Summary: Sermon 19 in a study in HEBREWS
“For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” NASB
“For 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. 25 Nor 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. 26 Then 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. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so 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.” NIV
This portion to which we give our attention today is full and rich in its teaching which makes the distinction between the earthly sanctuary where the men appointed by God served, and the Heavenly, where Christ as our High Priest entered for us. The distinction is also made in these verses between the blood of bulls and calves and other creatures that were offered for the sins of the people and the blood of our Lord, the shedding of which obtained our eternal redemption and was shed once for all.
There is teaching here about the new covenant mediated by Christ which made obsolete the old, as though a contract had been fulfilled and the promissory note burned having served its usefulness.
There is something that stood out for me as I read and reread these verses in my study that I would like to share with you today. It occurred to me as I read and pondered what is said here, that the writer brought out several instances in which Christ has manifested Himself and the various reasons for which He did so; and the more I meditated on these words the more significance I found in them.
Let’s go right to them then, asking the Lord of the Word to give us light.
CHRIST BEFORE US – As High Priest
In verse 11, having discussed the earthly ordinances for worship that were of a temporal value only, the writer transitions to Christ who is his primary focus and says, “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come…”
Now I will jump ahead just a little and tell you now so that you can be listening for it, that this word ‘appeared’, and in verse 24 ‘appear’ and again in verse 28 ‘appear’, are three different words in the Greek language. So we’ll want to be careful to get the full meaning from each as we come to them. There is also another word in verse 24 that we’ll look at as we go by.
This one in verse 11 has to do with someone becoming present; making a public appearance.
Here is something we have talked about as we’ve studied some other passages of scripture that teach about the coming of Christ into the world. It all bears repeating.
Mankind is born into the world in the timing of God, of course, but also by the will of men and women. But when we are born that is our beginning and it is all done entirely apart from our aid or cooperation. In fact, time must go by and we must grow and begin to understand certain things about the way of physical life before we can be taught and begin to comprehend just how we came to be.
The Bible tells us, in fact Jesus Himself during His earthly life told us, that He came into the world having existed before hand, and in order to engage and complete a prior plan that no man had any part in.