Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
What do the truths in Hebrews 9 mean for us today? Let’s look at three timeless principles.
First, our forgiveness is costly. One of the greatest heresies today is the idea that God accepts you as you are. That is a heresy straight from the pit of Hell. God cannot overlook our sin. Habakkuk 1:13 says, “[God’s] eyes are too pure to approve evil.” Then what hope do we have? Here is the hope: We can come to God with our sin, but we have to stand at the cross of Jesus Christ and allow ourselves to be cleansed by Christ’s blood. It is only through receiving that gift of salvation that God will cleanse us of our sins. Some people say, “I cannot believe in cheap grace.” There is nothing cheap about grace. It cost God the death of His Son.
Second, God’s redemption is complete. For the last 2,000 years, people have tried to hang a sign around the cross of Jesus Christ that reads: “Necessary, but not enough.” Yes, they say, the death of Christ was important, but it was not quite enough to secure our salvation. We need to add to it. They say things like: “It is Jesus Christ and baptism.” “Jesus Christ and joining the church.” “Jesus Christ and accepting the sacraments.” “Jesus Christ and confessing to the priest.” No, it is Jesus Christ plus nothing by which we are saved. Hebrews 9:26 says that by His death Jesus has forever taken away our sin. It is Jesus Christ alone who offers complete forgiveness.
Third, our salvation is incomplete. Yes, the moment we trust in Christ as Savior our sins are forgiven forever. But salvation is more than forgiveness of our sins. There is a future aspect of our salvation that we still eagerly await. The writer talks about this in verse 28: “Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” When the high priest once a year went into the Holy of Holies to offer that sacrifice for the sins of the people, the Israelites stood in the courtyard of the temple breathlessly awaiting that moment when the high priest would reemerge. When they saw that happen, they knew that the high priest had finished his work, that the sacrifice had been accepted. If the high priest offered the wrong offering or did it in the wrong way, then he would be struck dead in the Holy of Holies. That is why the people waited anxiously to see the high priest come out. The writer of Hebrews was saying that we as Christians are awaiting that moment when Jesus Christ will reappear from Heaven so we can all see Him again. Why is He going to do that? To complete our salvation. One day our high priest, Jesus, is going to reappear and finish the job of salvation by delivering us from this sin-infected world. Hallelujah! That is why Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places . . . for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Where There Is A Will, There Is A Body” 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.