Summary: Only those who accept the cross of Christ as the payment for their sins will receive eternal salvation.
The Superiority Of The Cross
Text: Heb. 9:11-28
1. "In the Cross is salvation; in the Cross is life; in the Cross is protection against our enemies; in the Cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind; in the Cross is joy of spirit; in the Cross is excellence of virtue; in the Cross is perfection of holiness. There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross." ? Thomas à Kempis, The Inner Life
2. The idea of the cross is that someone had to pay the price for our sins. However, this presents us with a problem, because it requires someone paying the ultimate price, the price of life. Our redemption had to be paid with blood, and that blood had to come from someone who was perfect, sinless.
3. The only person who could pay that price was Jesus.
4. The cross of Jesus is...
A. A Superior Covenant
B. A Superior Sacrifice
C. A Superior Effect
5. Let's stand together as we read Heb. 9:11-28.
Proposition: Only those who accept the cross of Christ as the payment for their sins will receive eternal salvation.
Transition: Only the cross of Christ pays for our salvation because it inaugurates...
I. A Superior Covenant (11-15).
A. New Covenant
1. Anybody in here ever signed a contract? Whether you realize or not most of you have. If you have ever bought a house or signed a lease then you have signed a contract.
A. A contract , like a mortgage, says that you are agreeing to buy a house from the seller for whatever the agreed upon price may be.
B. Then you sign a contract with the bank who agrees to loan you X amount of dollars and you agree to pay it back and Y amount of dollars per month for Z amount of years
C. Basically, the covenant that is between God and ourselves is a contract.
D. God offers us salvation, paid for by Jesus on the cross with his own blood.
E. Our part of the contract is simply to accept God's offer.
2. This is what the author of Hebrews is telling us here in chapter 9. It begins in vv. 11-12, "So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. 12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever."
A. Although the people worshiped under the old covenant for nearly fifteen hundred years, God provided a new way that arrived because Christ has now become the High Priest.
B. Christ fulfilled perfectly and completely all that had been illustrated in the old covenant.
C. Christ came as a priest of the new covenant, called the good things that have come.
D. As a high priest, Christ also served in the Tabernacle, but his ministry was in that great, perfect sanctuary in heaven, not made by human hands and not part of this created world.
E. In typical first-century thought, the heavens were pure, perfect and changeless; the heavenly tabernacle, then, would be the perfect prototype for the earthly and the only one that was ultimately needed (Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament, Under: "Hebrews 9:11-22 The Final Blood Offering").
F. Christ’s ministry on our behalf was in God’s presence, a place where the blood of goats and bulls would have no effect. This point again reveals Christ’s superiority.
G. This imagery comes from the Day of Atonement rituals described earlier.
H. The high priest on the annual Day of Atonement brought the blood of a bull for himself and that of a goat for the people (Keener).
I. Just as a priest would enter the earthly Most Holy Place, Christ took blood into that Most Holy Place in heaven.
J. But he took not the blood of goats and calves, but his own blood.
K. With that blood, he secured our salvation forever. The real work was done on the cross. (Barton, Life Application New Testament Commentary, 1037).
3. The writer then talks about the superiority of Christ's sacrifice. He says in v. 13, "Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity."
A. The sacrifices of animals under the old covenant were not useless. After all, they were appointed by God.
B. The sacrifices commanded to be performed annually on the Day of Atonement and the ceremonies in which the ashes of a sacrificed heifer were mixed with water and sprinkled by the priest upon those ceremonially unclean provided sanctification, that is, ritual cleansing for the external, physical body.