Summary of Hebrews 9:1-14:
The first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. In this tabernacle was a Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, which held the altar of incense and the ark of the covenant. This ark held the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff, and the stone tablets of the covenant (the ten commandment tablets).
Only the high priest could enter into the inner room and only once a year and never without blood, which he offered for the sins of the people. This showed that the way into the Most High Place (where God himself dwelled) had not yet been disclosed. Therefore, the sacrifices were not able to clear the conscious of the worshiper. They were only external regulations applying until the new order arrived (Jesus).
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.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 15, Day 3: Hebrews 9:1-14
6) The Old Covenant was not complete. Humans perpetually had to offer sacrifices to be cleansed from sin. With Jesus, we are cleansed forever when we first accept him as our Savior. One time versus multiple times.
7) Our eternal salvation. Because it determines if we go to heaven or not.
8 ) It means that once we accept Jesus, we are forgiven and get to spend eternity with God and Jesus without the daily rituals required of the Old Testament. If God forgives you, you need to forgive yourself.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 15, Day 3: Hebrews 9:1-14
Hebrews stresses the advantages of living now, rather than in the Old Testament under the Old Covenant. Because of Christ, sacrifices are no longer necessary (Hebrews 10:11-12), and God’s laws are now written in our minds and on our hearts, not in a formal code (Hebrews 8:10). “It is finished,” Jesus cried (John 19:30).
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 15, Day 3: Hebrews 9:1-14
This chapter of Hebrews begins with a description of the Old Covenant and of the tabernacle. The important things here are:
- Inside the ark were the gold jar of manna (Exodus 16:33), Aaron’s rod that budded (Numbers 17:6-11), and the tablets of the covenant (Exodus 25:16).
- The manna reminded Israel of God’s provision and their ungratefulness.
- Aaron’s rod reminded Israel of their rebellion against God’s authority.
- The tablets of the covenant reminded Israel of their failure to keep the Ten Commandments and rest of the law.
The mercy seat confuses a lot of people. This was the ornate “lid” for the ark of the covenant, made with the designs of cherubim upon it. The blood of sacrifice was sprinkled upon it for the forgiveness of Israel’s sin on the Day of Atonement (Exodus 25:17-22). When God looked down into the ark, He saw the symbols of Israel’s sin, rebellion and failure. But when the blood of sacrifice was applied to the mercy seat, the blood of sacrifice covered His sight of the sin of Israel.
The “holy of holies” – was entered only once a year by the high priest alone, on the Day of Atonement. The atoning blood was first for the priest’s own sins and then for the sins of his people.
Access into the Holiest of All was thus severely restricted. Even when someone could enter, it wasn’t for real fellowship with God.
Sins of ignorance were the specific aim of the Day of Atonement. It was assumed that known sin would be taken care of through the regular sin offerings and the daily sacrifices.
Jesus’ work is far greater than the work done on the Day of Atonement. Jesus’ work on the cross is sufficient to atone for both the sins we do in ignorance and sins that we know.
The weakness of the priestly service under the Old Covenant was its inability to address the need for inner transformation in man.
The New Covenant
- Jesus, as our High Priest, ministers in a superior sanctuary – the very throne room of God.
- Jesus’ sacrifice gives us eternal salvation.
- Jesus’ sacrifice gives us access to God.
- Jesus’ sacrifice is perfect.
Our conscience is a wonderful tool from God. But it isn’t perfect. Our conscience can be seared (1 Timothy 4:2). Our conscience can be defiled (Titus 1:15). Our conscience can be evil (Hebrews 10:22).
The idea behind the acts that led to death is probably of sin in general, in the sense of “works that bring death.”