Text: Hebrews 9:1-28, Leviticus 16:15 Matthew 27:50-51
“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.”
– Hebrews 9:24
The Gospel of Christ takes my breath away.
It’s clear and simple, yet spectacularly mysterious. Reading Hebrews 9 makes me want to fly the flag of my High Priest all over town. “It’s so simple! Don’t you see? It was God’s rescue plan all along!” The blood and sacrifices on the altars, and the final blood of the final (yes, final!) sacrifice on the cross—it’s all so beautiful and complete.
Death and life are deeply intertwined—goats and calves died one after another that their blood may guard life. Christ died once and for all that He may secure life eternal for us. And, in verse 14, the blood of Christ purifies our conscience “from dead works to serve the living God.”
I had to look it up. With all this death and life talk, what exactly are “dead works”?
The word “dead” in this passage is the Greek word “nekron”, which means “neuter, useless, ineffective; not the issue.” The Grand Plan is being outlined before us, and the writer of Hebrews brings our efforts into view only long enough to say it’s just really not about them. He also makes super clear what it is about.
I’ll be honest y’all; I’m about to pick up my flag again for another lap!
But before I do—I want to make one thing clear: These verses should not make us feel small or less than or not enough. They should compel us to understand that we have a higher privilege than the Old Testament Israelites ever enjoyed—our Great High Priest gave his own blood, thus literally tearing the curtain of the temple from top to bottom (Matthew 27:50-51, Mark 15:37,38) and granting us unrestricted access to the Lord of Lords!
“We have now boldness to enter into the holiest, in all acts of worship,
by the blood of Jesus; yet such as obliges us to holy reverence.”
The Most Holy Place where the Israelites stored their most treasured possessions was replaced with one Great High Priest in whom alone we find our greatest treasure.
Goats and altars and tabernacles and makeshift propitiation—when Christ groaned “it is finished” from the cross and the veil ripped from Heaven to Earth, it was indeed FINISHED once and for all. We just get to confess and believe.
So, join me! Grab your flag of Gospel joy and fly it with me—The Gospel is true! It was His Grand Plan all along.