Verse: Hebrews 9:1-10
Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.
6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings – external regulations applying until the time of the new order.
Hebrews was written to Jewish converts to Christianity who were tempted to revert to Judaism or to Judaize the gospel. They would have been very familiar with the content of the first 7 verses here which really is a short description that summarizes five whole chapters (25-30) in Exodus. The old covenant, with the sacrifice of animals and all the Old Testament rules, while not sufficient to change men’s hearts, was an illustration or a foreshadowing of the true forgiveness of sins that comes from believing that Jesus is our salvation. He shed his blood paying for all our sins and rose again to make a place for us in heaven.
When Jesus died for us, everything changed. The curtain into the Most Holy Place was torn in two. Before this, the priest that entered that area once a year feared for his life. If he came out alive, he threw a party for his friends to celebrate that God didn’t strike him dead. God cannot abide sin.
But since Jesus paid the price for all our sins forever, we can safely have a relationship with the most high God. That is amazing!! Think about it. We can talk with God, who created everything.
Take some time today to think about whether you take this opportunity for granted or if you are seriously pursuing a relationship with God. You have the chance to talk with him, to hear from him today. Are you too busy to do that? Is it too much work? What is keeping us from going after this wholeheartedly? Let’s take a step toward God today and see what he has for us. You may be surprised at the peace and love and guidance that comes your way.
Dear God, thank you for sending your son to die for us and abolishing the old covenant. We are so thankful that you want to be with us and walk with us through each day. We want a closer relationship with you. Help us to develop that by looking to you in all that we do.
Author: Brad Dunn