“23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
Over the past few weeks, we have looked at the need for blood sacrifices. There is a movement that has come to prominence of late, and I suspect has been around a while, that decried the savagery of the blood sacrifice that bought our salvation. We have established over the past few weeks with various passages from the Old Testament and New Testament. God, from the very beginning, established a principle that death follows sin; in Genesis 2: 16-17 (Berean Study Bible), we see this pronouncement,
“And the LORD God commanded him, ‘You may eat freely from every tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”
Romans 6:23 backs this up: “the wages of sin is death”; the natural outcome of sin is death. In the case of the Garden in Genesis, instead of killing Adam and his wife, God killed an animal and made them coats of skin. While Adam and his wife did not drop dead right there, they physically began the process of dying and were spiritually separated from God. All through the Old Testament and even up to the day that Jesus died, the death of animals was a temporary covering for sin until the ultimate sacrifice came — the one that would put an end to all other blood sacrifices.
- A Copy of Heavenly Things, verse 23
I just finished reading through the Torah once again, and there is intricate detail about the Tabernacle that is included in the writing of Moses. If you study this carefully, you will see that it took a team of dedicated individuals about 12 months to do all the work necessary to have all the pieces of the Tabernacle in place. Later, a lot later, well over 450 years, Solomon would build an elaborate Temple that stood in Jerusalem until the days of Jeremiah when the soldiers of Babylon razed it and took its treasures back to Babylon. Yet, we are told that there were just copies of the Temple in Heaven. When we get to Heaven, along with the streets of gold, the patriarchs of our faith, and the angels, there will be a Temple, the likes of which no man on earth has seen.
When Jesus was lovingly accosted by Mary at the tomb that resurrection morning, Jesus asked her to stop touching Him, rather, stop holding Him (she did not want to lose Him again), as He had not ascended to the Father (John 20:17). He was going to perform the events of Hebrews 9:24-25. Jesus was going to perform the office of our High Priest and offer His blood as the final and perfect sacrifice for the sins of ALL MANKIND forever. Unlike the purely human high priests like Aaron and his lineage, Jesus was not required to first offer a sacrifice for His own sins; He never sinned. Thus, He was able to do for mankind what the sacrifices of animals could not do; He could offer permanent covering for sin and eternal life.
- Jesus Died Once for ALL, verse 26
Jesus came at the end of the age; this seems so weird to us to say. It has been 2,000 years since Jesus came; how could that have been the end of the age? Because God is eternal, and time does not register to Him at all. The end of the age, the age of sin, the age of death, and the age of Satan’s temporary rule of the earth began with the birth of Jesus. The final nail in the coffin, so to speak, was His resurrection. Jesus came once, ONCE, to pay the price for our sins. He has ‘put away sin’ by the sacrifice of Himself. Jesus did not die often; He died ONCE. You cannot get saved often; you and I get saved ONCE, and this is for eternity. If we can lose the salvation that has been gifted to us in Jesus, then Jesus would have to come again and die for the sins that were not covered the first time, OR we could not get the salvation back.
You need to read that again. If you can lose your salvation, the one God gifts you (see Romans 6:23b), then you cannot get it back unless Jesus dies again. We are told that will NOT happen; He died once and is now at the Father’s right hand. Thus, you could not get it back, ever.
Once we are saved, our sins are blotted out by the blood of Jesus. Think about it: Jesus died 2,000 years or so ago. He paid for my sins and your sins before they were ever committed. Only Jesus’ blood could do that. The blood of bulls and goats covered sin after the fact, but Jesus’ blood was pre-emptive. This is why we needed not just any blood but Jesus’ blood to cover our sins to blot them out.
- Jesus Is Coming Back again, verse 28
When I was a young boy, sometimes I would lose track of my mom in a store, and I would wonder if the Rapture happened and I got left behind. I have been hearing about Jesus’ return since I was a lad. It does not take long for us preachers to begin talking about the signs of His return once we get together. I have begun a once-a-month talk on the return of Jesus using modern news clips and scientific studies like the growth of A.I., the movement toward what will become the ‘Mark of the Beast,’ and other things like even inflation and how it affects the poor like the Book of the Revelation says.
The Holy Spirit in us reminds us and encourages us with the fact that Jesus is coming again. Sadly, many churches no longer teach about the end and no longer talk about the return of Jesus. They teach that Revelation is just paraphrasing or allegorical and not to be taken literally. Thus, a lot of God’s people are not eagerly awaiting His return. But there are some of us that are awaiting His return. We long to be free of these bodies that fail our Lord, bodies that still sin and cause us to hurt the One who loves us so much.
One day soon, we will meet Jesus in the air (1 Thess. 4:17), and then sometime later, He will return (Revelation 19) and establish His kingdom on earth (Isaiah chap. 2 and 6). Soon our eyes will see the One, that beautiful One who died for our sins and bought eternal life. Are you excited about meeting Jesus? I am, and I am not; I long to see my Savior, and I am ashamed of my failures and sin. Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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