Christ is a more excellent High Priest than any under the law, who but prefigured the work He came to do. He has entered once for all within the Holiest place. Having undertaken to be our High Priest He could not have been admitted into heaven without shedding His blood for us, having no errors of His own to offer for, and neither can any of us enter God’s glorious presence except by a saving trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, without which remission for sins is impossible.
1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
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;
5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
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:
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:
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;
10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
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;
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.
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:
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?
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.
16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
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,
20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
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.
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:
25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
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.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
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.
Hebrews 9:1-5 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 9:6 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 9:7 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 9:8-10 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 9:11-12 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 9:13-14 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 9:15-22 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 9:23-27 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 9:28 – J. Vernon McGee
Hebrews 9:1-10 – The Imperfect Way of Approach to God
With careful enumeration each item of the Tabernacle furniture is specified, because of each there is a spiritual equivalent in the unseen, spiritual Temple to which we belong. The veil that screened the Most Holy Place and forbade entrance, save once a year, taught that fellowship with God was not fully open. Ignorance, unbelief, unpreparedness of heart still weave a heavy veil which screens God from the soul’s gaze.
The altar of incense is here associated with the inner shrine, because it stood so near the veil. Its analogue is Revelation 8:4. The Ark was an emblem of Christ: the wood, of His humanity; the gold, of His deity. He holds the manna of the world, and is the ever-budding plant of renown, beautiful and fruit-bearing through death. There is one gateway in St. Peter’s, Rome, through which the Pope passes only once a year; how glad we may be that our gates for prayer stand open day and night! Contrast the sadness of such passages as Psalms 51:3-4 and Micah 6:6 with the joy of Ephesians 1:3-10. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Hebrews 9:11-20 – The Blood Which Sealed the New Covenant
We are led to consider Christ’s high-priestly work. The scene for it is no edifice made with hands in this transitory world, but eternal and divine. His stay in the Holiest is not brief, hurried, and repeated year by year, but once for all He enters by virtue of His own blood. That blood cleanses not only from ceremonial guilt, but from moral and spiritual pollution. A will or testament comes into force when the testator dies; so the will of the eternal Father toward us has been made valid through the blood of Jesus.
Consider, then, the Eternal or Timeless Spirit. What Jesus did on the Cross was the doing of God through His Spirit. The Atonement was not wrought by the dying Sufferer to appease God, but to express God as reconciling the world to Himself. The Timeless Cross. It belongs to no one age, but “towers o’er the wrecks of time,” and is as near us as to the early Church. The Timeless Christ. Cast yourself out of yourself and into Him; out of the fret of the time-sphere into the freedom and ecstasy of the eternal! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Hebrews 9:21-28 – The One Sacrifice That Puts Away Sin
Here are the 3 appearances of Christ: (1) He appeared once, at the ridge or meeting-place of the ages—where the first Covenant and the second met—to put away the sin of the race; and He has done this for each of us. We are called on to believe this and to enter upon our inheritance without questioning or trying to feel it. Men are told clearly that God will not impute their transgressions unto them, unless they place themselves out of the at-one-ment by the deliberate repudiation of Christ. The one question for us all is not sin, but our attitude toward Christ, the Sin-Bearer (2 Corinthians 5:19).
(2.) He appears in heaven for us, as our Intercessor and Mediator, presenting our prayers mingled with the rich incense of His merit, and acting as the ground of our beseechings (Revelation 8:3). (3) He will appear the second time. There will be no sin-bearing then. His appearance will be “apart from sin.” But then, salvation will be perfected, because creation itself will share in the liberty and glory of the sons of God (Romans 8:21). —Through the Bible Day by Day
Hebrews 9:28—Unto them that look for Him shall He appear.
There is an evident parallel intended between the first and second Advent, and especially in the manner of looking for it. At the first Advent there were many who were definitely looking for and hastening to that day. Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel; and Anna spoke of the infant Lord to those who were expecting redemption in Israel. To look for the consolation and to look for the redemption were the two articles in that early creed. And presently this quiet, patient waiting broke out into the rapturous song of the Nunc Dimittis.
But all Jews were not looking for that blessed Hope, the appearance of the Grace of God. When our Lord came, the leading teacher of Judaism was Philo, and he not only had no Messianic hopes of his own, but discouraged them in other people. He conceded that there might be a return of Jewish national life; but he had no expectation of it being under the leadership of the Christ.
It has been truly remarked that this eager looking for the Advent has always been the mark of the living Church. “Ye turned”, said the apostle (1 Thessalonians 1:9), “to God from idols… to wait for his Son from heaven.” And again he said (2 Timothy 4:8), “A crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
As it was with the first Advent it shall be with the second. The Son of God will come at a time and in a manner for which men are not prepared; and only the elect, who may have been contemned and despised by the world at large, will discern Him, and go forth to meet Him in the air. —Our Daily Homily