Superior Sacrifice – Superior Covenant

But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.  How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[c] so that we may serve the living God!

Hebrews 9:11-14

In yet another amazing passage, one that continues to build his case, our author charges head long into the notion that the Old Covenant is still somehow in effect.  Having just concluded a discussion of the earthly tabernacle and earthly sacrifices, he contrasts the work of Jesus against the old system in telling us that the Most Holy Place into which High Priest Jesus entered with His blood sacrifice was not the one in Jerusalem that is a mere illustration of the real thing, He instead entered the Real Thing in heaven. Our author highlights the difference and relevance of his assault by noting that the reality and result of this work by Jesus is “already here.” Clearly, he is not referring to any future event.

Next is a contrast between the nature of the old and new sacrifices, the first being performed with the blood of animals, is contrasted with the second, being the blood of the Son of God, and it is this difference that made possible eternal redemption. Can you see why the author earlier said that the Old Covenant Law was obsolete?  If the final blood sacrifice was made with the blood of the Son of God, what standing can there be for animal sacrifices going forward?  It’s really a ridiculous notion when you think about it.

Verse 13 makes reference to sacrifices and ashes that were made to cleanse those who were “ceremonially unclean” under the Law, and the author makes the point very clearly that this only made those people “outwardly clean.”  Keep in mind, that everything that the Law dealt with was “outward” for it was a set of earthly regulations; even its promises are of an earthly nature. Contrast this with verse 14: The sacrifice of Christ doesn’t aim to cleanse us outwardly, for it cleanses our conscience which is an inward cleansing; the New Covenant is all about inward spiritual things, not outward earthly ones. With this inner cleansing, we can serve the living God in fellowship with Him.

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Hebrews 9:15

Jesus Christ is the mediator of a superior covenant.  It is superior because it deals with the inner parts of Man rather than the outward parts. This has set us free from our bondage to sin, death and the grave, and made it possible for us to actually be called God’s children, not as a metaphor, but by that eternal life which is now ours in Christ.

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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3 Responses to Superior Sacrifice – Superior Covenant

  1. But churches everywhere dip back into that old covenant to the parts they like: A separate priesthood, special garments, candles, choirs, orchestras, incense, tithing, etc. As Paul said when getting aggravated at people who insisted on Christians being circumcised and saying they may as well go the whole way with castration, when churches want to dip back into the old covenant, why don’t they resume animal sacrifices and stoning for adultery? But, people do not know what was in the Old Covenant (never read Leviticus), so don’t know they’re doing it. They think those things are just nice things to do. Paul said in Romans 10:1 that his heart’s desire was for a certain people to be saved because they had a “zeal for God, but not according to knowledge”. So now I’m off my soap box.

  2. Pingback: Superior Sacrifice – Superior Covenant — The Life Project | Talmidimblogging

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