July 15: Hebrew 9

Today’s reading.

I was talking with someone this week about Bible reading. He was telling me that he was working through the whole Bible, start to finish, which he had never done before. The only thing that worried him about his commitment was Leviticus and the other books of the OT law. One can only take so much reading about sacrifices and priestly garments and festivals and Sabbaths before one’s eyes begin to glaze over.

Oh, Leviticus...

But the author of Hebrews shows us here that the Holy Spirit had something very specific in mind when he inspired those OT law books (9:8). All those old sacrifices, the tabernacle, the priesthood, the lamps and altars and washings and Sabbaths all pointed forward to something greater. They were all shadows indicating the shape of a coming reality. And we get to see that reality in Christ.

“Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf” (9:24). God used the OT system to indicate the way he would redeem us and restore creation to its rightful place. He used the sprinkling of blood in the temple to show that our sin needed to be atoned for: “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (9:22). And he used the holy places in the temple as an earthly replica of his heavenly throne room, where Christ entered, offering his blood as a payment for our sin, so that we could have peace with God.

Peace with God! That’s what the OT system pointed toward but could never achieve. Only Christ could provide us with that peace. And now that he has offered himself for us, that peace can never be taken away. His once for all sacrifice has been made (9:26). Our redemption is a done deal.

God loved you enough to give you a peace you could never get on your own. That peace isn’t complete yet, but it is enough to inspire us to live lives of worship to God. It is a peace that carries us through the most difficult seasons and strangest circumstances. That peace is a foundation that can never be shaken because it is built upon the Rock, Christ himself.

One day that peace will be full and final. One day all our storms will expire, all troubles cease. We have hope that one day, “Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of rmany, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (9:28).

We eagerly await his peace. Come, Lord Jesus.

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