebrews 9:23-28)

It is evident that the sacrifices of Christ are infinitely better than those of the law, which could neither procure pardon for sin, nor impart power against it. Sin would still have been upon us, and have had dominion over us; but Jesus Christ, by one sacrifice, has destroyed the works of the devil, that believers may be made righteous, holy, and happy. As no wisdom, learning, virtue, wealth, or power, can keep one of the human race from death, so nothing can deliver a sinner from being condemned at the day of judgment, except the atoning sacrifice of Christ; nor will one be saved from eternal punishment who despises or neglects this great salvation. The believer knows that his Redeemer liveth, and that he shall see him. Here is the faith and patience of the church, of all sincere believers. Hence is their continual prayer as the fruit and expression of their faith, Even so come, Lord Jesus.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Hebrews


Hebrews 9

Verse 1

[1] Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

The first covenant had ordinances of outward worship, and a worldly - a visible, material sanctuary, or tabernacle. Of this sanctuary he treats, Hebrews 9:2-5. Of those ordinances, Hebrews 9:6-10.

Verse 2

[2] For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.

The first — The outward tabernacle.

In which was the candlestick, and the table — The shewbread, shown continually before God and all the people, consisting of twelve loaves, according to the number of the tribes, was placed on this table in two rows, six upon one another in each row. This candlestick and bread seem to have typified the light and life which are more largely dispensed under the gospel by Him who is the Light of the world, and the Bread of life.

Verse 3

[3] And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;

The second veil divided the holy place from the most holy, as the first veil did the holy place from the courts.

Verse 4

[4] Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

Having the golden censer — Used by the high priest only, on the great day of atonement. And the ark, or chest, of the covenant - So called from the tables of the covenant contained therein.

Wherein was the manna — The monument of God's care over Israel.

And Aaron's rod — The monument of the regular priesthood.

And the tables of the covenant — The two tables of stone, on which the ten commandments were written by the finger of God the most venerable monument of all.

Verse 5

[5] And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

And over it were the cherubim of glory — Over which the glory of God used to appear. Some suppose each of these had four faces, and so represented the Three-One God, with the manhood assumed by the Second Person. With out-spread wings shadowing the mercy-seat - Which was a lid or plate of gold, covering the ark.

Verse 6

[6] Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.

Always — Every day.

Accomplishing their services — Lighting the lamps, changing the shewbread, burning incense, and sprinkling the blood of the sin offerings.

Verse 7

[7] But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

Errors — That is, sins of ignorance, to which only those atonements extended.

Verse 8

[8] 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:

The Holy Ghost evidently showing — By this token.

That the way into the holiest — Into heaven.

Was not made manifest — Not so clearly revealed. While the first tabernacle, and its service, were still subsisting - And remaining in force.

Verse 9

[9] Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Which — Tabernacle, with all its furniture and services.

Is a figure — Or type, of good things to come Which cannot perfect the worshipper - Neither the priest nor him who brought the offering.

As to his conscience — So that he should be no longer conscious of the guilt or power of sin. Observe, the temple was as yet standing.

Verse 10

[10] Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

They could not so perfect him, with all their train of precepts relating to meats and drinks, and carnal, gross, external ordinances; and were therefore imposed only till the time of reformation - Till Christ came.

Verse 11

[11] But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

An high priest of good things to come — Described, Hebrews 9:15. Entered through a greater, that is, a more noble, and perfect tabernacle - Namely, his own body.

Not of this creation — Not framed by man, as that tabernacle was.

Verse 12

[12] Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

The holy place — Heaven.

For us — All that believe.

Verse 13

[13] For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

If the ashes of an heifer — Consumed by fire as a sin-offering, being sprinkled on them who were legally unclean.

Purified the flesh — Removed that legal uncleanness, and re-admitted them to the temple and the congregation. Numbers 19:17,18,19.

Verse 14

[14] How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

How much more shall the blood of Christ. — The merit of all his sufferings.

Who through the eternal Spirit — The work of redemption being the work of the whole Trinity. Neither is the Second Person alone concerned even in the amazing condescension that was needful to complete it. The Father delivers up the kingdom to the Son; and the Holy Ghost becomes the gift of the Messiah, being, as it were, sent according to his good pleasure.

Offered himself — Infinitely more precious than any created victim, and that without spot to God.

Purge our conscience — Our inmost soul.

From dead works — From all the inward and outward works of the devil, which spring from spiritual death in the soul, and lead to death everlasting.

To serve the living God — In the life of faith, in perfect love and spotless holiness.

Verse 15

[15] And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

And for this end he is the Mediator of a new covenant, that they who are called — To the engagements and benefits thereof. Might receive the eternal inheritance promised to Abraham: not by means of legal sacrifices, but of his meritorious death.

For the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant — That is, for the redemption of transgressors from the guilt and punishment of those sins which were committed in the time of the old covenant. The article of his death properly divides the old covenant from the new.

Verse 16

[16] For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

I say by means of death; for where such a covenant is, there must be the death of him by whom it is confirmed - Seeing it is by his death that the benefits of it are purchased. It seems beneath the dignity of the apostle to play upon the ambiguity of the Greek word, as the common translation supposes him to do.

Verse 17

[17] For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

After he is dead — Neither this, nor after men are dead is a literal translation of the words. It is a very perplexed passage.

Verse 18

[18] Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

Whence neither was the first — The Jewish covenant, originally transacted without the blood of an appointed sacrifice.

Verse 19

[19] For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,

He took the blood of calves — Or heifers.

And of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop — All these circumstances are not particularly mentioned in that chapter of Exodus, but are supposed to be already known from other passages of Moses.

And the book itself — Which contained all he had said.

And sprinkled all the people — Who were near him. The blood was mixed with water to prevent its growing too stiff for sprinkling; perhaps also to typify that blood and water, John 19:34. Exodus 24:7,8

Verse 20

[20] Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

Saying, This is the blood of the covenant which God hath enjoined me to deliver unto you - By this it is established. Exodus 24:8.

Verse 21

[21] Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.

And in like manner he ordered the tabernacle - When it was made, and all its vessels, to be sprinkled with blood once a year.

Verse 22

[22] And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

And almost all things — For some were purified by water or fire.

Are according to the law purified with blood — Offered or sprinkled. And according to the law, there is no forgiveness of sins without shedding of blood - All this pointed to the blood of Christ effectually cleansing from all sin, and intimated, there can be no purification from it by any other means.

Verse 23

[23] It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Therefore — That is, it plainly appears from what has been said.

It was necessary — According to the appointment of God. That the tabernacle and all its utensils, which were patterns, shadowy representations, of things in heaven, should be purified by these - Sacrifices and sprinklings.

But the heavenly things themselves — Our heaven-born spirits: what more this may mean we know not yet.

By better sacrifices than these — That is, by a better sacrifice, which is here opposed to all the legal sacrifices, and is expressed plurally, because it includes the signification of them all, and is of so much more eminent virtue.

Verse 24

[24] For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

For Christ did not enter into the holy place made with hands — He never went into the holy of holies at Jerusalem, the figure of the true tabernacle in heaven, Hebrews 8:2.

But into heaven itself, to appear in the presence of God for us — As our glorious high priest and powerful intercessor.

Verse 26

[26] For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

For then he must often have suffered from the foundation of the world — This supposes, 1. That by suffering once he atoned for all the sins which had been committed from the foundation of the world. 2. That he could not have atoned for them without suffering.

At the consummation of the ages — The sacrifice of Christ divides the whole age or duration of the world into two parts, and extends its virtue backward and forward, from this middle point wherein they meet to abolish both the guilt and power of sin.

Verse 27

[27] And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

After this, the judgment — Of the great day. At the moment of death every man's final state is determined. But there is not a word in scripture of a particular judgment immediately after death.

Verse 28

[28] So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Christ having once died to bear the sins — The punishment due to them.

Of many — Even as many as are born into the world.

Will appear the second time — When he comes to judgment.

Without sin — Not as he did before, bearing on himself the sins of many, but to bestow everlasting salvation.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Hebrews


Chapter 9. The Power of Precious Blood

Without the Shedding of Blood
There Is No Forgiveness

I. Service Regulation of the Former Covenant

  1. Called the Holy Place
  2. Called the Most Holy Place
  3. Open a Connection between the Two

II. Redemption of the Precious Blood

  1. Cleanse consciences
  2. Eradicate Acts that Lead to Death
  3. Serve the Living God

III. Jesus Appears Three Times

  1. The Word Became Flesh
  2. Resurrection and Ascension
  3. Come a Second Time

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament

The Earthly Sanctuary (9:1-10)
1. The main points in the "The Epistle To The Hebrews" are rather 
   a. The superiority of Christ - He 1:1-7:28
   b. The superiority of the New Covenant - He 8:7-10:18
2. In the "transition passage" of He 8:1-6, we find...
   a. The first point summarized - He 8:1
   b. The second point introduced - He 8:2-6
3. In demonstrating the superiority of the New Covenant, three points
   are made...
   a. The New Covenant is based upon "better promises"
   b. The New Covenant pertains to a "better sanctuary"
   c. The New Covenant provides a "better sacrifice"
4. In He 8:7-13 we read of the "better promises"...
   a. Foretold through the prophet Jeremiah - cf. Jer 31:31-34
   b. In which God promised a closer relationship with His people, made
      possible by the forgiveness of sin
5. In chapter nine, our attention is now drawn to the matter of the 
   "better sanctuary" provided by the New Covenant...
   a. To appreciate the author's argument, we must be acquainted with 
      the sanctuary of the first covenant
   b. Therefore we find a brief discussion concerning "The Earthly 
      Sanctuary" - He 9:1-10
[We could turn back to the books of Exodus and Leviticus to read about
the earthly sanctuary, but in our text we find a helpful and concise 
summary.  Beginning with...]
      1. This was the first part of the tabernacle, in which the 
         priests entered daily
      2. Inside of it were...
         a. The lampstand - cf. Exo 25:31-40; 26:35
            1) Placed next to the south wall of the tabernacle
            2) Made of gold and had seven lamps for burning olive oil
            3) It was never allowed to go out
         b. The table and the showbread - Exo 25:23-30; 26:35; Lev 24:
            1) A table overlaid with gold
            2) On which were kept twelve loaves of bread, in two rows
               of six
            3) Fresh loaves were brought in each Sabbath, and the old
               were eaten by the priests - cf. 1 Sam 21:3-6; Mt 12:3,4
      1. This was the part of the tabernacle behind the veil, also
         called "The Most Holy" - Exo 26:31-33
      2. This innermost room of the tabernacle, the holiest place in
         the worship of Israel, had...
         a. The golden altar of incense (golden censor, KJV)
            1) The golden altar of incense was actually in the Holy 
               Place, just on the other side of the veil separating the
               two rooms - Exo 30:1-10
               a) On this altar sweet spices were continually burned
                  with fire taken from the brazen altar (which was
                  outside the tabernacle)
               b) The morning and evening services were begun by the
                  high priest offering incense on this altar
               c) Once a year, the High Priest would take a censer of
                  burning coals from this altar along with incense into
                  the The Most Holy Place - Lev 16:12
            2) It is appropriate to say the The Most Holy Place "had"
               the golden altar...
               a) For the smoke of the daily incense would permeate 
                  through the veil, and as such be "a perpetual incense
                  before the LORD" - Exo 30:8
               b) The annual ceremony on the Day of Atonement connected
                  in a tangible way the altar of incense with The Most
                  Holy Place - Lev 16:12
         b. The ark of the covenant
            1) A chest made of acacia wood, about four feet long by two
               and half feet high and wide - Exo 25:10-16
            2) Covered with gold, it was the most sacred thing in the
            3) In it contained...
               a) The golden pot that had the manna - Exo 16:32-34
               b) Aaron's rod that budded - Num 17:1-11
               c) The tablets of the covenant - Deu 10:1-5
            4) Covering the ark was the mercy seat - Exo 25:17-22
               a) This lid, covered with gold, was topped with two 
                  cherubim (with wings stretched upward, and their 
                  faces "toward each other and toward the mercy seat.")
               b) The Lord was said to appear in a cloud above the 
                  mercy seat - Lev 16:2; Num 7:89; 2 Kin 19:5
[As stated by the author himself, "of these things we cannot now speak
in detail". But a little more is now said regarding the ritual of the
earthly sanctuary...]
      1. Every morning and evening, the priests would go into The Holy
         Place "performing the services"...
         a. They would trim the lamps on the lampstand - Exo 27:20-21
         b. They would offer incense on the altar of incense - Exo 30:
      2. On the Sabbath, the priests would replace the Showbread - Lev
      -- But none went into The Most Holy Place during these daily
      1. Once a year, only the high priest entered The Most Holy Place 
         - Lev 16:2
         a. On the Day of Atonement
         b. The tenth day of the seventh month - Lev 16:29
      2. The high priest would do three things:
         a. Offer the incense to cloud the mercy seat - Lev 16:12-13
         b. Sprinkle the mercy seat with the blood of a bull, as a sin
            offering for himself and his family - Lev 16:11,14
         c. Sprinkle the mercy seat with the blood of a goat, as a sin
            offering for the people - Lev 16:15
      3. In this way he offered blood for his own sins and those of the
         people committed in ignorance - He 9:7
[With this summary of the ritual of the earthly sanctuary, we are 
reminded of the sort of services rendered under the first covenant. But
what was the true purpose of such service?  And did the sacrifices 
provide complete redemption?  These questions are addressed in the next
three verses...]
      1. As already stated, the tabernacle and its service was "a copy
         and shadow of the heavenly things" - He 8:4-5; cf. He 10:1a;
         Co 2:16-17
      2. Thus it was "symbolic for the present time" - He 9:9
         a. Symbolizing what eventually would occur when Christ came
         b. Symbolizing what Christ has now done in reality when He 
            entered heaven - cf. He 9:11-12,24-26
      3. The Holy Spirit was thus indicating that "the way into heaven
         itself was not yet made manifest" - He 9:8
      1. The gifts and sacrifices could not make one perfect in regard
         to the conscience - He 9:9; cf. He 9:14; 10:1-4
      2. The ceremonies involved "fleshly ordinances imposed until the
         time of reformation" - He 9:10
         a. Just as the sanctuary was "earthly", the ordinances were 
            1) In contrast to that which is heavenly, spiritual
            2) Indeed, all of the ritual was designed to impact the 
               physical side of man
               a) I.e., his senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch)
               b) E.g., the burning of incense, the blowing of 
                  trumpets, the vestments
         b. Such ordinances were designed to be temporary
            1) Until "the time of reformation", when changes in worship
               would be made
            2) Indeed, now God expects "spiritual" worship - cf. Jn 4:
               a) Worship that is more in keeping with God's true 
                  nature (Spirit)
               b) Worship that focuses on the inner man
                  1/ E.g., singing, where the emphasis is on melody 
                     made in the heart - Ep 5:19; Co 3:16
                  2/ Even in the Lord's Supper, which has physical
                     elements, the emphasis is on the communion we
                     share in the body of and blood of Jesus as we
                     commemorate His death - 1 Co 11:23-26; 10:16-17
         -- Therefore we should not be surprised to learn that the
            early church did not simply institute the fleshly
            ordinances of the first covenant into their worship
1. The earthly sanctuary and its fleshly ordinances served God's
   purpose well...
   a. It revealed the terrible nature and high price of sin
   b. It revealed the need for the shedding of blood to provide the 
      remission of sin
   c. It prepared people for the coming of the ultimate sacrifice and 
      complete redemption
2. But as useful as it was, it was temporary and symbolic...
   a. A copy and shadow of what was to come
   b. Designed to vanish away when what it represented came to pass
3. As we shall see more fully in our next study...
   a. Christ has come and entered into "the greater and more perfect 
   b. He has "obtained eternal redemption"
   c. He has made it possible to "purge your conscience from dead 
      works to serve the living God"
Why would one ever wish to go back to the earthly sanctuary and its 
fleshly ordinances?  Why do some people wish to introduce Old Testament
practices into the worship of the Lord's church?
It can only be a failure to appreciate what we now have in Christ, and
the kind of worshippers God now desires.  As Jesus told the Samaritan
woman at the well...
   "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will
   worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking
   such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him
   must worship in spirit and truth." (Jn 4:23-24)
Are we worshipping God the way He desires?  Or whatever way that
appeals to our fleshly senses and personal desires?
Brethren, think on these things...


The Superior Sanctuary (9:11-28)
1. In the current section of "The Epistle To The Hebrews", the focus 
   is on the superiority of the New Covenant which provides...
   a. Better promises - He 8:7-13
   b. A better sanctuary - He 9:1-28
   c. A better sacrifice - He 10:1-18
2. Our previous study considered "The Earthly Sanctuary" of the Old 
   Covenant, that tabernacle which...
   a. Served as copy and shadow of the heavenly things - He 9:9; 8:5
   b. Involved fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation
      - He 9:10
   ...and was therefore limited in its ability to provide what man 
      truly needed! - He 9:9b
3. In the second half of the ninth chapter, we are now introduced to 
   "The Heavenly Sanctuary" of the New Covenant...
   a. The true tabernacle in which Christ is a minister - He 8:2
   b. The true tabernacle "which the Lord erected, and not man" - He
[As such it is "The Superior Sanctuary", which becomes apparent as we
make our way through the rest of the ninth chapter...]
      1. A tabernacle "not made with hands"
      2. A tabernacle "not of this creation"
      -- Where then is this tabernacle?  Look ahead to verse 24...
      1. Christ has not entered the earthly tabernacle "made with 
      2. It is "into heaven itself" that Christ has entered!
      3. He now appears "in the presence of God"
      -- Therefore "The Superior Sanctuary" is none other than heaven,
         where God dwells!
[In this heavenly sanctuary Christ serves as "High Priest of the good
things to come". The "good things" likely includes the promises of
Jer 31:31-34, especially the one pertaining to forgiveness of sin, for
the author explains how with "The Superior Sanctuary"...]
      1. Christ entered the "Most Holy Place" (heaven)
         a. Just as the high priest entered the Most Holy Place in the
            earthly sanctuary
         b. With these two major differences:
            1) Jesus took not the blood of goats and calves, but His
               own blood
            2) Jesus entered "once for all", not once a year
      2. With His blood, He "obtained eternal redemption"
         a. This is why He does not need to offer His blood every year 
            - cf. He 10:10-12
         b. But His redemption is "eternal" in another sense, as seen
            later in verse 15
      1. The blood of animals was able to purify the flesh of an 
         unclean person
      2. But the blood of Christ is able to purge the conscience from
         dead works (i.e., sin) to serve the living God
         a. The animal sacrifices could not do this - He 9:9-10; 10:1-2
         b. For the daily and annual sacrifices constantly reminded 
            them of sin - He 10:3
         c. Therefore Christ not only removes the "legal" guilt of sin,
            but also the "inward" (or emotional) guilt of sin!
      1. His role as Mediator of the New Covenant is not limited to 
         those who lived after it became of force
      2. His death covers not only sinners since His death, but also 
         those who lived under the first covenant, who were called to
         receive the promise of eternal inheritance!
      -- In providing atonement for those before and after His death, 
         Jesus has truly "obtained eternal redemption"
[The service rendered by its High Priest certainly makes the "heavenly
sanctuary" a superior one!
As one contemplates the meaning of Christ's death in its relation to 
the heavenly sanctuary, there is much to consider, and the author 
proceeds to explain further why...]
      1. A testament, or will, requires the death of the one who makes
      2. It does not become of force until the testator dies
      -- The New Covenant with its heavenly sanctuary is like a 
         testament, requiring Jesus' death for it to become of force
      1. Consider what was done with the first covenant...
         a. It was dedicated with the blood of calves and goats
         b. Its tabernacle and furniture were purified with the 
            sprinkling of such blood
      2. Should the new covenant require any less?
         a. The first covenant contained only "copies of the things in
            the heavens"
         b. Therefore the heavenly things required purification by 
            "better sacrifices" (i.e., Jesus' own blood)
         c. Exactly what is meant by "heavenly things" is unclear
            1) Some point to passages like Co 1:20, where even "things
               in heaven" are reconciled to God by Jesus' blood
            2) Some believe it has reference to the church, of which 
               the Holy Place in the earthly tabernacle was typical
            3) B. W. Johnson comments:  "By the heavenly things are 
               meant all of which the tabernacle was typical. The holy
               place was a type of the church, which is cleansed with
               the blood of Christ. Perhaps, too, there is a reference
               to the redeemed church above, in the heavens, which 
               eternally praises him who cleansed it with his blood."
               (The People's New Testament)
[It was the "better sacrifices" (i.e., Jesus' blood) that initiated the
new covenant and made the heavenly sanctuary superior to the earthly 
one.  More will be said about Christ's sacrifice in chapter ten, but we
finally note concerning "The Superior Sanctuary" that...]
      1. No longer is a high priest serving in a tabernacle "made with
      2. No longer is one serving in what was only a "copy"
      -- In God's presence, Jesus is ministering as High Priest in that
         which is the "true" holy place!
      1. The all-sufficiency of His sacrifice is seen that He only
         needed to offer Himself once
         a. Otherwise, He would have needed to "suffer often from the
            foundation of the world"
         b. Like the high priests of old, who entered the Most Holy 
            Place each year
      2. Therefore, at the "end of the ages", He came to put away sin
         once for all!
         a. The phrase "end of the ages" is equivalent to the "last
            days" - He 1:2
         b. I.e., the final period of the world's history - 1 Co 10:11;
            1 Pe 1:20
      3. Just as man dies only once, so Jesus needed to be offered for
         sin only once
      1. With His first coming, He was primarily the "sin-bearer"
         a. He came "to bear the sins of many"
         b. Which He did by dying on the cross for our sins - 1 Pe 2:24
      2. His second coming will be "apart from sin"
         a. To bring salvation (from the wrath of God to come - Ro 5:9)
         b. To those who eagerly await for Him - cf. 1 Th 1:9-10
1. How is the sanctuary of the New Covenant superior?
   a. By virtue of its nature:  heavenly, not physical
   b. By virtue of its ministry:
      1) Dealing effectively with sin
      2) Providing complete and final deliverance
2. Why should we be interested in the ministry of "The Superior 
   a. Because death is our appointed lot (unless Christ comes first) 
      - He 9:27
   b. And then comes the judgment - cf. 2 Co 5:10
   -- The ministry of Christ prepares us for that coming judgment!
3. Are you prepared to stand before the judgment seat of Christ?  
   a. Preparation involves obedience, for Jesus is "the author of 
      eternal salvation to all who obey Him" - He 5:9
   b. Preparation involves allowing the blood of Christ to "purge your
      conscience from dead works to serve the living God" - He 9:14
Through obedience to the precious gospel of Christ, we can "eagerly 
wait for Him", knowing that for us He is coming to bring salvation 
and not condemnation! - cf. 1 Th 1:10


--《Executable Outlines


The power of precious blood

Without the shedding of blood

There is no forgiveness


I.  Service regulation of the former covenant

1.    Called the holy place

2.    Called the most holy place

3.    Open a connection between the two

II.Redemption of the precious blood

1.    Cleanse consciences

2.    Eradicate acts that lead to death

3.    Serve the living God

III.       Jesus appears three times

1.    The word became flesh

2.    Resurrection and ascension

3.    Come a second time

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament