walk in the word
God’s Character, Reassurance of Faith, Salvation
“When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:11-12
What would your life have been like if you had lived one hundred years ago? The average life expectancy was about 47 years, so that would settle it for some of us almost immediately. Six people out of one hundred graduated from high school. Only 14 percent of homes had a bathtub. If your family had a telephone, you would have ranked in the top 8 percent of the country. (Too bad a 3-minute long-distance call to your uncle in Denver cost almost a month’s income.) There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S. to drive on 144 miles of paved roads at a maximum of 10 mph. Ninety-five percent of all births happened at home, and 90 percent of all physicians had no formal training.
Sometimes we have to look back to realize how good we have it.
Hebrews 9 was written to help us do that. It describes in detail the precise regulations that the Old Testament saints were required to follow to approach God. Even then, it was a system of barriers: two lamb sacrifices every day, sin offerings, grain offerings, scapegoats, Sabbath rules, temple taxes, mandated tithes, what you could eat, how you could prepare it. 793 times the law said, do this, don’t do this, do that, don’t do that.
That was the way it was without Christ. The path to God was regulated, remote, restricted, religious, ritualistic; all of it saying, Step back from God—He’s holy and you’re not.
But verses 11-12 tell us when all that changed. “When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.”
In the old system, God was a long way away, and it was impossible to approach Him with any confidence whatsoever. To chance it meant risking your life. But all that changed when Jesus stepped into the gap. “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come…” Jesus became the hinge between sinful humanity and a God who is so holy that He dwells in unapproachable light and indescribable glory. First Timothy 2:5 calls Jesus the “Mediator between God and men.”
How did He do it? Hebrews 9:26 says it amazingly simple: “[Jesus] put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Jesus, the sinless, holy Son of God, became the last sacrifice necessary for the forgiveness of your sin. Through Christ, the barriers were lifted, the gate was flung wide open and a permanent sign was posted, “Come on in.”
No question about it—we have it good, real good.
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