Christ Will Appear To Bring Salvation (Hebrews 9:27-28)

Hebrews 9:27-28“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” ( Hebrews 9:27-28 )

There are certain things in life we are assured of, just as we were born, we will also die. It was Ben Franklin who joked “in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes". I would suggest, however, that there are a few other things we can also be certain of. Just as mankind is appointed to die and to be brought before God in judgment, so also Jesus was destined to come and bear the burden of sins of the world once for all ( I Peter 3:18, I John 2:2 ). This is amazing news for us. Because this work was finished and complete, He is also appointed to return, not to bear sin again but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly waiting and expecting Him.

This is Christ’s legacy. He dealt with the issue of sin once for all so all that is left to do is to come and gather His people to Himself. As believers we have been redeemed, we have been purchased and we have been given a new born again spirit but we are still waiting for the redemption of our physical bodies. When Jesus Christ returns He will be coming to bring final salvation. This is one of the things in life we can be assured of, Christ is coming back and when He comes, He will bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him!

This is an exciting thing; there is no fear in anticipating that day. Paul told the church at Thessalonica, For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” ( I Thessalonians 5:9-11 ). The only question that will matter is; What did you do with Jesus? For those who believe in Him, we will not suffer wrath but we will receive our salvation.

The Apostle John also comforts us with these words, “In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us” ( I John 4:17-19 ). In other words, when we stand before God in judgment we will be wearing the righteousness of Jesus. John said “as He is so are we in the world,” meaning that there is no accusation of sin against us, because Jesus dealt with the issue of sin and we have accepted His payment for it. Through Jesus we have the righteousness we need, to stand before God free from accusation or condemnation. We also have His perfect love to reassure us in this truth.

Jesus told us that anyone who accepts His message of grace and forgiveness will have this salvation without condemnation. “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” ( John 5:24 ). The word for condemned is the same word for judgment. Christ came to first to bear sins so that He could come back again to bring salvation for all those who eagerly, constantly and patiently wait and expect Him! It is as certain as death and taxes and it is something to anticipate with great joy!

Christ Abolished Sin by the Sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:25-26)

Hebrews 9:25-26“Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself” ( Hebrews 9:25-26 )

This glorious truth rings out from the dawn of mankind until the time when our King will return to bring us home... our sins are completely, utterly and eternally blotted out from all record and we are forgiven through the Lord Jesus Christ! This is why the cross was a complete victory, it was the means to forever deal, once and for, with the issue of sin.

The writer of Hebrews stresses this truth so many times in chapters 8, 9 and 10 that it is impossible to miss. In fact, looking at the Scriptures as a whole, this is one of the most amazing truths that the Law and the Prophets foretold, Jesus talked about and the apostles wrote about. It is a theme throughout the entire Scriptures. Jesus’ sacrifice was so perfect and so complete that it only took one time to completely undo everything that sin corrupted. Peter tells that we have to know this otherwise we will be ineffective and unproductive in life ( II Peter 1:8-9 ).

In contrast to the Levitical system, two things stand out in this passage of scripture in Hebrews 9. First, Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary ( Hebrews 9:24 ). Secondly, He did not have to offer himself over and over again ( Hebrews 9:25 ). Christ’s priesthood and sacrifice were vastly superior to that of the first covenant. In contrasting the two systems in this way, it shows the New Covenant’s superiority in which Jesus is the guarantor. In fact, all of this happened only once and when it happened, it occurred in heaven. If it happened only once, it means that it worked the first and only time the sacrifice was made.

If it worked, it means that Christ obliterated sin once for all, for all time, past, present and future. Otherwise, sin would still have the means to accuse us before God, but Hebrews says, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” ( Hebrews 10:22 ). We’ve been cleaned and purified by the blood of the lamb and welcomed by the Father into His presence.

David saw this and prophesied, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” ( Psalm 103:12 ). Isaiah saw this and prophesied, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” ( Isaiah 43:25 ). Jeremiah prophesied this, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” ( Jeremiah 31:34b ). Oh, what a marvelous truth this is.

As recipients of the blessing of the New Covenant we have an obligation to our Savior to not let sin keep us captive. We’ve been freed by the precious blood of the Lamb, our lives have been redeemed and we are forgiven. Paul said, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross” ( Colossians 2:13-14 ). There is nothing to accuse any longer, it was nailed to the cross marked ‘Paid in Full’.

Therefore, we should live as those who have been freed and forgiven. Not taking liberty in the freedom, but living like who we are in Christ Jesus. A holy people, set apart, redeemed, favored, forgiven and free. This is why Jesus’ sacrifice for sin was the consummation of the ages, because he abolished and obliterated sin for all mankind for all time ( I John 2:2 ). What an amazing truth!

Jesus Entered Heaven Appearing Before God on Our Behalf (Hebrews 9:23-24)

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!

Without the Shedding of Blood There is no Forgiveness (Hebrews 9:19-22)

Hebrews 9:19-22“When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” ( Hebrews 9:19-22 )

Both the Old and New Covenants were put into effect by blood. The blood proved the death, thereby enforcing and enacting the will of the one who died ( Hebrews 9:17 ). Leviticus 17:11 explains why the blood was used, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” ( Leviticus 17:11 ). So it was necessary for both Covenants to be ushered in by blood, because first it proved the death because the blood is the life force. And secondly, it was given for atonement. So without it, there could be no forgiveness for sins.

Jesus’ blood was shed to usher in the New Covenant. His blood proved that a death had occurred thereby enacting His last will and testament. His blood was the price necessary for this will to come to pass, in other words, it put this covenant into effect. The New Covenant is not only the will of Jesus, whose blood ushered it in, it is also the will of God. Throughout Jesus’ time on earth He said over and over that His will was to do the will of the Father ( John 6:38 ). He stressed that what He said was only what the Father told Him to say ( John 8:28 ) and He did only what He saw the Father do ( John 5:19 ). His words and teachings were not His own but from the One who sent Him ( John 7:16 ). In fact John 6:38 summarizes this very nicely, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” ( John 6:38 ). The writer of Hebrews starts chapter 1 by declaring that Jesus is the exact representation of God the Father ( Hebrews 1:3 ). Since they are one and the same, we can see that Jesus’ blood was the life force that was able to usher in the will of God, which was the New Covenant.

Not only did Jesus’ blood prove the death and put the Covenant into effect. Part of the New Covenant that God spoke of through the prophets included the forgiveness of sins ( Jeremiah 31:31-34, Isaiah 54:13, Hebrews 8:8-12, Hebrews 10:16-18 ). Leviticus 17:11 says the life force is in the blood and this is used as a means for atonement. So Jesus’ blood served multiple purposes, it enacted the Will of the Covenant and it was the cleansing agent for sin. If no blood was shed, there couldn’t be any forgiveness for sins.

The Vines Dictionary of New Testament Words brings clarification to this point. There are two words used for blood in Hebrews 9. The first one is haima, which has many meanings, but in this case it denotes the blood of sacrificial victims ( Hebrews 9:7 ). “The "blood" of Christ, which betokens His death by the shedding of His "blood" in expiatory sacrifice; to drink His "blood" is to appropriate the saving effects of His expiatory death, John 6:53. As "the life of the flesh is in the blood," Lev 17:11, and was forfeited by sin, life eternal can be imparted only by the expiation made, in the giving up of the life by the sinless Savior” (Vines Dictionary). In other words, life had been forfeited because of sin, which is why Jesus’ life was given so that He, as a sinless man, could impart eternal life through this sacrifice. Jesus himself said this, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” ( John 6:53-54 ). Our life was forfeited because of sin, but Jesus’ blood was shed to forgive and restore us to a state as if we had never sinned in the first place ( II Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 9:12, Hebrews 9:26, Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:12, Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 10:18 ). What an amazing truth!

The second word for blood used in Hebrews 9:22 is haimatekchysia, which means the “shedding of blood”, to pour out. Jesus didn’t just give His blood, He let it flow freely. In fact, it didn’t stop until every last drop had been given. He was poured out unto death, which is what Isaiah prophesied about Him, “Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” ( Isaiah 5:3:12 ). His life force completely covered, cleansed and annulled sin. Our lives had been forfeited because of sin, however His blood completely reversed  the effect of sin so that we could experience eternal life.

Jesus understood this which is why He spoke these words while reclining at the table with His disciples at the last supper. “Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” ( Matthew 26:27-28 ). He knew the price to bring us to the Father and His own words testify to the fact that He would let the blood flow freely. He knew His blood would usher in the covenant and it would completely and utterly blot out and destroy the effects and stains of sins.

His perfect blood was shed to usher in both the New Covenant and the forgiveness of sins. Neither one could be accomplished without it which is why He freely gave himself to the will of God. Jesus accomplished what we could not and because of His sacrifice we have been forgiven, freed and offered eternal life through the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ Death Made God’s Will and Testament Valid (Hebrews 9:16-18)

Hebrews 9:16-18“In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood” (Hebrews 9:16-18)

Obtaining a family inheritance only comes after the death of the family member and after the will is read. The will provides the guideline for how the inheritance is to be dispersed. The will’s originator is the one who dictates this by creating a last will and testament so that their wishes are known and honored. This is a legal binding contract and it is never put into effect before the death of the individual, although it exists in legal form before death. The same is true of the both the Old and New Covenants. They were put into effect after death, and always with blood.

This is an amazing truth about the Covenant we enjoy through Jesus. His death put the will of God into effect and made it legally binding and in operation. It is important for us to know what this Last Will includes so that we will understand what we have inherited through Jesus. To do this we must look at what Jesus said His mission, or God’s will for His life was. Luke describes this perfectly. “The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:17-21).

Jesus came to preach the gospel, free the prisoners, restore sight, release the oppressed and announce the Lord’s favor to mankind. This was God’s will concerning the life of Jesus. He came to bring us into fellowship with the Father through the gospel. The good news is that our sins are forgiven and paid for through Jesus, and that we have been redeemed and purchase back by His blood.

He has freed the prisoners. Jesus’ blood paid for the debt that sin held against us. He died as a ransom for us so that we wouldn’t (Mark 10:45, Hebrews 9:15). We have been rescued from bondage.

He restores the sight of the blind. This happens in a spiritual sense as well as in the physical, because we now can see and understand the Father by looking at Jesus (John 1:18, II Corinthians 4:6, Colossians 1:15;19, Hebrews 1:1-3). The fullness of God dwelt in Jesus and He has shown us an exact representation of God the Father.

He has released the oppressed. No longer are we subjected to the whims of the sinful nature, but we have been freed from it and given a new, born again spirit, fashioned after Jesus’ in righteousness and holiness (Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 4:24).

He was sent to announce the favor of the Lord. This was the message of the angels at Jesus’ birth, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14). God was in the world, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer holding man accountable for his sins. Jesus’ entire life was a proclamation of this amazing truth!

Just as Jesus declared in the synagogue that this Scripture had been fulfilled at their hearing, Jesus’ death completed and put into effect the will of God. Eugene H. Petersen said it best in the Message version, “Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus' death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, canceling the old obligations and accompanying sins, and summoning the heirs to receive the eternal inheritance that was promised them. He brought together God and his people in this new way” (Hebrews 9:16-17 Message). Jesus’ death made God’s will and testament valid and in operation. He guarantees it with the precious blood of our Savior Jesus Christ, so that we who hope in God have received the inheritance eternally promised to us.