WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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THE NEW COVENANT’S SACRIFICE IS JESUS
(CHRIST is the perfect sacrifice)
JESUS CHRIST, our LORD and SAVIOR, has now entered into the perfect sanctuary that was not made by human hands, but rather, by the hand of GOD. There HE has become High Priest over all that is good. Once and for all time HE has carried HIS OWN blood into the Most Holy Place in Heaven, and with it, HE has secured our salvation forever.
Under the old law, the blood of goats, bulls, or rams could offset the defilement of human sins temporarily. How much more effective then, must the blood of CHRIST be in purifying the human heart from deeds that had long led man to death. Now the bloodshed of CHRIST is continuously allowing man to re-establish personal relationships of friendship with GOD, whenever he is willing to repent and turn from his sin.
Here in chapter 9, the writer prompts his readers to recall that all elements of the Mosaic Covenant had special meaning, in that, it reflected the realities in Heaven. But our HIGH PRIEST, JESUS, entered into Heaven itself, bearing HIS OWN blood, and by HIS OWN sacrifice, obtained for us, the greatest gift of all time, salvation. JESUS is the mediator of the New Covenant, a covenant that was activated by HIS OWN death on the cross.
In Old Testament times, animal blood sacrifices were the standard requirement by GOD for the sins of man. In essence, the institution of this requirement by GOD indicates that sin merits death. However, GOD was willing to accept an animal sacrifice as a substitute for the more valuable life of the human sinner. Hebrews chapters 8-10 teaches us that the system of Old Testament sacrifices was actually an “object lesson” used by GOD to aid us in the understanding of the coming sacrifice of HIS only begotten SON, JESUS, the CHRIST.
The Old Testament sacrifices had an “external effectiveness”, but JESUS’ sacrifice at Golgotha has an “internal effect” that cleanses the conscience that bounds us to the guilt of our past. We are no longer overcome with a past that renders us inadequate to function in the present and keeps us from moving forward to a brighter future with GOD.
When a person dies and leaves a Will, no one can collect on the benefits of that Will, until there is proof that the person who wrote that Will is actually dead. Likewise, under the old covenant, GOD required the blood of certain animals as proof of the death of a person’s sinful desire, and the blood confirmed a person’s desire to instead, be obedient to the covenant. Afterwards, a person was able to collect on the benefits of GOD’s Will, which was founded in HIS forgiveness, and from that point forward, strive to walk in righteousness with GOD.
The blood of animals was sufficient to purify things here on earth, and by the sprinkling of animal blood on the altar of GOD, man was allowed to continue to live here on earth. However, the real things, which are only found in Heaven, had to be purified with a far better sacrifice than the blood of unblemished animals. It took the blood of an unblemished man to meet the requirement of GOD to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and that perfect sacrifice could only come in the person of JESUS CHRIST.
However, first, JESUS had to become a man, born into the world like all other human beings, so that HE could suffer through everything man has to suffer through here on earth, overcome it, and then, present HIMSELF faultless before HIS FATHER GOD as the perfect sacrifice for the sin atonement of all persons, past, present, and future, once and for all time.
And just as it is appointed by GOD that each person dies only once, after which, comes judgment, so too, CHRIST died only once as a sacrifice that took away the sins of the people who choose to believe in HIM. JESUS will come again, but not to deal with our sins again. This time HE will bring with HIM, the salvation that is promised to all those who believe, and eagerly await HIS return, and judgment for all those who don’t.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander