Christ, Our Greater Tabernacle
CHRIST, OUR GREATER TABERNACLE (Hebrews 9)
I. As central as the religious system of the Law was to Israel, Paul nevertheless emphasizes its shortcomings and how that it was only typical of the reality of Christ and His redemptive work. HEB 10:1-4, 11; 8:1-5.
II. HEB 9:1-7. Paul describes the layout and order of the O.T. tabernacle/service.
A. It was a worldly sanctuary that corresponded to the first/old covenant which had been phased out. v.1 c/w HEB 8:13; 2CO 3:13.
B. Under the law, the church and the house of God were distinct.
1. The nation of Israel was the church. ACT 7:38.
2. The house of God was the tabernacle/temple to which access was governed by exclusive rules.
C. Under the law, the average church member could not make priestly
sacrifices. That was reserved for Levites, especially the priests the sons of Aaron. NUM 3:10 c/w 2CH 26:16-19.
D. That tabernacle had two compartments. vs.2-3.
1. The first was the holy place for daily priestly service. v.6; NUM 28:3.
2. The second was the "most holy" (EXO 26:33) or the "Holiest of all."
3. The holiest of all was the place of intimate communion with God.
v.4 c/w EXO 25:21-22.
4. Only the high priest once each year had access to the holiest of all. v.7.
5. A veil separated the people of God from the holiest of all. v.3.
a. No amount of offerings/sacrifice/religion by God's people was
sufficient to gain access to the holiest of all.
b. The veil would have to be taken away before God's people could enter into the holiest.
III. HEB 9:8-10. Paul explains the significance of the tabernacle service, its inability to purify the inward man, and its temporary nature.
A. The fact that the veil of separation remained and the fact that the high priest had to make atonement every year indicated that sin had not actually been dealt with and still separated men from God.
vs.8-9; HEB 10:1-2; ROM 3:23.
B. The tabernacle service was temporary and pertained to ritual cleansing of the outward man only. vs.10, 13 c/w NUM 19:17-19; HEB 10:4.
C. Obviously the Levitical priesthood and the tabernacle service had their limitations. If sin was truly put away, why was there still a veil separating the people from God? vs.22-23.
IV. HEB 9:11-14. Paul explains that Christ as our High Priest accomplished the work that the Levitical tabernacle service typified. His offering and service corresponded to spiritual, eternal and inward things.
A. Christ is our High Priest after a superior order. HEB 6:20.
B. Unlike the Levites, His sinlessness guaranteed Him an everlasting office of High Priest. HEB 7:15-17, 23-24, 28.
C. Operating on a superior level, He did not use an earthly tabernacle to repetitively enter an earthly "holiest of all" through an earthly veil with animal blood to accomplish an external ceremonial cleansing.
1. The greater tabernacle of His service was His own body. JOH 2:19-21.
2. The veil that was breached was His flesh. HEB 10:19-20.
3. The blood He offered was not of a creature, but His own blood--
that of the Creator. v.12; ACT 20:28.
4. The holy place he entered with His atoning blood is heaven.
v.12, 24; HEB 12:24.
5. He only made His offering once. Since He had no sins of His own,
and His blood WAS efficacious to save His people, He could sit and
stay in the holiest of all as long as he wanted.
HEB 7:26-27; 9:25-28; 10:9-14.
6. His offering did not just cleanse temporally and externally. It cleansed internally and eternally! vs.12-15; HEB 10:3 c/w HEB 10:16-18.
D. Note that at the time that the superior veil of Christ's flesh was rent, so was the veil of the earthly temple. MAR 15:37-38.
1. By this God signified that the way into the true Holiest of All NOW WAS made manifest!
2. By this God also signified the abolition of the Levitical system.
3. Indeed, "...Christ is the END of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (ROM 10:4).
V. Consider some other divisions and rifts that were corrected when the veils were torn.
A. Now elect Jews and elect Gentiles are brought together. EPH 2:14-15.
B. The church NOW IS the house of God and vice-versa. 1TI 3:15.
C. All true church members are priests. 1PE 2:5.
D. All true church members have access to the holiest of all.
HEB 10:19-22; 4:16.
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