December 14

Read Hebrews 8 -- 10

The Tabernacle worship system for Israel was revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. It consisted of numerous sacrifices; yet they could not cleanse from sin, but only "cover" it temporarily. These sacrifices were external and involved outward conduct. However, every item of this vast worship system was symbolic of the future sacrifice on the cross of Christ who replaced Israel's high priest, priests, and all the sacrificial Tabernacle worship. God foretold through His prophet: I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah (Jeremiah 31:31; compare Hebrews 8:13).

The Holy Spirit signified that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while the first Tabernacle was yet standing (9:8). The Old Covenant sacrifices were in force until the time. . . . Christ appeared as High Priest . . . a greater and more perfect Tabernacle, not made with hands (9:10-11).

The Old Covenant looked forward to a greater and more perfect Tabernacle. The words more perfect Tabernacle refer to the human nature of Jesus, since He illustrates and fulfills all that the Old Testament Tabernacle represented. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (Tabernacled) among us (John 1:14). Every piece of furniture in the Tabernacle -- the Curtains, Laver, Altar, Candlestick, Table of Shewbread, Altar of Incense, Mercy Seat, and Ark of the Covenant and its contents, as well as the Tabernacle itself -- were symbolic of Christ, His life, ministry, and death, as were all of the sacrifices. Acceptable sacrifices can no longer be by the blood of goats and calves, but by (through) His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12). Jesus' perfect sacrifice was required only once because He was sinless and, consequently, it was sufficient for all sins committed for all time.

The blood of Christ is a price beyond compare, and being cleansed from our sins is beyond the ability of man to achieve. In the old Tabernacle worship, the blood of goats and calves, which were innocent animals, was daily sacrificed for worshipers' sins; but Christ, who is God become Man, shed His own blood and entered, not an earthly Holy of Holies, but into Heaven itself (9:24). If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer . . . sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God? (9:13-14). The confession of our faith is a public acknowledgment that we have renounced the world and its lusts to remain loyal to our Savior Jesus Christ.

Surely our hearts rejoice over what Christ has done for us and His assurance: I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more (Hebrews 8:12).

Cross References:

For Hebrews 8:5: See Exodus 25:40. Hebrews 8:8-12: See Jeremiah 31:31-34. Hebrews 9:20: See Exodus 24:8. Hebrews 10:5-7: See Psalms 40:6-8. Hebrews 10:12-13: See Psalms 110:1. Hebrews 10:16-17: See Jeremiah 31:33-34. Hebrews 10:30: See Deuteronomy 32:35-36. Hebrews 10:37-38: See Habakkuk 2:3-4.

Prayer Needs:

BPM Staff: Karen Hawkins · Pray for Youth With A Mission and Jaime Araujo · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Alvin W. Stewart · Country: Laos (5 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Lao and French · Great suppression of all Christian activities · 58% Buddhist; 33% belief in spirits and ancestor worship; 2% Christian; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and then obediently do what God says (1 Chronicles 14:14-16).

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 3:3