Hebrews 9 15-28
Why is the death of Jesus so central to Christianity?
These verses explain. There are 2 main truths.
1/. Christ needed to die.
It may be self evident to us but it wasn't self evident to the Jews here. How could the messiah die and why? The gospel just wasn't proclaimed to the Jews it also had to be explained.
Here the author is taking these Christian Jews back to the cross. He is reminding them of Jesus and His sacrifice. Without the cross they had nothing, but with the cross they had everything.
Why did He need to die.
A) To become our mediator.
What is a mediator? Someone who stands in the gap between 2 adversaries and brings them together. Here it is the sinner and God. Man has a broken relationship with God. Jesus would bring them back together. But there is a price to pay. It was through the cost of His own life. The death of Jesus.
B) To release our inheritance.
Heaven forever. It was a promised inheritance. It is an eternal inheritance. It would never have been ours if Christ had never died. A will never comes into force until someone dies. The death releases the inheritance.
C) He provides our forgiveness.
The old covenant was based on the blood of animals. Gallons and gallons of blood was shed. Verse 22 reminds us without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Sin is a serious business and it deserved death. That was the very price that Jesus had to pay.
2/. Christ never need die again.
The Jews thought about sacrifices as a repeated thing. They were repeated day after day and year after year.
To be able to make one sacrifice to last forever was unheard of. But that is indeed what Jesus done.
The author shows us here how Christ appeared in the past. He appeared to make one sacrifice. That one sacrifice to take away sin. We live once, we die once and then we face the judgement. In the same way, Christ died once. His sacrifice is as unrepeatable as our death.
Christ then appears in the present. He appears before God to pray for us. He entered heaven itself. The old high priest went into the holy of holies but Jesus the real high priest went to an even holier place. He entered heaven. Not to offer himself again and again but to mediate for us. He appears for us in God's presence. Even now if you are a Christian he is praying for you.
Christ then appears in the future. He will appear a second time to bring salvation. This time not to bear sin. We still live in a world full of sin but when He returns that will all be done away with. He will bring us to full salvation. He will complete the job that He started.
His death in the past is sufficient. It was acceptable to the Father. His Father.
We have a role not only to preach the cross but to explain it. We need to show the significance of the cross to those around us. Christianity is not just a do good religion.
We need to learn to rest upon the death of Christ. We don't need to add to it. We don't need to work for it. It is His bloodshed alone that gives us the assurance of our salvation.
Trust Him and Him alone.
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