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Hebrews 9:10

Dec 30, 2018   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Daily Writing, Epistles, Epistles (written), Hebrews, Hebrews (written), Writings  //  6 Comments

Sunday, 30 December 2018

concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:10

In the previous verse, it was explained that the things of the past which were recorded concerning the makeup of the sanctuary, the articles contained within in it, and the rites and rituals associated with it, were “symbolic for the present time.” As noted, the word “symbolic” means “a parable.” They were ineffectual in perfecting the conscience. The author now continues that thought by saying that they were “concerned only with foods and drinks.”

The “foods and drinks” are those things presented to God as sacrifices, gifts, and offerings. They included animal, grain, and wine offerings of various sorts and for various reasons, such as peace offerings, thank offerings, and so forth. Some of these were partially eaten by the priests, some were shared between the Lord and the offerer, and so on.

The “various washings” included washings by the people, by the priests, and even of the sacrifices – all accomplished according to laws prescribed within the law itself. An example for the people would be the washing of oneself after touching the carcass of anything. That is seen in Leviticus 11. An example of a priestly washing would, according to the ordination rites for priests, be found in Exodus 40:12. An example of washing the sacrifices is that of washing the entrails of a burnt offering in Leviticus 1:13. There is seemingly an innumerable number of such washings recorded for various reasons.

These are the “fleshly ordinances” (note that the word “and” is not in the original Greek. It is superfluous and should be omitted. This simply describes the previous thoughts and is not a separate thought). They did nothing to change the people internally, and they were merely symbolic parables looking forward to their fulfillment in Christ. To understand that, literally, every single detail of these things points to the Person and work of Jesus Christ, take the next year or so and watch all of the Superior Word sermons in order from Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. You will see how these fleshly ordinances look to spiritual truths revealed in Christ.

From there, the author says that they were “imposed until the time of reformation.” The word “time” here is kairos. It signifies a particular point in time marked as “the right moment.” God instituted the law in order to effect certain understandings into the minds of the people. However, the law was never meant as a means to an end, except concerning its fulfillment in Christ. Once that was accomplished, then the “time of reformation” could come about. The word translated as “reformation” is one which indicates “to straighten thoroughly.” It is a straightening of something to its natural condition. In this case, it is speaking of the messianic restoration of all things. For those who trust in Christ, that restoration is realized in the sense that all of these shadows practiced under the law are actually accomplished for us in His work. However, such has not yet occurred for Israel. That time lies yet ahead.

These rituals went on, with periods of interruption during the exile and at other times, for about 1500 years. Eventually, though, Christ came and fulfilled His ministry – a ministry which replaced all of these temporary regulations forever. After His fulfillment of the law, there was an overlap of time where the temple still stood in Jerusalem. That finally ended in AD 70 at the destruction of the temple. However, according to Daniel 9:24-27, there are still seven more years offered to the nation of Israel for them to “finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy” (Daniel 9:24, NIV). Even now, the people have prepared the implements for temple worship and each year they attempt to conduct sacrifices on the Temple Mount. In time, it will occur as prophesied. Sadly, they’ve missed the fact that these rituals point to the Person of Jesus.

Life application: Though the time of the reformation spoken of here is realized for the believer in Christ, we have to trust that this is so. Do we accept the premise that we are not required to do the things of the law, or do we fall back on the law (in part or in whole) in an attempt to please God? The Bible says that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for all who believe. Is that something we truly accept? If so, then you must not go back to the law in an attempt to please God. Stand fast on Christ’s complete and final fulfillment of everything necessary to reconcile us to God.

Lord, may You open the eyes of the world to the truth of who Jesus is and why He came. We pray especially for the people of Israel who have, for so long, failed to see that their Messiah has already come and that He is even now holding out His hands to them in love. May Christ Jesus be seen for who He truly is, and may many come to a saving knowledge of Him! Amen.


  • Thank God for bringing us out of darkness into His marvelous light. “food and drink” I may have mentioned before that I am a friend of a group of messianic Jews in my country who say they believe we are saved by grace through faith, yet they do things that cause me to wonder. For example before the Christmas holidays the ‘Rav” sent out a message to us concerning the eating of pork, shrimp etc because a lot of Trinidadians consume these foods at Christmas time especially ‘ham’ . Christmas morning breakfast is traditionally ham and eggs with home made bread- sometimes in church after early morning service on Christmas Day.
    His message said that we cannot say we love Jesus and hate His teachings in the bible which say we ought not to eat these foods. I did not respond to his message because I really did not know what to say. However, I did have my ham and enjoyed it thoroughly because “whom the son set free is free indeed.”

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed that ham! You, literally, had me laugh out loud when I read that. Freedom in Christ!

  • thank you

  • Ruth, glad you enjoyed the Ham. It sounds like your friends are still chained to the law and don’t realize if they. enforce just one law they must enforce them all or live in sin according to their failure to follow them all. Charlie has pointed this out many times. We are not under the law Jesus satisfied the keeping of the law for all of us, there is nothing else we can do just accept Jesus gift of grace through his sacrifice for us and know we can beat whatever we want with out sin. Amen

    • The only problem with Ruth’s ham is that I didn’t get some of it!


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