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The Better Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:15-28)

Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Better Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:15-28)

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The Better Sacrifice

Hebrews 9:15-28 (Pastor Heo)

15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.


v 15

“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant…”

Jesus has died as a ransom for us. As mediator, he gave his life as a ransom for us.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 “There is one God and one mediator between God and man. That is the man Jesus Christ.”

  • Let me share what is Ransom,
  • who paid the Ransom,
  • what is the result of the Ransom

Meaning of the Ransom:

Leviticus 25 – If my relative or loved one was sold to someone else because of slavery or poverty, I could buy him back by paying a price. That price is called a “ransom.” This system was already common in the OT time – so they knew it very well.

In this background, it says “Jesus is our ransom.”

Sin (we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) – is like a slave market, and our souls are sold. Jesus buys us, sinners, out of this market – thereby delivering us from this slave market. Jesus paid the price and sets us free. The price: his own life.

Another question: If Jesus’ death is our price for deliverance, then TO WHOM was this ransom paid? We must know that this ransom was NOT paid to Satan, but to God. Satan has no authority, no legal claims on sinners. God is absolutely holy and the Law Giver.

Jesus’ ransom frees us from God’s Justice (we all have sinned).

Another question: What is the result of this ransom?

As a result, we are redeemed, delivered through the death of Christ through the penalty of Law and the curse of the Law. We are now not under the Law but under Grace.

Also we are redeemed from Sin as a power. So we no longer need to submit to its power.

We are redeemed from Satan, and we are redeemed from all evil – physical and moral. Including our present mortal bodies.

Gal “Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for you and me, for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone hanged on a tree.'”

v. 16-18

“16 In the case of a *will*, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.”

  • v. 15 = Jesus is our mediator
  • v. 16, 17 = Jesus is our will (유언)
  • v. 15 = “covenant” x2
  • v. 16, 17 = “will” x2

These are the SAME word in the Greek Bible “diasecae”

This word has two meanings: “covenant” or “will”. v. 15 the translation = “covenant”, in v. 16, 17 = “will” WHY?

  • “Covenant” = religious translation
  • “Will” = legal translation

This means Jesus Christ made a new covenant as his will, and then he died for his will to be effective – to be operative for us. We know what the will is like.

If someone makes a will for the next generation, he must die for his will to be made effective.

Imagine, if you hold in your hands a will document which includes “one BILLION dollars…” – only when the person who made this will dies will all these things become yours in reality. So you must wait for his death earnestly! This is what a will is.

Jesus made a will to make us rich, then he died for his will to be effective.

2 Cor 8:9? “Jesus Christ who was rich became poor and died so that you might become rich.”

Think about the benefits we receive from his death.

Peace, joy, purpose, eternal life, forgiveness, salvation, etc

All of these are activated by his death. All these things are activated in v. 16, 17 as legal terms.

v. 19-21

“19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies.”

This passage looks back to Exodus 24. In Exodus 21, 22, 23, Moses received the Law from God directly on the Mtn of Sinai. After that, he made a ceremony as a covenant. In this ceremony, the animal would be killed and its blood sprinkled on the altar and to the people of Israel.

When Moses proclaimed all the commandments to the people, he sealed this covenant with the blood of an animal and this ratified the covenant. In this ceremony, Moses sprinkled half of the blood on the altar to show that sinners could once again approach God because something died as a substitution for them.

Moses then sprinkled the other half of the blood to the people (their faces) to show the penalty they SHOULD HAVE received had been paid – because something living had died.

This is a copy to show the Better Sacrifice of Christ.

The reality of this Better Sacrifice:

v. 22-23

“22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. “

In the same way, we have a connection with the OT and the NT covenants. We can connect them. In the same way that Moses sprinkled the blood of the animal, Jesus also shed (sprinkled) his blood on the cross to inaugurate the New Covenant. Christ’s blood initiated the New Covenant.

Consider the symbol of the cross: Shed / sprinkled blood means something has died. If there is blood, we can know that something living has died just now. In the OT time, an animal, carefully selected. In the NT time, Jesus on the cross, supremely and for all time, satisfying God’s requirements for justice for all time.

  • No death = no forgiveness
  • No forgiveness = no hope

v. 22-23

“22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and *without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.*”

What is forgiveness?

It is a COSTLY thing.

Human forgiveness is also costly. A son or daughter may go wrong, and father or mother may forgive, but this forgiveness brings tears, lines to the eyes, white hair, aches in our hearts. Forgiveness is not free. SOMEONE pays the price, either the instigator or the forgiver – but SOMEONE must pay.

God is righteousness and justice, so God, least of all can break the moral laws on which the universe is built. So SIN must have its punishment. This is an unchangeable principle. Sin must have its penalty. Only God can pay this price in full before man can be forgiven.

Forgiveness is the most costly thing in this world.

Because without the shedding of the heart’s blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins. For the satisfaction of justice, someone sinless must be crucified / killed on the cross.

Who was sinless? You / me? Only Jesus Christ.

There is the cross, whenever we see it, we have no choice but to give thanks to God for this assurance, this freedom, and this hope worn by Christ on the real cross.

This small cross symbolizes that “I’m forgiven, I’m redeemed, I’m free.” This is the symbol of the church, the symbol of Christianity. When you see this cross, can you say,

“I’m forgiven! I’m free!”

The HS knows, God knows if you can. That’s why we must focus on Christ.

v. 24-28

“24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin *by the sacrifice of himself.* [But remember, Judgment is waiting] 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

The Better Sacrifice:

Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient – his blood is sufficient “once for all!”

One story:

In a rural village lived a medical doctor who was very famous for his professional skill and devotion to Christ. After he died, his books were found again – and several entries had written in red ink “FORGIVEN! Too poor to pay.”

Unfortunately, his wife was different. She wanted these debts to be paid back to her. When the judge heard the case, he asked, “Is this your husband’s handwriting in red?” “Yes.”

The judge: “A court in this land can never touch those who have already been forgiven.”

Christ’s blood likewise forgives us. Romans: “Who can bring any charge against those who are forgiven? Who is it that condemns?… But Christ is seated at the right hand of God and interceding for us.”

v. 27 “Just as Mankind is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

Today, we know that the word “Judgment” is not popular, but just as surely as physical death is coming, so surely is judgment.

So, the important question is not “whether” but “how”? What does this judgment mean to me? Encouragement? Threat?

  • This Judgment = Final Condemnation for those who do not believe in Christ.
  • But = Final Hope, and Greatest Reward for those who do.

In this passage, we can see three appearances of Christ:

  1. v. 24 “…He entered heaven itself now to appear…”
  2. v. 26 “…now he has appeared once for all…”
  3. v. 28 “…he will appear a second time…”
  • He appeared; // to take our sins
  • He is appearing; // to intercede for us
  • He will appear // to take us home in heaven

1 John “Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me. In my father’s house there are many rooms. I go there to prepare a place for you. When I come back, I will take you to be with me where I am.”

Do you feel Jesus with you now, step by step, moment-by-moment?

God bless you.

v. 28

“so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Let’s pray.

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