Summary: Exposition of Hebrews 9 regarding four benefits of Good Friday on those who believe
Text: Heb 9:11-14, Title: More Than Fringe Benefits, Date/Place: NRBC, 4/17/11, AM
1. Opening illustration: “The cross of Christ, once respected, if not reverenced, as a significant religious symbol, has undergone a transmutation. For example, on a Holy Week cover of The New Yorker magazine from April 1995, a bunny rabbit—arms outstretched, head bowed, legs together as an obvious caricature of crucifixion—portrays ‘The Theology of a Tax Cut.” Such adaptations make a political statement and allow pop stars like Madonna to obscure the crucifixion’s significance. In the mind of the general public the cross amounts to mere jewelry that can be had with or without the ‘the little man’ on it.” And the scary part is that is happening in the church too. "I should think myself in the way of my duty, to raise the affections of my hearers as high as I possibly can, provided they are affected with nothing but truth.” –Edwards,
2. Background to passage: the writer is dealing with how Jesus is better than the Jewish faith to prevent those in this Hebrew congregation from apostatizing. He is a better high priest of a better covenant with a better sacrifice. And as we approach Good Friday, we should think about what His death meant.
3. Main thought: in this text we see four benefits of Good Friday on those who believe
1. Life with the Father (v. 11)
1. The writer speaks of a time of “reformation,” of setting things right or straight in v. 10. This was the time when Christ came. All these things (the temple, its implements, and its rituals) were only shadows, and were surpassed by the substance of the Messiah’s ministry. Christ came through a more perfect heavenly temple. And the point is that it is not on earth with a holy of holies that sees the presence of God, but in heaven where the actual presence of God dwells. The old covenant system could not give you a relationship with God; no real life.
2. Eph 2:4-6, John 11:26, 8:51
3. Illustration: “He that lives to live forever never fears dying.”
4. You can live with the Father forever! And it is the fullest life ever! Not only is this true in the hereafter, but it is also true here. You have a relationship with the Father that satisfies the very core of your being. And in heaven unimaginable, ever-increasing, mind-blowing joys await you when you are bodily present. The thing that we say at funerals of believers is that even though they are not alive here, they are more alive than they ever have been. Jesus ushers you into God’s presence on belief and repentance, into a relationship with God. Jesus died that you may have life!
Complete Atonement (v. 12)
1. The writer says that Jesus didn’t enter this heavenly tabernacle with anything less than His own blood. And He made His sacrifice and offering once and for all! The former priests had to go over and over, year after year, animal after animal, grain and drink offering, wave offering, heave offering, burnt offering, sin offering…over and over and over. The blood of thousands, millions of animals flowed to cover the sin of people temporarily and symbolically. And now in the time of reformation, He entered in once dealing with every sin for all time for whole world. He never has to go back, no more blood shed; “It is finished!”
2. Heb 9:26-28, 7:26-27, 10:10, 1 John 4:10,
3. Illustration: every sin on Him was laid, here in the death of Christ, I’ll stand, Charles Spurgeon said, "Climb ye up to heaven, and behold the snow-white host, glittering like the sun in spotless purity. I ask them whence came they? The reply is that they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is most true that Jesus saves his people from their sins--earth knows it, hell howls at it, and heaven chants it; time has seen it, and eternity shall reveal it. There is none like to Jesus in saving power. All glory be to him! When he shall come from heaven with a shout, and all his hosts shall be with him, when the day of the supper of the Lamb shall come, and the bride hath made herself ready, and she that is the queen all glorious within, wearing her raiment of wrought gold, shall sit down at the table of God with her glorious husband then shall it be seen that he has saved his church, his people, from their sins."
4. And so it is with your sin! Once you have fallen at the feet of Christ, broken and without any hope in your own goodness, every sin you have ever committed, are committing now, or ever will commit is wiped away. They are forgiven, covered, buried, washed away, cleansed, and never held against you anymore. Not one sin has been overlooked or underpaid on. Rejoice in the weight that has been lifted! Rejoice you don’t have to earn it (because you can’t). Rejoice that you don’t have to find an animal, and get a priest, and all that!