Summary: Jesus is the perfect sacrifice that abolishes sin and removes all fear of wrath!
December 9, 2012
Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant based on better promises (8:6), and since there’s a new covenant, the old one is gone (8:13). If the old one is gone, then so are its ordinances (9:10), and the only thing we have left is Christ! This second half of chapter nine is all about His death and blood, and it shows how we can be confident that His sacrifice is enough to actually purify us forever:
13For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14How much more shall the blood of Christ,
We’re pretty familiar with animal sacrifice, but we probably don’t know as much about the ashes, so let’s take a quick look at it in Numbers 19:2: “bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke: 3And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face: 4And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times: 5And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn: 6And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. 7Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even. 8And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even. 9And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin. 10And he that gathereth the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever. 11He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. 12He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. 13Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. 14This is the law, when a man dieth in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. 15And every open vessel, which hath no covering bound upon it, is unclean. 16And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. 17And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel: 18And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave: 19And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even. 20But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the Lord: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean. 21And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even. 22And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even.”
The bottom line is if you touch a dead man then you’re unclean. If you so much as touch the tabernacle afterwards, the only punishment is to be cut off from Israel forever! So to be purified, a man had to be sprinkled with cow ashes mixed with water and then he’s considered clean again. Basically what he’s saying Hebrews is, “If animal blood and cow ashes can make a person holy enough to stand before God, how much more completely holy and acceptable will we be through the blood of Christ?”