Summary: From the restricted worship of the Old Covenant to the all encompassing love and universal saving grace of Jesus, the writer to the Hebrews shows why Jesus is able to offer Limitless Love to a lost and dying world.
LIMITLESS LOVE LASTS LONGEST
I. LIMITED ATONEMENT: Hebrews 9:18-23
II. LATTER ATONEMENT: Hebrews 9:23-27
III. LIMITLESS ATONEMENT: Hebrews 9:27, 28
Better Sacrifices. The writer to the Hebrews continues to draw our attention to the fact that everything involved with Jesus is “Better.” He continues to point to the newer as a comparison to the former to show just how much things are better in the sacrifice of Christ and His bringing in a new way for man to reach and worship God. Here he deals with the idea of sacrifices and then relates that these were a fore shadow of things to come when Christ made His sacrifice for mankind on Calvary.
In verse 23 of the text, he goes a bit further when he states that Christ’s sacrifice was meant not only for the purifying of man’s sins but also of purifying of Heaven. This may seem strange at first glimpse, but when we stop and think of who is invited to Heaven-sinful man, the necessary thing which had to be resolved was man’s sin. Heaven had to be purchased by the Blood of Christ in order for sinful/redeemed man to be able to enter into a place which knew no sin. Viewed in the light of Christ’s actions, it becomes clearer to see that the Holy Blood of our Redeemer reached to sinful man in his lost estate and also to the highest portals of Heaven in order for man to be admitted, free of sin, into a place which knew no sin-Heaven.
The idea of Redemption then has been God’s idea to purchase sinful man’s life from the time He created man and put him in the Garden. As one looks at history, one can begin to see that God had put a plan in action to redeem man and it has been slowly developed over the centuries until the Perfect Sacrifice-the Better Sacrifice was made. Redemption, redemption, redemption: God has been setting the stages for the ultimate plan of action until Christ came to shed His blood to purify the entire universe-Heaven included-in God’s plan of Atonement.
The first part of God’s plan of Atonement was LIMITED and restrictive. Then there was the LATTER plan of Atonement set in motion by Christ’s coming who has ushered in a LIMITLESS plan of Atonement for mankind. The first plan of God’s Atonement was filled full of rules; the continuous plan of Atonement was filled full of God’s unconditional Love and this Love, will last for ever. Note how the writer deals with the developing plan of God’s Atonement as he discusses the aspect of Christ giving the Better Sacrifice for all of man and indeed for all the Universe-including Heaven.
I. LIMITED ATONEMENT: When one speaks of this term, one might think the speaker is referring to John Calvin and his doctrine of the same name. However, in the case of my sermon, I use this term to refer not to what Calvin meant but to reflect what the writer of the Hebrews implied as he discussed the disadvantages of the former ways of serving God under the Old Covenant as compared to the newer way which brought Jesus to this Earth to die for man’s sin.