Messianic Jews 9:11-14
Letter to the Messianic Jews
In my last post, we concluded our exploration of Messianic Jews 9:1-10 the Temporary Levitical Sacrifices. In this post, we examine Messianic Jews 9:11-14 concerning The Eternal Heavenly Sacrifice of Yeshua.
The Eternal Heavenly Sacrifice of Yeshua
“11 But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world), 12 he entered the Holiest Place once and for all. And he entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever. 13 For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; 14 then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!” ~ Hebrews 9:11-14 (CJB)
Barclay has this to say about this passage of Messianic Jews:
We must remember three things which are basic to the thought of the author to the Hebrews.
- Religion is access to God. Its function is to bring a man into God’s presence.
- This is a world of pale shadows and imperfect copies; beyond is the world of realities. The function of all worship is to bring men into contact with the eternal realities. That was what the worship of the Tabernacle was meant to do, but the earthly Tabernacle and its worship are pale copies of the real Tabernacle and its worship, and only the real Tabernacle and the real worship can give access to reality.
- There can be no religion without sacrifice. Purity is a costly thing; access to God demands purity; somehow man’s sin must be atoned for and his uncleanness cleansed. With these ideas in his mind, the author to the Hebrews goes on to show that Yeshua is the only High Priest who brings a sacrifice that can open the way to God and that that sacrifice is himself.
I confess that I get goose-bumps when I read this passage. The enormity of its implications is almost beyond my ability to grasp.
Having described the Mosaic Covenant’s system of cohenhood and sacrifice, the author now addresses his readers’ preoccupation with it by showing several ways in which the New Covenant’s system and its cohen/mediator are better:
- With Yeshua arrive the good things that are happening already. The entire discussion that follows, through 10:18, demonstrates that these things are better than what came with the Mosaic Covenant’s system of cohenhood and sacrifices.
- Yeshua serves in a better Tent. It is greater, more perfect, and not manmade (that is, it is not of this created world). Moreover, it is not merely a copy of the actual Tent, but the heavenly original.
- Yeshua, unlike the Mosaic cohen hagadol, has entered into the Holiest Place once and for all. His single, unique and eternally effective sacrifice and entry into the Holiest Place is discussed further at 9:25-28, 10:10-18.
- Yeshua’s means of entry into the Holy Place was better:
- His own blood, not the blood of goats, calves, and bulls and the ashes of a heifer. The blood of any other human being would not only have been an abomination itself but would have accomplished nothing useful for others. But because Yeshua was sinless, He was a sacrifice without blemish, and God accepted His shed blood (see 7:26-28).
- His sacrifice was through the eternal Spirit authorized by God.
- His death was necessary to set people free from the transgressions they have committed under the first covenant. The ineffectiveness of animal sacrifices in comparison with Yeshua’s sacrifice is taken up again at 10:1-4.
- What Yeshua’s death accomplished is better than what the death of animals accomplishes: setting people free forever and purifying our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God, versus not having our conscience brought to the goal and instead merely restoring outward purity. Restores their outward purity means that they may enter the Temple as ceremonially clean.
According to Numbers 19, anyone defiled by contact with or proximity to a corpse was ritually cleansed by sprinkling him with water containing the ashes of a heifer.
Verse 14 offers us a further glimpse of the Trinity: the Messiah, the eternal Spirit and God (likewise 10:29).
The ancient sacrifices may have cleansed us from ceremonial uncleanness; the sacrifice of Yeshua cleanses our soul. Our body might be clean ceremonially, and yet our heart is full of deceit. We might feel able to enter the Tabernacle and yet far away from the presence of God. The sacrifice of Yeshua takes a load of guilt from our conscience. The animal sacrifices of the Mosaic Covenant might well leave us in estrangement from God; the sacrifice of Yeshua shows us a God whose arms are always outstretched and in whose heart is only love.
As Believer’s in Yeshua, we have been redeemed by and washed clean by His blood.
In my next post, we’ll continue our mini-series on Yeshua: His Better Covenant which will cover Messianic Jews 9:15-22 ~ The New Covenant Validated by the Death of Yeshua.
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