Monday, January 27, 2014

The Power of The Blood: Hebrews 9

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Well, I took a breath and checked out the answers to the Chapter 8 questions and, to my great relief, found that I was pretty much on the same page as Suzanne.  ;-).

So we move on into chapter 9...after looking at the contrast between the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods, now we look at the difference between the covenants each of those priesthoods mediated...the first being the shadow or forerunner of the second.  The author details what happened in the administration of the first covenant in the first 10 verses, and concludes

According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper - v. 9

Do you know what the first word in the next section is?


BUT when Christ appeared...

he entered once for all into the holy places, the greater and more perfect tent that is not made with hands and not of earthly creation,

he did not enter through the blood of animals, but through his own blood, securing eternal redemption.

if the blood of boats and bulls, and the sprinkling of the defiled person with ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God - vs. 13-14

The new covenant does what the old could purifies the conscience.

I'm tempted to just type out the rest of the chapter, because it is SO GOOD, but, you know, you can read it for yourself.  Note that the old, the copy, the shadow of what was to come laid the groundwork and established the truth: without blood, sin can not be cleansed.

I'm going to sit on that for just a minute.  I've read any number of writers who believe that God was so angry with mankind that he required blood to appease him for the error.

But the scripture repeatedly says things like 'Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to listen than the fat of rams'  (1 Samuel 15:22)  and For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you will not despise.  (Ps. 51: 16-17).

We're not talking about appeasing God, we're talking about washing away sin.

Because sin cannot come into the presence of a holy God.  Not that God won't allow its nature, it cannot exist where He is.  That would be like darkness hanging out in a room full of light.  It can't happen.  Light banishes darkness just by virtue of their opposite natures.

So God made a way for sin to be cleansed, so that we could put on the righteousness of Christ and stand in God's presence.

And when you clean anything, you have to use the right solvent.

Back in the day before oxy-cleaners and shamwow rags, housewives had a list of stain removers, based on the stain.

A berry or fruit stain was removed by pouring boiling water on it.

A blood stain was removed by soaking in cold water.

Ink was removed...hopefully...with cheap hairspray.

And so on.

The solvent depended on the make up of the stain; and the sin stain was such that only blood could clean it.

Clean, un-sin-stained blood.

Which Jesus had, and freely offered so that people who receive it can be cleansed from the sin stain that would keep them from the presence of God.

The blood of animals could only temporarily cover sin; Jesus' blood had only to be offered once for everyone, for all time, forever.

Now the question is...what will we do with that offering?  Receive it?  Or reject it...and try to find something else that will work?  Or deny that the work needs doing? 

 (Be sure you read all the way to the end of Suzanne's post that I linked above; she has a challenge for her readers that is well worth considering)

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