Did It Right The First Time

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I thank you all for your continued prayers. It looks like things are going much better in my world than I would have expected. I am looking for some help to come in other areas that are unrelated but important and I’m trusting that God in his providence will bring such about somehow. For now, let’s go to our blog. We’re continuing our Trinitarian commentary in the book of Hebrews and we’re going to be in chapter 9 and verses 23-28. Let’s go to the text.

 23It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Our writer is continuing the theme of the superiority of Christ in the new covenant. He’s been talking about the sacrificial system of the old covenant in comparison with that of the new. The old covenant relied on bulls and goats and other such animals. The new one relies on a better sacrifice as well.

When Christ came, he did not go to the earthly tabernacle but to the heavenly one. He did not offer up an earthly sacrifice but a heavenly one, namely himself. His sacrifice is superior because of the nature of the person that he is. He is perfectly pure and holy, which would follow from him ontologically having the nature of God.

In the old covenant, the high priest entered the most holy place of the sanctuary year after year in order to offer up a sacrifice. Christ does not have to do that. He only had to enter the true most holy place just one time. For him, the most holy place was the very presence of God himself. Christ came to this place one time and that was all it took for him to offer up the salvation for the world.

Our writer gets us to the point of this. Because this is a one-time deal, judgment is also a one-time deal. Once you die, there can be no further sacrifice offered. You enter into judgment once and for all. Of course, this is the normative case. The exceptions like Lazarus and others are differences. However, when they died and they were not coming back, their judgment was sealed.

So we see the deity of Christ in that he is ontologically God and thus only he can be the pure and perfect sacrifice and he can thus enter the heavenly Most Holy Place. As has been said before, it is good to know the Trinity, but it is also important to know what difference the doctrine makes.

We shall continue tomorrow.


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