Hebrews 9 — Yeshua Greater Than All Previous Religion

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At the end of chapter 8, the Holy Spirit says through the writer that God had cut/made a new covenant, making the first waning and growing old until all of it is fulfilled.  The Law of Moses and the Prophets of the Tanach/Old Testament write and speak of things that carry us to the end of the coming 1000-year Kingdom of God in Israel and the other nations, and throughout the created Universe.  The New Testament through the gospel brings the believers in the Lord Yeshua/Jesus Christ/Messiah into a new and living Way from that of the first/old covenant, and beyond the Millennial Kingdom. (2Cor 3:12-18; Gal 2:11-21; 3:19-25; Rev 21)

Moses and the Prophets spoke about the Messiah and Savior who would come with many clues, but the New Testament has the Son of God speak to us Himself.  For us who believe, our sins are forgiven. To know what God requires in order to worship Him in a manner that He accepts, read the whole Bible, but abide in the truth and more glorious light of the gospel, which brings the believers into the presence of the true God in a way that no previous Law or religion can.  If this is true for Jews, how much more so for Gentiles! (Rom 9:1-5; Gal 3:19-25; Eph 2:11-13; 4:17-24; Phlp 3

Remember the Yeshua is our High Priest not according to the Law from Sinai, but according to the order of Melchizedek that preceded the Law of Moses.  Therefore, even our atonement is not according the the Law of Moses, which required a mortal high priest to enter the Holy of Holies only that one day of a year, but our atonement is by Him who does not need to repeat the sacrifices, but offered up Himself once-and-for-all and entered into Heaven.

Heb 9:1-28 

v 1-7  The first covenant (i.e., at Mt Sinai, meaning that the new covenant is a second covenant, not a renewed first covenant [Heb 10:8-10]) had ordinances and furnishings in a worldly sanctuary.  The worldly sanctuary was first in the Tabernacle in the Desert, and afterward the first and second Temples in Jerusalem.  This worldly sanctuary was where the Levitical priests of YHVH, God of Israel, served and worshipped with the people of Israel to meet God by faith while passing through (Hebrews) this world to the eternal sanctuary, not made by human hands, in Heaven. 

This letter to the Hebrews emphasizes, though, that we believers in Jesus/Yeshua have no need of any rituals in our service/worship as the Law required, and every other religion, as religion (including most of traditional Christian denominations), also requires.  (While the Lord’s Supper is highy recommended and important, it does not seem that it is a requirement in Messianic/Christian worship; but I do believe that those who do not regularly include this ordinance miss out on a very meaningful “ritual” in our worship in the Presence of the Lord our God.)

Under the Law of Moses, the Holy Place was open every day all year for the priests to perform their service/worship to God, both for themselves and for the people, whom they represented before the LORD.  But except for one day each year – the Day of Atonements – that only the High Priest could enter with sacrificial blood, there was no access into the Holy of Holies, where the Presence of God dwelt between the cherubim. (Ex 25:17-22)  The High Priest offered sacrifices for himself and for the people for sins of ignorance, and this blood reconciled God with His people for one year only.  If we sin too much in ignorance – not realizing that we have sinned – it indicates that we do not really know God in His holiness and righteousness and love, and it reflects poorly on His name.

v 8-10  The Holy Spirit indicates that as long as the worship of God was under the Torah, then the way into the Holy of Holies was not yet manifest as being possible.  It was only a picture of something greater to come, in the present time, now that Messiah has come, and opened up a new way.  All of the service and blood of so many animals could not cleanse the conscience of the sinners, but only dealt with outward things, until the time of reformation – Messiah’s coming and sacrifice, His return to His glory in Heaven, and the giving of the Holy Spirit to believers. 

v 11  And Messiah came as High Priest of the good things to come, passing not into the Holy of Holies built by man’s hands, but into the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not of this creation.

v 12  Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption – not just for one year!   By redemption from our bondage to sin, we are freed to worship God in the way He wants – in spirit and truth, with assurance of His love and of His holiness.

I believe that this ‘once-for-all’ entry into the heavenly presence of God was in Yeshua’s ascension on the 40th day from His resurrection.  The rent veil and His resurrection were the proofs that His sacrifice and His shed blood on the cross were accepted by the Father to make everlasting atonement for His people. (Jn 20:17)

v 13-14  If the blood of certain animals could sanctify and purify our flesh, how much more so the blood of Messiah, the Son of God, to cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?! 

Believing that the Son of God Himself took on flesh and blood in order to pay our penalty for our sins affects us in our inner man in a way that countless animals – who are of less value than human beings — can not do.  Our works for God without faith in the truth of His righteousness and His love are dead, without life.  It is religion without a personal and Holy Spirit relationship and union with our Father in Heaven and our Lord Jesus Christ.  We are redeemed to worship God His way, not some other way, and we are filled with the joy of our salvation!

v 15  Therefore Yeshua is the Mediator of a new covenant, not only the Passover Lamb who was slain and His blood poured out for redemption, but also the Yom Kippur sacrifice for our sins as believers in that grace of God on the cross at Passover, that all who are called may receive the promised inheritance.  All are called; all who repent and believe the good news are chosen.

v 16-17  A last will and testament is only in force after the one making the testament dies; it is not in force legally while he is still living.

v 18  Therefore the first covenant (at Mt Sinai) was also dedicated by blood.

v 19-20  When Moses finished speaking all of the precepts of the Law to all the people, he sprinkled the blood of calves and goats on both the book of the Law and on all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you”. (Ex 24:6-8

Brothers and sisters, we are covered by the blood in order to be faithful to obey God.  We are saved by grace, but saved to turn away from our sins and former way of life, with its dead works, in order to serve and worship God acceptably as He requires. (Mt 26:26-28; 1Cor 11:23-26

v 21-22  Then Moses also sprinkled the tabernacle and all of the utensils used for ministry by the priests.  Everything connected with God must be cleansed, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. (Lev 17:11

In order to appreciate how great is the blood of Yeshua for cleansing us, and the entire creation of God, and for restoring our relationship and fellowship with God the Father forever, the Law of Moses helps us to know the holiness of YHVH God, and of all that would be done for Him, and for His presence to dwell in us. (Zech 14:20-21)  Yeshua/Jesus said to His people that we do not believe in Him because we do not believe what Moses wrote.  This letter to the Hebrews describes most of its teachings and exhortations from the Law of Moses.

v 23  It was necessary for Messiah to die as a sacrifice for sin and impurity.  The blood of the Old Covenant purified copies of the things in Heaven – and only temporarily – but the heavenly things themselves required a better sacrifice than those. (Ex 25:8-9, 40; Heb 8:1-6)  So, even for Yom Kippur, we are not saved by a sacrifice through a priesthood under the Law from Sinai, but by a much greater sacrifice that atones for sins not only for Israel and the Jewish people, but for all humans everywhere and for all time, and for the whole creation!

v 24  For Messiah/Christ has not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are only copies of the true – and were under the regulations of the Law of Moses – but He has entered into the actual presence of God in Heaven for usOur worship now goes up into Heaven from wherever we may be, not only into a tabernacle of a building made by hands located in a particular location on the Earth.

v 25-26  If Yeshua/Jesus were only a High Priest from Levi, He would have had to sacrifice each year for Himself and for the people inside the Holy of Holies, which means that He would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world.  But, He came once, at the end of the age [Gal 4:1-7] (when both Jews under the Law, and Gentiles apart from the Law, had all shown themselves to be sinful and without hope apart from God’s intervention), to offer up Himself once to put away sin.  He is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, and Yeshua is He who saves His people from their sins. (Rom 11:28-36; Jn 1:29-31; Mt 1:20-21)

v 27  We die once, and then the judgment.  There is no reincarnation with multiple deaths and no resolution.  Eternal judgment is one of the elementary foundations of Messiah. (Heb 6:1-2; Is 33:10-17; Mt 13:37-43; Dan 12:2-3)  Today many people do not believe that there is really a God who will judge people after they die, but that all will be ‘in Heaven’, because God is love.  Or, they do not believe that there is a God at all, that all is ‘by chance’, with no meaning beyond the grave.  Those who teach and believe such doctrines are making a grave mistake.

YHVH, God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob/Israel, is the Judge. Yeshua is the Judge.  God’s Word is the Judge.  Fear Him who can cast your soul and body into Hell, but who died for us that believers can live with Him forever. (Mt 25:31-46; 2Tim 4:1-5; 2Cor 5:9-11; Heb 6:1-2; Mt 10:27-31

Everyone dies, and is judged.  Each person.  There is an everlasting resurrection of the righteous – those who truly believe – and an everlasting resurrection of those who reject the love of the truth of who Jesus Christ is.  Our righteousness in found only in our faith in Jesus/Yeshua, the righteous Son of Man/Son of God. (Rev 20:6-15

v 28  Yeshua has come the first time to lift off the weight of our sins.  He will come a second (and last) time for salvation to those who eagerly wait for Him.  His name – given at His first coming and birth – is Yeshua, because He will save His people from their sins.

Where do you stand today regarding your faith and hope in Yeshua, in the truth of the gospel?

For those who already believe, are you eagerly waiting for His return, or are you indifferent about that, and the glory of God to fulfill the blessed hope, with Yeshua returning to sit on the throne of David as promised?  YHVH is a covenant-maker, and a covenant-keeping God! 

Are we living in the truth of the grace of God, and in His will for our life, and not in our own will?

The people of the world today – including within the Body of Christ and among the Jewish people – want to return to a way of life — the “old” religion — that was before the holiness and the righteousness and the love of the Creator, YHVH God, was revealed to Israel and, through the Jews, to the rest of the world through the gospel. 

Yeshua/Jesus told us that before He returns the world will become like the days of Noah before the Flood, and the days of Sodom in the time of Lot:  people thinking, planning, approving, and doing evil and fulfilling all the lusts of the flesh for violence and for sex.  What God calls good, they call evil; what God judges as evil, they call good.  Without faith and fear of the one true God and the Lord Jesus Christ whom He sent, the conscience is seared and truth is cast to the ground and trampled upon. 

Yet, in the long-suffering of our God, who wants that as many as possible should be saved, the great commission is to preach the gospel to all people until the end of the age (angels will even be sent out to complete the mission), and then the Lord will return at the time that the Father has already determined, knowing the end from the beginning.  Yeshua/Jesus is greater than all former religions and ways of living, and He is still mighty to save all who repent and believe the gospel.  Praise to the One who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!

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