The Superiority of the New Covenant
Chapter nine continues to emphasize the inferiority of the Old Covenant given through Moses and executed by Aaron and his sons. It emphasizes the infinite superiority of the New Covenant instituted and executed by Christ. Verses 6-10 summarizes the priestly service and sacrifices in the first Tabernacle. Verses 11-28 emphasize the infinite superiority of the heavenly High Priesthood, the heavenly Tabernacle, the Sacrifice, the blood of Christ and the eternal results by the Lord Jesus Christ.
The inferiority of the Priestly Functions and Sacrifices under the First Covenant (6-10)
vs.6 The priestly service of the Aaronic priests limited to daily ritual in the outer compartment, “the Holy Place”.
vs.7 The second compartment, “the Holiest of All,” was limited to:
- The High Priest alone,
- Once per year only, on the Day of Atonement,
- Not without blood, signifying the death of sin offerings,
- He must offer for his own sins first,
- Then offer for the sins of ignorance of the people of Israel.
vs.8-10 The Holy Spirit was teaching that:
- The way into God’s immediate presence was not open to man through the priestly service of the first tabernacle; [vs.8]
- The ceremonies and sacrifices were temporary figures, literally parables (parable), for the present time: [vs.9]
- The gifts and sacrifices could not give the offerers permanently clear consciences regarding their sins; [vs.9]
- The meat offerings, drink offerings, washings and ordinances cleansed defilement of the body, not the soul; [vs.10]
- They were imposed until a future time when these deficiencies would be rectified (Rom. 3:24-26). [vs.10]
The Types and Shadows of the OT Sacrifices perfectly fulfilled in the Sacrifice of Christ (11-28)
The Superior and Eternal Results of His Priestly Service. (11-14)vs.11 He became the High Priest of good things to come; His more perfect tabernacle was not of this creation (ktisis);
vs.12 By virtue of “His own blood,” not the blood of animal sacrifices, He entered the “Holiest of All,” heaven itself, once for all; The redemption He obtained for us at the cross is eternal.
vs.13 If animal sacrifices purified ceremonial defilement of the body,
vs.14 How much more effective is the Blood of Christ:
- He offered Himself by the Eternal Spirit
- He was unblemished, within and without, unlike Aaron,
- He cleansed our consciences from works that result in death,
- He fits us to serve as priests (latreuo) before the Living God.
The Superiority of the New Covenant (15-24)
vs.15 Christ is the Mediator (Surety, Guarantor) of the New Covenant. By His death:
- He provided redemption (release) from the transgressions under the first covenant (Rom. 3:25),
- He provided an eternal inheritance for all who are called.
Two Possible meanings: (16-17)
- A last will and testament is not in force until the testator dies, after which the heirs receive their inheritance [vs.15].
- A covenant is not in effect until the covenant victim has died (Gen. 15:9-18, Heb. 9:18-21). The second meaning is in keeping with the context of the dedication of the two Covenants [vs.18-20]
The Dedication of the First Covenant (18-22)
vs.18 The first covenant was not dedicated without blood;
vs.19 After the reading of the Law, the Book and the people were sprinkled with the blood of calves, goats and water, scarlet wool and hyssop.
vs.20 Israel, commanded to obey the Law, ratified the covenant with the words, “All that the Lord hath said, we will do” (Ex 24:3,8).
vs.21 The tabernacle and its vessels were sprinkled after its erection.
vs.22 Two fundamental principles established-
- “Almost all things by the Law must be cleansed by blood,”
- “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (sending away sin)
Christ’s Heavenly Priesthood under the New Covenant (23-24)
vs.23 The earthly pattern (hupodeigma, copy, representation) must be purified by the blood of animal sacrifice, Heavenly things required better sacrifices (all fulfilled in Christ).
vs.24 Christ did not enter into the man-made, earthly sanctuary; It was only a figure (antitupos) of what is the heavenly reality; He entered into heaven itself – the real sanctuary, He appears (ephanizo, shines) now in God’s presence for us.
The Eternal Value of Christ’s “Once for All” Offering. (25-28)
vs.25 Aaronic priests must offer often the blood of others (animals).
vs.26 Christ appeared (phaneroo, was manifested), “not often since creation,” but once for all at the consummation of the ages, He put away sin (disannulled it) by the sacrifice of Himself.
vs.27 Man is appointed to die once for all, then be judged for sin,
vs.28 So Christ was offered once for all to bear the sins of many (substitution).
- The next time He will appear (optima, become visible) to those who are looking for Him, and apart from sin altogether;
- He will complete the final aspect of our salvation;
- We will be caught up to heaven and changed into His likeness.