Jesus Entered Heaven Appearing Before God on Our Behalf (Hebrews 9:23-24)
“It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence” ( Hebrews 9:23-24 )
Every time the priest made atonement for the people, it was merely a dress rehearsal for the real thing. The High Priest was the “stand in” for the star. They merely showed a glimpse of what truly would take place at the pinnacle of history when Jesus entered into the heavenly tabernacle, in full view of God the Father Himself to offer a perfect sacrifice for us. This was the means to bridge the gap and usher in the New Covenant founded on, and made perfect in His blood.
This event was what the entire Levitical system looked forward to and revealed, by the types and shadows it portrayed ( Hebrews 10:1 ). The earthly items, which were copies of the real things, had to continually be purified by the blood of bulls and goats. In fact, these things happened over and over, which shows that it was merely a foreshadowing to the time when Christ Jesus would take over the role of High Priest. If these sacrifices could have worked, they would have long since stopped being offered ( Hebrews 10:2 ). However, as it stood, they merely reminded the people that One was coming who would perfect this offering for sin once for all ( Hebrews 10:3-4; Hebrews 10:10; Hebrews 10:18).
This is why Jesus didn’t enter a man-made tabernacle, patterned after the heavenly one. He entered into heaven itself. His blood was the entrance fee ( Hebrews 9:12). His blood was the cleansing agent ( Hebrews 9:14 ), His blood sealed and ratified the New Covenant made by God on our behalf ( Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:22 ). His blood took care of the sin issue once for all ( Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:12, Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 10:18 ). His blood bought us eternal redemption ( Hebrews 9:12; Hebrews 10:12, Hebrews 10:14 ). His blood was the exchange that took our sin and bestowed on us His righteousness ( II Corinthians 5:21 ). His blood made everything alright and since it was offered in the presence of God the Father it was a one-time deal (Romans 5:1-2). His blood undid everything that sin and death ever took, ruined or stained ( Romans 5:15; Romans 5:17; Romans 5:21 ). And His blood gives us the confidence to approach God by faith so we can find grace and mercy just when we need it ( Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 10:19-22 ).
This is why the entire sacrificial system was a dress rehearsal for opening night when Jesus entered into God’s presence to purchase and redeem us, because Jesus was the only one who could do all of these things. His sacrifice on the cross for us made it all possible. Now we have a High Priest who owns the position above all things seated at the right hand of the Father securing our reconciled position of grace ( Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 1:18-20; Hebrews 1:3-4 ). This is an amazing truth!