A Better Offering Made By A Better High Priest Hebrews Chapters 9 & 10

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Last week we looked at how Jesus presented His offering in a better place that is at The Heavenly Tabernacle.  We saw that this means when we come before God in prayer we are standing on Holy Ground and need to show Him the reverence He is due.

Before we start in on today’s message I want to thank you for your patience as I have covered these last few chapters.  At the beginning I did say we would be getting into deep waters I just didn’t realize how deep.

One of the preacher’s concerns that he addressed in this letter was that some of the readers were going back to their old worship practices which is why he spent so much time comparing the old worship practices with what Jesus established in the new covenant.

Think of it like this he was holding out a plate filled with rotting bologna covered with green fur in one hand and a plate filled with prime rib in the other hand.  

Once he has their attention  he says “Here you choose!”

I know the question people might be asking right now.  I am not Jewish I have never practiced old testament sacrifice what does any of this have to do with me?

The key distinction the author of Hebrews was making here is salvation by works verses salvation by faith.

It is not the specific practice that is at issue here.  Before I got saved I thought being good, following the 10 commandments was enough.  Some may think if I am kind to my fellow man, or if I give to the poor this will somehow make me worthy to get to heaven.

When we come to Christ for salvation we learn that these kinds of works will never get us to heaven.

What would you think if I put a poster up in the back of the church the 25 rules that will make you a good practicing christian.

I would hope you would think I slipped a cog, and not say Finally someone who understands that a good church is the church that practices legalism.

You see there are many ways we can slip back into the old ways of doing things.

When Paul heard that the Galatian church was beginning to require circumcision for membership he wrote this in his letter to the Galatians.

Galatians 1:6-9

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed![1]

Slipping back to the old way of doing things is not just being mistaken.

It is truly teaching by example a different way to salvation.  This different way is not how Christ taught us.

Hebrews 10:1-4 reminds us:

10 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.[2]

So what is it that is so different about Christ’s sacrifice that makes it better than the blood of animals?

To get a better understanding of this I wanted to look at a couple of passages in the Old Testament.

The first I wanted to look at was in 1 Samuel 15.

When Samuel anointed Saul king of Israel he told him to go and utterly destroy Amalek.

Saul had other plans.  In 1 Samuel 15:7-9 we read:

1 Samuel 15:7-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

7 So Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 He captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.[3]

When The Lord told Samuel what Saul had done Samuel confronted him with these words.

1 Samuel 15:19-22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord?”

20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the Lord, and went on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” 22 Samuel said,

“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices

As in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

And to heed than the fat of rams.[4]

David penned these words which are later quoted in Hebrews 10:5-7.

Psalm 40:6-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6 Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;

My ears You have opened;

Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.

7 Then I said, “Behold, I come;

In the scroll of the book it is written of me.

8 I delight to do Your will, O my God;

Your Law is within my heart.”[5]

Can an animal live a righteous life?  

Can an animal be obedient to God’s command?

When Jesus came He did live that righteous life.  

He did walk in complete obedience to all of God’s commands.

When Jesus died on the cross His sacrifice was the sacrifice of an obedient Son.

His sacrifice met God’s primary requirement: obedience.

His sacrifice didn’t just hide our sins.

His sacrifice provides that which is missing from the Old Testament sacrifice.

His sacrifice gives righteousness to all who receive the gift He freely gives.

Hebrews 10:8-14 continues by saying:

8 After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.[6]

In verses 8 through 10 we see that His sacrifice was that of the obedient Son, and His sacrifice sets up a new order to replace the old.

Verses 11 through 14 continue by telling us that performing sacrifices over and over is to be replaced by something else because when Jesus died on the cross His one sacrifice perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

What is this new practice that is to replace the old? Jesus established it at the last supper.

Mark 14:22-26

22 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

26 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.[7]

Earlier today we celebrated communion.  This celebration is the replacement for repeatedly performing sacrifices.

We are to Remember Jesus died once for all.

His sacrifice was sufficient.  That means there is no more need for sacrifice.

His resurrection is proof that His sacrifice was accepted.

The passage most frequently used for communion services is 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

There are 2 key statements Paul uses in this passage.

The first statement is repeated twice.  

Actually it is a command from Jesus.

That command is “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

This is a celebration of remembrance.  We are to remember something.

There is no need to perform sacrifices for sin any more.

There is a need to remember the sacrifice that paid the full price for our guilt.

There is a need to show our thankfulness for the sacrifice that delivered us from slavery to sin, and made us into new creatures.

When we remember His sacrifice we are standing on holy ground, and I am reminded of that word again: reverence.

There is another very important statement Paul includes in this passage.

That statement is in 1 Corinthians 11:26.

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. [8]

So we are to remember and we are to proclaim.

Hebrews 10:19-25 tells us that there are other things we should be doing because of His great sacrifice for us.

Hebrews 10:19-25

19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.[9]

Verse 22 says we are to draw near with a sincere heart.

That means we should be coming into His presence.  That sounds a lot like prayer.  I don’t think it is just I want, I want, I want.  I think that a sincere heart means we should maybe sometimes show just a little gratitude in our prayer life.

Verse 23 says we should hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering.  That sounds a lot like we should be telling others about this great sacrifice He made for us.  It also reminds us that sometimes there will be those who oppose our message, but we should not back down.

Verse 24 tells us we should consider how to stimulate others to love and good deeds.  This means we should make a plan.  What is it we should be planning?

We should plan on ways to encourage others in 2 areas.  First we should plan out ways to encourage others to show love.  Second we should plan on ways to encourage other to do good deeds.

Verse 25 tells us we should not forsake assembling together.  Pure and simple that means we should go to church.

What is the motive for doing these things?

What the world would tell you is it is the way to heaven.

Some would say well because it is the right thing to do.

Even though living a righteous life is the right thing to do it is not really a motive.  At least not one that honors God if I am the judge of this idea of the right thing to do.

Gratitude seems to be a much more legitimate reason but it is not Hebrews 10:34-39 tells us.

Hebrews 10:34-39

34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. 35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

37 For yet in a very little while,

He who is coming will come, and will not delay.

38 But My righteous one shall live by faith;

And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.

39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.[10]

The key here is faith.  When our faith is the reason we do good works we are walking in obedience.

More importantly no work is clean unless faith in Christ is the spring from which the water flows.

[1] "Galatians 1:6-9 NASB -  <https://www.biblegateway.com>

[2] Bible Gateway. "Hebrews 10:1-4 (NASB)." Bible Gateway. n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2016. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+10%3A1-4&version=NASB>

[3] Bible Gateway. "1 Samuel 15:7-9 (NASB)." Bible Gateway. n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2016. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+15%3A7-9&version=NASB>

[4] Bible Gateway. "1 Samuel 15:19-22 (NASB)." Bible Gateway. n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2016. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+15%3A19-22&version=NASB>

[5] Bible Gateway. "Psalm 40:6-8 (NASB)." Bible Gateway. n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2016. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+40%3A6-8&version=NASB>

[6] Bible Gateway. "Hebrews 10:8-14 (NASB)." Bible Gateway. n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2016. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+10%3A8-14&version=NASB>

[7] Bible Gateway. "Mark 14:22-26 (NASB)." Bible Gateway. n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2016. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+14%3A22-26&version=NASB>

[8] Bible Gateway. "1 Corinthians 11:26 (NASB)." Bible Gateway. n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2016. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+11%3A26&version=NASB>

[9] Bible Gateway. "Hebrews 10:19-25 (NASB)." Bible Gateway. n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2016. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+10%3A19-25&version=NASB>

[10] Bible Gateway. "Hebrews 10:34-39 (NASB)." Bible Gateway. n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2016. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+10%3A34-39&version=NASB>