Hebrews 9

* The Jewish tabernacle and its utensils. (1-5) Their use and

meaning. (6-10) These fulfilled in Christ. (11-22) The

necessity, superior dignity, and power of his priesthood and

sacrifice. (23-28)

1-5 The apostle shows to the Hebrews the typical reference of

their ceremonies to Christ. The tabernacle was a movable temple,

shadowing forth the unsettled state of the church upon earth,

and the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom the

fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. The typical meaning of

these things has been shown in former remarks, and the

ordinances and articles of the Mosaic covenant point out Christ

as our Light, and as the Bread of life to our souls; and remind

us of his Divine Person, his holy priesthood, perfect

righteousness, and all-prevailing intercession. Thus was the

Lord Jesus Christ, all and in all, from the beginning. And as

interpreted by the gospel, these things are a glorious

representation of the wisdom of God, and confirm faith in Him

who was prefigured by them.
6-10 The apostle goes on to speak of the Old Testament

services. Christ, having undertaken to be our High Priest, could

not enter into heaven till he had shed his blood for us; and

none of us can enter, either into God's gracious presence here,

or his glorious presence hereafter, but by the blood of Jesus.

Sins are errors, great errors, both in judgment and practice;

and who can understand all his errors? They leave guilt upon the

conscience, not to be washed away but by the blood of Christ. We

must plead this blood on earth, while he is pleading it for us

in heaven. A few believers, under the Divine teaching, saw

something of the way of access to God, of communion with him,

and of admission into heaven through the promised Redeemer, but

the Israelites in general looked no further than the outward

forms. These could not take away the defilement or dominion of

sin. They could neither discharge the debts, nor resolve the

doubts, of him who did the service. Gospel times are, and should

be, times of reformation, of clearer light as to all things

needful to be known, and of greater love, causing us to bear

ill-will to none, but good-will to all. We have greater freedom,

both of spirit and speech, in the gospel, and greater

obligations to a more holy living.
11-14 All good things past, present, and to come, were and are

founded upon the priestly office of Christ, and come to us from

thence. Our High Priest entered into heaven once for all, and

has obtained eternal redemption. The Holy Ghost further

signified and showed that the Old Testament sacrifices only

freed the outward man from ceremonial uncleanness, and fitted

him for some outward privileges. What gave such power to the

blood of Christ? It was Christ's offering himself without any

sinful stain in his nature or life. This cleanses the most

guilty conscience from dead, or deadly, works to serve the

living God; from sinful works, such as pollute the soul, as dead

bodies did the persons of the Jews who touched them; while the

grace that seals pardon, new-creates the polluted soul. Nothing

more destroys the faith of the gospel, than by any means to

weaken the direct power of the blood of Christ. The depth of the

mystery of the sacrifice of Christ, we cannot dive into, the

height we cannot comprehend. We cannot search out the greatness

of it, or the wisdom, the love, the grace that is in it. But in

considering the sacrifice of Christ, faith finds life, food, and

refreshment.
15-22 The solemn transactions between God and man, are

sometimes called a covenant, here a testament, which is a

willing deed of a person, bestowing legacies on such persons as

are described, and it only takes effect upon his death. Thus

Christ died, not only to obtain the blessings of salvation for

us, but to give power to the disposal of them. All, by sin, were

become guilty before God, had forfeited every thing that is

good; but God, willing to show the greatness of his mercy,

proclaimed a covenant of grace. Nothing could be clean to a

sinner, not even his religious duties; except as his guilt was

done away by the death of a sacrifice, of value sufficient for

that end, and unless he continually depended upon it. May we

ascribe all real good works to the same all-procuring cause, and

offer our spiritual sacrifices as sprinkled with Christ's blood,

and so purified from their defilement.
23-28 It is evident that the sacrifices of Christ are

infinitely better than those of the law, which could neither

procure pardon for sin, nor impart power against it. Sin would

still have been upon us, and have had dominion over us; but

Jesus Christ, by one sacrifice, has destroyed the works of the

devil, that believers may be made righteous, holy, and happy. As

no wisdom, learning, virtue, wealth, or power, can keep one of

the human race from death, so nothing can deliver a sinner from

being condemned at the day of judgment, except the atoning

sacrifice of Christ; nor will one be saved from eternal

punishment who despises or neglects this great salvation. The

believer knows that his Redeemer liveth, and that he shall see

him. Here is the faith and patience of the church, of all

sincere believers. Hence is their continual prayer as the fruit

and expression of their faith, Even so come, Lord Jesus.

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