1) Which parts of your inheritance in Christ are you most looking forward to? How are some of those blessings present in your life already?
2) In what ways might you have downplayed the seriousness of your sin? Or how might you have downplayed the seriousness of God’s holiness? How does this passage address those issues?
3) How does the blood of Jesus and the work of Christ change your motivation for obeying God? How does it empower your good works differently than the Old Testament law?
Scripture: Hebrews 9:11-22
I. You need Jesus’ blood – not the blood of animals.
A. Animal blood could not give you access to God or remove your guilt. But when Christ appeared as a high priest (vs. 11), then things changed. Things changed because Jesus’ blood was better than the blood of animals. Verse 15 makes it clear that Jesus’ death redeems us from transgressions. It brings us forgiveness for our sins. God could not forgive us without blood because of what is written in vs. 22 – one of the most important verses not only in the book of Hebrews but in the entire Bible. “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
B. God has always taken our sin this seriously. Genesis 2:17: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Every single sin we commit must be punished. Someone must die to pay for my sin. Either I will die to pay for my sins. Or Christ will die to pay for my sins. When Jesus instituted the new covenant at the last supper, he said almost exactly the same thing that Moses said in vs. 20. Jesus said this, “This is MY blood of the covenant” in Matthew 26:28. Jesus’ blood is far better than the blood of calves and goats. It brings us final and full forgiveness.
II. Jesus’ blood came from a perfect person and was sprinkled in heaven.
A. The blood of the animal sacrifices was taken into the earthly tabernacle of the Israelites made with human hands (vs. 11). But this earthly tabernacle was only a picture of the heavenly tabernacle. And the tabernacle in heaven is not a tent or a building. The tabernacle in heaven is simply the presence of God. Jesus then did not take the blood of His sacrifice on the cross to a building on earth. He took His blood into a better location – into the presence of God in heaven.
B. Jesus’ blood was more precious than animal blood. Animals had to be repeatedly sacrificed in the old covenant to bring people a temporary forgiveness from God. But Jesus was sacrificed once for all (vs. 12), and with that sacrifice His blood secured forgiveness of sins for His people forever. Verse 14 says that Jesus offered himself without blemish. Jesus was perfect. The animals that were sacrificed were without a physical blemish or scar. But Jesus was without a moral blemish. He never sinned. That is why His blood was so precious to God.
III. Jesus’ blood gives you what you need for your past, present and future.
A. What has Jesus’ blood done for your past? Every sin I committed in the past is now forgiven and forgotten by God because of Christ’s sacrifice. What does the blood do for your present? The sacrifice of Jesus frees us from our guilty conscience in the present (vs. 14). You can now live in confidence that you are completely forgiven already. And so you can serve God with joy today (vs. 14) out of gratitude for all that Jesus has done for you in forgiving your sins. And what of your future? Verse 12 says that your life does not end with death. You have an eternal redemption. Not only that. You have an eternal inheritance according to vs. 15. You have a treasure waiting for you that cannot be taken away from you. No matter what happens to the stock market, your treasure will always be there, waiting for you in heaven. In that place, you will live under the rule of a perfect King in a perfect world of love.
Jesus’ blood has forgiven your sin, brought you near to God and given you a rich inheritance.
The letter to the Hebrews
Commentaries on Hebrews by Tom Schreiner and Raymond Brown
Bible study by Michael Kruger