The Blood and Body of Christ:
Jesus Christ’s Blood and Body Compared to Old Testament Sacrifices
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
- Paul is comparing Old and New Testament religion to keep converted Jews from backsliding.
- The “first covenant,” or Moses’ Old Testament, had a church building and ordinances (9:1).
- “Ordinances of divine service” are things or rituals God ordained for His worship (9:6,10).
- The Old Testament had inviolate ordinances from God for worship, and so do we in the New.
- The temple veil was 60’x30’, 4” thick, moved by 300 priests, and horses could not tear it!
- Priests entered the first part every day taking care of the shewbread, candles, and incense.
- The high priest entered the holiest part, alone, once a year, with blood for himself and Israel.
- This repetition of annual meetings with God for atonement showed no open access to God!
- These carnal ordinances, called weak and beggarly elsewhere, did not satisfy the conscience.
- The burdensome rituals of the Old Testament were imposed on God’s church until Messiah!
9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
- Forget high priests under the law, for they merely reminded men of sin every year (10:1-4).
- Jesus is high priest of good, greater, and more perfect religion (3:1; 5:5-6; 6:17-20; 7:11-28).
- First, Jesus did not go into a manmade tabernacle: He went into the presence of God for us.
- Second, Jesus did not take the blood of bullocks and goats: He took His own blood to God.
- Third, Jesus does not have to do this every year, for He took His offering once before God.
- Fourth, Jesus did not leave us sinners with bad consciences: He obtained eternal redemption.
- Jesus, the High Priest of God, went to God with His own blood to secure eternal redemption: there are no conditions, offers, mere provisions, or works for men to add to this sacrifice.
9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
- The blood of bulls and goats continues to refer to the Day of Atonement for the nation’s sins.
- The ashes of an heifer refer to the sanctifying ordinance for unclean persons (Numbers 19).
- “Purifying of the flesh” made the Israelites clean before God for further worship of God.
- If various animal offerings sanctified the flesh, what effect should Jesus Christ’s blood have?
- “Dead works” here are the works of Moses’ Law for personal righteousness (Rom 10:1-5).
- Jesus Christ offered Himself to God as a sacrifice: He does not offer Himself to sinners.
- “Through the eternal Spirit” includes resurrection by the Spirit (Rom 1:4; 8:11; I Pet 3:18).
- “Without spot” references the requirement of Moses and Jesus Christ’s impeccability.
- Baptism is the individual ordinance of a conscience freed from guilt by Christ (I Peter 3:21).
- The Lord’s Supper is a congregational ordinance to remember this holy blood (I Cor 10:16).
9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
- Moses was mediator of the weak Old Testament; Jesus is the mediator of the glorious New!
- How is Jesus the mediator of the New? By a better sanctuary and offering and eternal results!
- We believe in “salvation by means”! The means are the death and resurrection of Christ!
- We deny sacramental means of any kind, including those of Rome or decisional regeneration.
- We deny gospel means by the best Calvinists, for the Bible denies it (Acts 13:48; I Cor 1:18).
- The promise of eternal inheritance is by God’s predestinating purpose in Christ (Eph 1:3-12).
- The “call” is our appointment to eternal life (Rom 8:28; I Tim 6:12; I Pet 5:10; I Thess 5:9).
- To emphasize the importance of His death, Paul compares the testament to a man’s last will.
- A will is a document that means nothing while the grantor lives: he must die to activate it.
- Jesus Christ died, which put the eternal covenant and promises of God into force (Titus 1:2).
9:18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
9:20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
9:21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
- “Whereupon,” a term drawing a conclusion, refers back to the means of death already stated.
- “Neither” draws a comparison between the two covenants, showing that both involve blood.
- If the New Testament was activated by lifeblood, then the Old must have used it figuratively.
- A review of the Old Testament finds its installation based on repeated applications of blood.
- In fact, almost everything under the Law was purged – sanctified or dedicated – with blood.
- Only shedding of blood remits sins, for death must occur, which is shown by bloodletting.
- The patterns of things in the heavens, the Old Testament, were sanctified by blood shedding.
- The heavenly antitypes, or fulfillment, of the Old Testament were purified by Christ’s blood.
9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
- The better sacrifices just described (9:23) is Jesus Christ entering heaven with His blood.
- The figures of the true are the pictures of reality! Which do you prefer? Pictures? Or Reality!
- It is better! The presence of God in heaven is far better than a little rag cloth tent on earth!
- It is better! Jesus Christ only had to offer Himself to God once, rather than once every year!
- It is better! Jesus Christ did not bring blood of another for sin, for His pure blood saved us!
- Catholic heretics use (a) their altars instead of heaven, (b) repeat a “once for all” sacrifice, (c) substitute an unbloody sacrifice, and (d) deny His intercession by claiming to be priests.
- We are in the end of the world … compared to the foundation … and in the last covenant.
- The promise of eternal life was made at the foundation, but the sacrifice was paid at the end.
- Jesus Christ was both the High Priest and the sacrifice! How perfectly wise and sufficient!
- Men have a certain appointment with death and judgment, but Jesus Christ died for many.
- Jesus Christ is coming back with eternal life and without sin for those who look for Him!
10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
- The Old Testament Law worship was only a shadow of the good things we celebrate today!
- It was not even a proper image, because a picture is closer to reality than merely a shadow.
- Shadows of real sacrifices were not going to help anyone pay for their sins and be perfect.
- If there had been any benefit to the bodies of animals, then the sacrifices would have ended!
- But the Old Testament sacrifices merely forced the worshippers to remember their sins!
- It is impossible that the body and blood of stupid animals could please a holy God for men.
- Jesus needed a body and blood, so He could offer a sacrifice acceptable to God and save us.
10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
- Here is a glorious interpretation and application of Psalm 40:6-8 by the Holy Spirit of God.
- Ceremonial sacrifices are pitiful by (a) lacking internal religion and (b) not putting away sin.
- The Jews had in their adored scriptures a passage stating that God did not like their religion!
- It is the will of God that is the foundation of salvation – not your will or anyone else’s will!
- Let this message be declared throughout the earth (Matt 26:39; John 6:37-40; Rom 9:15-24)!
- In the volume of the book refers to the Holy Scriptures (Gen 3:15; 12:3; 49:10; John 5:39)!
- The inspired ambiguity allows us to apply “once for all” to time, sins, and the elect (10:12)!
- When we share bread at the Lord’s Supper, it is our communion of this body (I Cor 10:16)!
10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
- Jesus Christ’s remitting sacrifice forever ended Moses’ remembering sacrifices! Hallelujah!
- The Levitical priests must STAND and make repetitious offerings of vain sacrifices forever.
- Jesus Christ through one sacrifice remitted all sins and can thus SIT down after total success.
- This is the Man Christ Jesus, the mediator between God and men, our Saviour (I Tim 2:5).
- The Lord Jesus Christ now waits with longsuffering for the day He can crush His enemies.
- His solitary sacrificial work is done: His one offering forever perfected the saints – even us!
10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
- Paul again directs these Jews to consider their own scriptures and the prophecy of a change.
- What a glorious position Paul had! The Holy Ghost in the Old Testament confirmed him!
- Paul had quoted this passage for its covenant value, not he uses it for its sin value (8:6-13).
- The Holy Ghost witnessed that the new covenant included a total forgetting of elect sins.
- If this is the case – forgiveness forever by Christ’s blood, Moses’ sacrificial system is gone.
10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God;
10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
- Here is the summary to all that has been said about New Testament superiority (9:1 – 10:18)!
- Forget the figures of the Old Testament that reminded of sins and held men back from God!
- The blood of Christ allows us to boldly enter into the holiest compartment in heaven to God!
- Rejoice in this blood, as you partake of the wine in the communion Supper of our Lord!
- The body of Christ is a new and living way that He has consecrated for us to go to God.
- Rejoice in this body, as you partake of the bread in the communion Supper of our Lord!
- But He has done more than give His body and blood for a sacrifice to reconcile us to God.
- He is also High Priest of our profession and the New Testament church of the family of God.
- Let us worship God like no others, with a true heart fully believing the whole gospel record!
- With our consciences made fully good by Christ’s blood and our baptisms in Him to prove it!
For Further Study:
- Sermon Outline: “Hebrews: The Preeminence of Jesus Christ,” preached during the fall and winter of 1988.
- Sermon Outline: “The Precious Blood of Christ,” reviews His blood in the midst of a bloodless society.
- Sermon Outline: “Our Great High Priest,” considers the necessity of a priest and Christ’s exalted priesthood.