This passage of Hebrews gives me an incredible reminder of just exactly what Christ’s death was able to accomplish for me.
This passage begins by detailing the extreme measures that were required for someone to even come close to God’s presence. Elaborate rituals, tabernacles and preparations had to be adhered to in order to just somewhat draw near to the place God resided…and even under those strict guidelines and rules only a few ever had even the slightest bit of chance to engage it. The presence of God was thought to reside in a completely different world than the common man.
To even gain some asemblance of relationship with God, rituals of blood needed to be performed over and over and over to possibly give a mere penance of what the cost of our sin weighed. The image becomes one of a desperate gambler trying to pay off their bookie one penny at a time uttering the words…“just give me a little more time to get the rest!” It’s never enough and the debt can never get paid that way.
We then encounter the second half of Hebrews 9 and see that there is a single and final way to have this debt of sin paid in full. It isn’t through ritual…it isn’t through tabernacles…and it isn’t through our effort. Christ came to eliminate our shortcoming with His greatness and perfection. Christ came to break down the barriers that kept relationship with God out of reach. Christ came to offer the blood that only needed to be spilt once…and once for all.
“Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12
Dr. J. Vernon McGee hits this verse right on the head in his commentary of Hebrews. He says: “The emphasis of this verse is upon the contrast that Christ entered once into the Holy Place and obtained eternal redemption. The Israelite priests went in continually, and they got a temporary sort of thing. Only Christ went in once and obtained eternal redemption. This now puts the authority and the importance upon the sacrifice of Christ, and it reminds us that the life of Christ never saved anyone. You can follow His teachings and think you are saved, but, my friend, His teachings never saved anyone. It is the death of Christ, it is His redemption that saves.”
His death and His blood bridge the gap I can never span on my own. I can try with all my good deeds and good intentions, but ultimately it was solely up to His work for me…all else are mere pennies towards my debt.
Let it be said by me…
“Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”