Hebrews 9 – Outward and Inward

Read Hebrews 9

Continuing on the theme of Christ’s fulfillment of the Old Testament and the Old Covenant, the writer of Hebrews now speaks specifically about the work of Christ as it relates to worship and the sacrificial system at the temple.  In the Old Testament, the sacrificial system was part of the cleansing rituals that took place so that people could come before God in worship.

In the Old Testament, the sacrificial system was part of the cleansing rituals that took place so that people could come before God in worship.  This applied, in a very particular way, to the position of the high priest on the day of atonement, when he would enter the Holy of Holies to make restitution of the people’s sins in the very presence of God.  The high priest used the blood of animals, sacrificed in the appropriate way, both for himself and for the people.  All of this, however, was just a matter of outward cleansing.

The true cleansing that takes place is one of inward cleansing.  Hebrews’ author points out that the sacrifice of animals is not able to clear the conscience of the worshipper; it was a matter of outward cleansing that points to a deeper cleansing that would happen through the blood of Jesus.

Throughout the Old Testament, there is a continual pointing forward to a future time when God would do something “new.”  He calls a people, they will eventually be a blessing to the whole world.  He gives the Law, but a time will come when it won’t just be an external thing but it would be written on the hearts of people.  He talks of sacrifices and offerings, but the true sacrifice God desires is an inward one.  He provides prophets, priests, and kings, all of which are shadows of what is to come.

All of this finds its fulfillment and deep meaning in Jesus Christ who, as the only way to the Father, provides a path from outward action to inward transformation, from outward washing to inward cleansing through His blood and God’s grace.


5 Responses to “Hebrews 9 – Outward and Inward”

  1. […] Hebrews 9:27 – Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, […]

  2. […] Hebrews 9:12, 24 – He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption… […]

  3. […] Hebrews 9:13-15 – The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! […]

  4. […] Hebrews 9:24 – For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. […]

  5. […] Hebrews 9:12 – He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. […]

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