Focus: Hebrews 9:
The covenant of the Law of Moses was updated and laid bare to the readers of Hebrews. The tabernacle on earth is just a replica of the one in heaven. The writer contrasts the work in the tabernacle made by hands with the work that Christ does in the tabernacle in heaven to show the preparatory nature of the Law of Moses and the tabernacle and temple made by human hands on earth. The writer teaches that blood sacrifice must precede the cleansing because just as a will does not take affect until death so must something innocent die to pay the ransom for sin before the penalty for sin can be lifted. This is why the high priest had to sacrifice and go into the Most Holy Place once per year for himself and the people. Ezekiel 20 offers a great explanation of the events from the promise to Jacob through Egypt and the wilderness to show the Nation of Israel had to continually cleanse themselves. They were hardheaded and did not want to obey the simplest of the ten commandments to trust God and have no other idol before them. The writer turns from well-known history of disobedience and suffering God's wrath to extend their faith to Jesus, the expected Messiah who had already come! Christ did not need to cleanse Himself, being without sin and He took upon all of the sins not cleansed and offered Himself once and for all to pay the ransom for the sin of this world! He did not perform this deed on in the tabernacle of human hands but performed this deed in the Tabernacle in Heaven where He had to die just once. The effect of offering Himself as the sacrificial Lamb of God in the Tabernacle of Heaven, although performed on the creation of God (earth), makes the tabernacle and temple built with human hands with their redemptive rituals and ceremonies obsolete! This is the strength of the New Covenant - no need to continue blood sacrifice since it was concluded once and for all! The argument of the writer explains the entire Law of the old covenant to usher in the Gospel, the new everlasting covenant. Hebrews is full of application and explanation to assist the reader to see the Old Testament for what it was always meant to be - a temporal preparation for death by sin since no human could keep its rules so that when the eternal version was revealed it would be understood and fully appreciated! Thank you Jesus! Amen.