Hebrews 9 - August 31st
It’s reading chapters such as this that prove to me why knowing the Old Testament is crucial to understanding the New Testament. Throughout his entire letter, the author of Hebrews relies on the fact that his audience has a solid Old Testament foundation. His arguments are rooted in events and history found written in the Old Testament. Let’s consider some of the statements he makes.
Lesser to Greater
Throughout this chapter, the author of Hebrews basically makes his argument from the lesser to the greater. Remember, the author's objective is to show how Christ is greater. He is greater than the angels; he is the greater high priest, and now we see him as the greater sacrifice. In the last chapter, chapter 8, he spoke about how earthly priests and the entire system of priesthood found in the Old Testament served as “a copy and shadow of the heavenly things.” Many things found in the Old Testament served as types and shadows that served to point us to Christ, who is the fulfillment of all things found there. This same truth can be applied to the sacrifices spoken about here in chapter 9; while the blood of bulls and goats were sacrificed within the Old Covenant system, they, along with the blood they shed, were only shadows at best, whereas Christ and his blood is the fulfillment. I won’t say too much about this since chapter 10 elaborates on this a lot more.
“Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.”
One thing that the Old Covenant system taught us is that sin deserves death. This is a fundamental truth to understand. Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death”; every sin’s just punishment is the death penalty. We sinners deserve the eternal death of Hell under the full wrath of God. You see, God is just, and it is because he is just that he must punish sin. God cannot let sin slide; he must judge justly. Every sin must be accounted for, every crime must be paid for in full. Like convicted criminals, we must pay for our crimes. There has to be death, there must be blood. But the Old Covenant system also taught us that our sin can be laid on another; within the Old Testament, these were sacrifices. These sacrifices could take the penalty that the Israelites deserved, death. But as we will see in chapter 10, they could not actually take sin away. Christ’s sacrifice is the fulfillment of these shadows, his sacrifice is superior and actually can take away the sins of His people. Let us understand this. The reason Christ had to die is because the just punishment for sin is death. Someone’s blood had to be spilled, and that blood was Christ’s. What a great God we serve.