Our culture is sick with sin, unable to give, to be kind, to love; it needs atonement. Many people know in their bones that something is wrong and they are longing for God. There is redemption. Christ's death has redeemed us from the wages of breaking the old covenant: death and eternal separation from God.
Scripture: Hebrews 9:15-28
- Again in Hebrews 9, the new covenant (Heb. 8:6-13) is shown to be necessary.
- The barrier that kept the people of Israel from deeper worship with God was sin; now the better sacrifice of Christ enables intimate access to God and intimate knowledge of God.
- All who identify with the blood of Christ are able to know God.
- Christ is mediator of a new covenant, so we are guaranteed to receive the promise. Christ’s death redeemed us from the penalty of the first covenant.
- The covenant is binding because is it entered into at the risk of our lives. The penalty for breaking covenant is death.
- The sacrifice of the animals signified the penalty for breaking the covenant oath.
- The first covenant was inaugurated in Exodus 24:1-11. The people were sprinkled with the blood of an animal.
- The elders of Israel entered the presence of God and ate a covenant meal.
- Deuteronomy chapters 27-30 spell out the blessings and curses of the covenant. Israel would inevitably break the covenant.
- God would make provision for the forgiveness of the people’s sins on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16).
- The blood of all the sacrificial animals was only a temporary and symbolic ritual of atonement. The barrier of sin remained and the curse of covenant breaking was always over the people. They needed a better sacrifice.
- We all suffer the pollution of sin and stand behind the barrier of sin, and we all stand under the curse of death for breaking God’s law.
- Our culture is sick with sin, unable to give, to be kind, to love; it needs atonement.
- Many people know in their bones that something is wrong and they are longing for God.
- There is redemption. Christ’s death has redeemed us from the wages of breaking the old covenant: death and eternal separation from God.
- Christ has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin – once and for all.
- Christ bore our sin and buried it. He buried it forever. No one can enter God’s presence with sin. We know that Christ removed sin once for all because He was raised from the dead and ascended to the right hand of God. Hebrews 9 ends anticipating the return of Christ to finally redeem all those who have been atoned by His blood.
- Titus 2:11-14 reminds us of our identity as God’s covenant people ordained to serve Him.
- What is the condition of knowing God intimately?
- What was the penalty for breaking a covenant in ancient times? Knowing that we are incapable of keeping covenant with God perfectly, how is it that we can enter into covenant with Him at all?
- What was the purpose of God’s instituting the OT sacrificial system?
- How is Christ’s atonement the answer to contemporary culture’s guilt and alienation?