Monday, 14 January 2019
…not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— Hebrews 9:25
The High Priest of Israel had to enter the Most Holy Place in the sanctuary once each year and follow the exacting details prescribed in Leviticus 16. Included in these rituals was the presentation of the blood of animals. One was to atone for his sin and one was to atone for the sins of the people. This ritual was absolutely necessary because, as verse 9:22 said, “without shedding of blood there is no remission.” As it says in this verse, He offered his own. This is the idea behind substitutionary atonement – one life is given on behalf of another.
With this understanding, the specific idea of this verse is that of entry into heaven. In other words, though not in the Greek, the idea is connected to the previous verse and should mentally bring to thought, “not that He should enter to offer Himself often.” The two verses, placed side by side, will show this –
For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
…not that He should enter to offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—
Christ gave of Himself once on the cross of Calvary, and at that time He entered into heaven. However, every entry into the Most Holy Place (which was a foreshadowing of Christ’s entry into heaven) required that the blood of an individual sacrifice be presented by the high priest. Therefore, if Christ was required to offer Himself every time He entered into heaven, He would have to “offer Himself often.” This will be stated explicitly in the next verse to come. Such was not the case though. Unlike the high priest who “enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another,” Christ’s entry was a one time and for all time presentation.
Life application: In contrast to the annual ritual conducted by Israel’s High Priest, Jesus did not enter heaven through a repeated offering of Himself. Please remember that life is forfeit because of sin – either your life, or that of a Substitute. And that Substitute must be acceptable to God. It is by Jesus’ death alone that we are reconciled to our heavenly Father. Be sure to receive God’s offer of pardon through Christ!
Heavenly Father, Your word tells us that Christ Jesus entered into heaven once for the forgiveness of our sins. He did not need to suffer many times for us, coming again and again with the proof of another time of suffering. He died once for our sins, and that one entry into Your presence was sufficient for all of man’s sins from Adam until the end of the age. How powerful is the blood of Christ! May we not fail to receive the gift of eternal life, granted through His one great act on Calvary’s cross. Amen.