Summary of passage: When Christ came as high priest he did not enter the Most Holy Place by means of blood of goats and calves but he entered once and for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of Christ who was unblemished cleansed our consciences from acts that lead to death so that we may serve the living God. The blood of goats sprinkled on people only cleansed them outwardly.
Christ has died to set all free from the Old Covenant who are called and receive the promised eternal inheritance.
Something had to die (shed blood) to be put into effect under the Old Covenant. The law required that everything be cleaned with the blood and without blood there was no forgiveness.
Christ entered Heaven itself (as opposed to priests who could only enter the Most High Place once a year in a man-made temple) once and make one sacrifice (himself) to do away with sin forever. He will appear a second time to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
The old law is merely a foreshadow of what is to come. It can never make perfect those who draw near to the Lord. Yet, at the time, that was all the people had so they yearly repeated the sacrifices as a reminder that man is not perfect and needs forgiveness.
Sacrifices never pleased the Lord although he required them. What God was after was the heart of man. And the Old Covenant did not allow for that. So God sent Jesus to die by His will.
Day after day the priest would offer the same sacrifices that never could take away sins. But when Jesus offered his one sacrifice for all time he sat down (something the priests never did) at the right hand of God to indicate it is finished. He made perfect forever those who are being made holy and he awaits his enemies to be his footstool.
God will put the laws in our hearts and minds as the New Covenant; their sins will no longer be remembered; they will be forgiven; no longer a sacrifice required.
9a) Christ entered the Most Holy Place for the last time by his own blood, the blood of eternal redemption which cleansed our consciences from acts that lead to death so we may serve the living God.
b) Gave us the Holy Spirit within, allowed eternal redemption, put into our hearts and our minds the covenant, our sins are forgiven and forgotten, and the work is finished forever.
c) I would like to think every breath I take is in His service. By following His calling on my life, raising my kids, helping others, following and obeying His command.
10a) The Old Covenant law required everything be cleansed with blood in order to receive forgiveness. This meant calf blood mixed with special herbs and sprinkled on people. Copies of the heavenly things had to be purified with these sacrifices.
Christ came and offered the New Covenant whereby he sacrificed his blood one time to purify us all so we could face judgment once by God.
Ultimately, we were/are separated from God by sin. God cannot tolerate sin. Thereby, God decided we must be cleansed with blood. In the Old Covenant this was constant since man constantly sinned. With Jesus, he gave up his blood once so we may be with God eternally and forever be cleansed.
b) Leviticus 17:11: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
The shedding of blood represents the physical death of something. When lambs and calves were sacrificed they gave up their life to take on our sin. The shedding of blood atones for our sin. When Jesus died, his blood was sufficient to atone for all of our sins forevermore.
11a) A shadow is an exact copy of a person but not the real thing. The shadow was an annual reminder of sins to the people–that they were lacking something and needed something else. This pointed the way to Jesus.
b) God’s will. That Jesus was God’s plan all along; he sacrificed himself because it was God’s will; it is God’s will that He accepted the sacrifice as sufficient and made us holy thereby.
12) Once. It means that by his one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (verse 14). All of us and forever after merely must have faith in Jesus and accept his sacrifice and we shall be made holy forever. We will receive the Holy Spirit with the laws written on our hearts and minds forever. Our sins shall be remembered no more–always forgiven.
Conclusions: I liked this lesson. Nice and cheery. I am reminded of Isaiah where it was week after week of gloom and doom. Finally, we get to see the result of Isaiah. It’s always fun and uplifting to read how Christ saved us. It sets the mood for the day: one of gratitude and forever praise.
Great site that explains the need for blood atonement: http://www.abideinchrist.com/messages/lev17v11.html