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Hebrews 9:14

Jan 3, 2019   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Daily Writing, Epistles, Epistles (written), Hebrews, Hebrews (written), Writings  //  9 Comments

Thursday, 3 January 2019

…how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14

These words contrast what was just stated in the previous verse. The author had started to pose the question, “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh…” Now he asks a contrasting question beginning with “how much more shall the blood of Christ.”

The rites of the Old Covenant were symbolic in nature, and they were simply external rites intended to purify externally. Further, this was done with sacrificial animals. They are brute beasts, and in a completely different category than a human being. Thus, they were actually ineffectual in doing anything more than symbolically representing what lay ahead in Christ. This will be made explicit in Chapter 10. However, under the New Covenant, Christ’s blood was shed.

He was (and is) innocent, He is in the same category (being human), and He voluntarily gave Himself in exchange for the sins of others. The supremacy of Christ’s work is on a completely different level. Further, this offering was made “through the eternal Spirit.” The Greek has no definite article, and – though debated among scholars – it is most likely not speaking of the Holy Spirit, who is never designated this way in Scripture. Thus it should more likely read, “through an eternal spirit.”

The word dia, or through, is used to convey the thought that Christ offered Himself through His nature as a human being, set apart unto holiness. To understand the contrast between the animals offered and the offering of Christ, one can refer to the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:21 –

“Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?”

The spirit of man is contrasted to that of the animals in Ecclesiastes, and that is built upon by the author of Hebrews here by comparing the “blood of bulls and goats” (9:13) to “the blood of Christ” (9:14). To this thought is added that of the perfection of Christ as has been detailed in the gospels, explained in the epistles, and which has continued to be minutely detailed here in the book of Hebrews. It is this eternal Spirit by which Christ existed, performed His earthly role, gave His life, and was resurrected to never die again. That is contrasted to a mere animal which lives as an animal, dies as an animal, and which is then gone from the stream of existence. It is through this eternal Spirit by which Christ “offered Himself without spot to God.”

The words, “without spot,” speak of perfection. In the Mosaic Law, animals were inspected for purity. If there was any spot or blemish on them, they were not to be sacrificed for the sins of the people. However, the record of Christ’s life shows that He was (and is) perfect in all ways. Thus, the sacrifice of Himself “to God” was perfectly acceptable to accomplish the fulfillment of all of the rites and rituals which symbolically only looked forward to His perfection. This is recorded, explicitly, by Peter –

“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:17-19

And so, with understanding this infinite difference in the blood that is shed by Christ, we can complete the question the author is proposing. If the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more can the contrasting shed blood of Christ “cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” The answer must be “completely and wholly.” It is a one-time for all-time cleansing. Nothing can undo it, and it is fully sufficient to carry the one who receives His offering past the cherubim, through the veil, and into God’s paradise once again. All of the symbolism of the sanctuary looked forward to Christ’s coming, and His work of restoring us – once and forever – to God.

Life application: In Chapter 5 of the book of Romans, Paul says five times “much more” concerning the superlative work of Christ in regards to how it brings us near to God once again. Christ Jesus is superior to all things in all ways, including those blood sacrifices of the Old Testament. The people were outwardly cleansed by their participation in Old Covenant services, but with Christ, we are cleansed both outwardly and inwardly – from our dead works. Any sin causes separation from God and, therefore, man stands utterly condemned in the presence of pure holiness. But Christ placed Himself in the gap and presented His blood on our behalf. God accepted this and we now have complete peace with Him, if only we accept by faith what Jesus did. Are you ready to stop trying to please God on your own merits and good deeds and simply hand your life over to Christ? In Him, there is complete healing and restoration. Or, if you’ve come to Christ, are you still consciously carrying around the guilt of past sins? Let them go! We don’t want to forget where we’ve come from or the place we once were, but we also don’t need to continually bear the weight of our sins which have been washed away. Instead, have peace that Jesus Christ has truly – once and for all – cleared our guilty consciences and taken away the stains. And then… give a shout? Whoo hoo!

Lord God Almighty, we are cleansed – wholly, completely, and forever – through the shed blood of Christ. And so why, Lord, do we continually bring up our past sin which has been purified and forgiven through His work? Help us to never forget where we came from, but help us to know for sure that we are freed from what we did while we were there. In Christ, there is life anew! Let us never assume that our sins were of greater magnitude than the cleansing power of Christ. Amen.

9 Comments

  • What a powerful reading this is! One and done through Jesus! Our sins forgiven for ever, never to be remembered by God. If we could just fully grasp the meaning of this Satan would be sitting on the sidelines twiddling his thumbs waiting for the end. His power to influence us and to shame us with our sins would be gone. But we are in a sinful world controlled by Satan and we for now are susceptible to his influence but not for very much longer Amen. When Satan drops the sin guilt trip on us we should immediately turn and say thank you Jesus my sins are forgiven through you! And move on ignoring Satan’s jabs at us.
    I have to admit I heard a collective gasp reading the line about animals being removed from the stream of existence? Ya that will be a tough one for sure for pet owners and animal lovers In General myself included but there is so much we don’t understand it’s probably best to just stand back and let Gods plan play out and hope for the best ( as we understand it) for the animals. They are in gods hands.

    We ARE another day closer to home
    Grace mercy and peace on you and you’re
    God bless my friends we fly soon

    • Yes, they are in God’s hands. I don’t presume to know what He will do as far as our beloved babies, but I know that He will tend to our hearts in a way that we will never find unfulfilling in the absolute sense. Whatever He has prepared, we will be overjoyed with it.

  • Whoo hoo! Life anew!

  • BLESS GOD PRAISE JESUS!

  • …dies as an animal, then is gone from the stream of existance
    Wait a minute Charlie, won’t you see your beloved dogs in heaven running around? you know that people really want to believe that their pets will be in heaven, right?

    I just had a bad bout of the flu, and caught up today on the study. what a joy to read the past few days of hebrews, and how encouraging it is to have been redeemed by Christ’s journey to the cross and beyond, and to be counted as worthy to receive eternal life and sonship and oneness in our magnificent God! Can I hear a shout? Whoo hoo!

    • I mentioned this to Gordon too. The Lord can certainly bring an animal back if that is His plan. My point on the animals is that they don’t have a soul like man does. We are eternal beings (and will spend that eternity somewhere). Animals are not, but I would imagine that if someone wanted their pet to be with them, the Lord would respond according to His wisdom. There will be no more tears. I’ve shed many over my babies. I am waiting to see what His plans are!

  • it is hard to grasp the fact that all are past sins are forgiven . but i know it is true . whoo hoo times two .

  • 5 times!..: “How much more…?
    ….completely and wholly cleansed to serve the living God!”
    I always quote you because I couldn’t say anything better!!! ( :

    WOO HOO!!! AND PRAISE THE LORD

  • Have a MOST blessed afternoon everyone!!

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