Hebrews 13:13

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. Hebrews 13:13

This verse is given based on the preceding verses. Together, they read –

“For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” 

The only sacrifice which was made outside the sanctuary (and even outside the camp) was the red heifer recorded in Numbers 19. That is not what is being considered here when speaking of the sprinkling of blood inside the sanctuary. All of the others were sacrificed in the sanctuary itself. What happened to their blood, and the disposal of their bodies, was based upon what type of sacrifice (or offering) was made and who it was being applied to.

In the case of these verses, the blood was carried inside the tabernacle itself, meaning either into the holy place or the most holy place. This indicates a sin offering, and one which included the high priest himself as a part of the acknowledged guilt. The body of that animal was then taken outside the camp and burned.

However, these verses state that in Jesus’ sanctification of people with his own blood, He “suffered outside the gate.” Unlike these animals that died in the sanctuary and only then were their bodies taken out to be burned, Christ both suffered and died outside of the gates. The obvious indication is that atonement from sin through Christ did not, and cannot, come through the offerings made by the high priest of Israel and at the tabernacle (or temple) which was among the people. Rather, those things were only types and shadows of what occurred in Christ’s fulfillment of the law.

Christ’s blood was not sprinkled in an earthly holy (or most holy) place. Rather, this shows the importance of what was recorded in Chapter 9 –

“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 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? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:11-15

Christ “entered the Most Holy Place” with His own blood. The point, then, of the author’s words is that if one wants to participate in Christ, he must do so not through the rituals or observances of the Old Covenant (which He fulfilled), but he must come to Christ apart from those things. The “camp” speaks of everything associated with the law and how one is considered “holy” under the law. To go “outside the camp” is to go to a place that the law would consider unclean! And yet, the author says to go to Him outside the camp.

Christ died outside the camp, bearing reproach. This means that He was considered an unclean thing. But it is only that state of uncleanness that can purify from defilement. How can that be? The answer is found in the mystery of the red heifer (mentioned above). Only the red heifer was noted as being burned with its blood. To understand this, one is implored to read (or watch) the two sermons on Numbers 19 given at the Superior Word. In understanding this, the answer becomes evident.

The author now asks the people to come outside the camp, forsaking the law, except as it is fulfilled in Christ, and to be saved by faith in what Christ did, not in what we can do under the law. And this applies to both Jew and Gentile. It is what is warned against, time and again, in the book of Acts, in Paul’s letters, and here in Hebrews. Do not let law observance be found in your attempt to please God. In doing so, you are disgracing the fulfilled work of Christ. It is He who fulfilled the law. Do you think you are more capable than He? Let it go! Come to Christ, and bear his reproach! Be sprinkled in the only truly purifying way. Be sprinkled by Christ.

Life application: The Bible makes this statement –

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Think it through, carefully. God – our Creator, and He who had no sin – Jesus, fully God and fully Man, was made to be sin. He bore the disgrace of our misconduct and moral deficiency, so that in Him – that broken and rejected body – we (insert your name here if you have accepted the transfer) might become the righteousness of God – reconciled through the cross of our innocent Lord – to bear His righteousness when we instead deserved His cross.

Who can imagine the immensity of what is being said here? That God would give us His own jealously-guarded righteousness after the lives we have lived. All of our sin was laid upon Christ who then bore our disgrace, our sin, and our rebellion.

The love of God which is in Christ Jesus is far above our ability to ever pen a note of thanks sufficient to the deed. Look to this wonderful implement of death and reconciliation, and then call on the name of the Lord, the Lord Jesus.

See the hands pierced for me
See His feet held to the tree
See His side, the spear received
How precious the transfer, when I believed
Thank You my Lord, my Savior, My God

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