When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation.
What makes Christ and His work superior to the Old Testament priesthood? The writer of Hebrews answered that question in Hebrews 9:11-14.
First of all, Christ’s sacrifice is superior in the access it provides. “When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation” (9:11). Where did Christ take His blood that He offered for the sins of the world? He did not go into a tent made with animal skins. He did not go into a temple made with stone. He took His sacrifice into the very presence of God. The temple and the tabernacle were pictures of the presence of God, which is where Christ performed His ministry.
Second, Christ’s sacrifice is superior in its acceptableness. “Not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (9:12). In the Old Testament, it took two goats on the Day of Atonement to provide temporary covering. One goat paid for the forgiveness of sins; the other goat was sent out to remove the people’s sins from them. But Jesus does both. He “is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). And Psalm 103:12 says He has removed our sin “as far as the east is from the west.” God has taken our sin and cast it into the depths of the sea. And He remembers it no more. That’s what Christ offers us.
Third, Christ’s sacrifice is superior in its accomplishment. “If the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:13-14). There is only one thing that can cleanse you and me: the blood of Jesus Christ. He not only offers us justification, but He cleanses our conscience from dead works. In Ezekiel 36:26, God said, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.” That is what Christ did for us that no religious ritual can accomplish.
Why did Jesus Christ do this? Hebrews 9:14 says, “to serve the living God.” There is a phrase we used years ago: “Saved to serve.” The most fulfilled you will ever feel is when you discover the unique purpose God has created for you to serve Him. That is the greatest joy of all. We were created to serve God. But before we can serve God, we have to be cleansed by God.
Dr. Louis Evans used to type his sermons on a typewriter. Occasionally that typewriter got dirty, and some of the keys would double-strike. So he would take it to the store to be cleaned. What did he do with the typewriter after it was clean? Did he put it in a museum? No. Did he put it on the shelf? No. He used it to type his messages about the gospel. The machine had to be cleansed to be used effectively. And it is the same way for us. God created us to be instruments for Him in this world. Before we can experience His purpose for our lives, we have to be cleaned by God. The cleansing we desire is available only through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “A Memo To Jerry Jones” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.