Focus: The Source of joy
Hebrews 10:16-18 (NKJV) “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these there is no longer an offering for sin.
God gave Moses the ten commandments. He also gave Moses directions for worshipping Him and plans for a special type of tent that would be created as a tabernacle where God would be worshipped. All of the plans God gave Moses were carried out in the exact way they had been given. There was a large outer tent that contained a lamp stand, a table, and bread that showed the presence of God. Just beyond these items, a curtain stretched across the tent to separate the outer area from another smaller tent that was called ‘the Holy of Holies.’ Inside the smaller tent were placed the gold incense altar and the gold-covered ark of the covenant which contained the gold urn of manna that was saved from the wilderness, Aaron’s rod that had budded to reveal the priesthood of the tribe of the Levites, the ten commandments on stone tablets, and the mercy seat made of pure gold which was over shadowed by two winged cherubims of glory that were also made of gold.
After all of these things were prepared, the priests carried out their duties and service to God in the large outer tent, but only the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, and that was only once a year, when he offered a blood sacrifice for his own sins and for all of the sins the people had committed. This whole plan was the Holy Spirit’s way of showing us that the way into the inner tent, the Holy of Holies, was at that time, ‘hidden’ and not accessible to all people—and not as perfect and complete as it would be later. Even the tent itself, was a symbol of something temporary.
But when Jesus Christ, the Messiah came to earth, He became the high priest of good things to come, through a greater and more perfect tabernacle, far superior to a tent made with human hands. He also didn’t come bringing the blood of goats and calves, but He brought His own blood and entered into the most Holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Just think, in those times, if sprinkling the unclean with the blood of goats and bulls and ashes of an heifer were able to sanctify and purify them, how much more would the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without any imperfection to God, be able to purge our conscience from our insufficient, dead works—to serve the living God? And because of this, He is the mediator of the new testament, which signifies that by means of death, for the redemption of the sins that were under the law, people who are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
In the same way that a ‘will’ is only effective after the person who it belongs to dies, and is of no effect as long as they are alive—the first testament was dedicated without blood. Because when Moses had told all of the law to God’s chosen people, he then took the blood of goats and calves, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both of them on the book that contained the law and also on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the testament which God has enjoined unto you.” In addition, he sprinkled blood on the tabernacle and on all of the things made for the tabernacle and ministry. Just like a person’s will takes effect when they die, a new covenant was put into effect when Jesus died. At His death, the transition from the old plan to the new one took place. It cancelled the old obligations and sins, and summoned the heirs of salvation to receive the eternal inheritance that had been promised to them. The death of Jesus made it possible for a new and better relationship between God and His people.
Before Christ, practically all acts of disobedience had to be purged by blood, and without the shedding of blood, there was no possibility of cleansing and forgiveness. Because of these things, the pattern was being revealed of the necessity for a way that would be much more perfect than they way things had been before. In the new covenant, animal sacrifices would no longer be necessary, even though they had served their purpose.
When Christ came, He didn’t enter the Holy places that were made with human hands, which were patterns or a foretelling of the true way—but He entered heaven itself, and is now in the presence of God for us. There is no need for Him to offer Himself again and again, like the high priests who had to enter the Holy of Holies once a year with sacrificial blood that didn’t belong to them. If that had been required, He would have had to sacrifice Himself over and over throughout history, since the initial sin of mankind. But because Christ was perfect, He came once and gave all of His blood through the sacrificial offering of Himself. Just like it is appointed unto us to die only one time, and then face judgment, Christ died only once to pay for the sins of the world forever. So it is, that when He appears the next time, He will be coming for those who are looking for Him. Their outcome will be salvation, and eternity with Christ. (Hebrews chapter 9, paraphrased) What could be more joyful?
Declaration: I will rejoice in the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ that was sufficient for the sins of the world.
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