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Hebrews 9:18-28

(The Blood of the Testaments)

We are used to thinking of the Old Testament as being the first 39 books of the Bible and the New Testament as the last 27 books of the Bible. But a testament is actually a will. As such, it requires the death of the testator (the one whose will it is) in order to be put into effect. Jesus’ death allows those who receive him as Saviour to receive the inheritance of the New Testament. The Old Testament also required death in order to be effective….

18. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

19. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,

20. Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

21. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.

It would be easy to pass over these verses without understanding what a huge object lesson this was for the people who were there that day. Image if you and I had been there. After receiving the laws of God (which fill up four chapters of the book of Exodus) we would have watched as the book containing these laws, and all of the other items pertaining to this testament were sprinkled with the blood of animals. In addition, our own selves would have been sprinkled with blood (making this very personal). At the very least it would have been difficult to escape the idea that the shed blood of a sacrificial victim was somehow extremely important as it relates to God’s exacting moral requirements imposed upon us and his forgiveness if we fail.

22. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

In the verse above, the writer of the book of Hebrews makes it crystal clear that blood must be shed in order for remission (forgiveness) to be granted.

23. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

24. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

And once again (in the verses above) we are told that the tabernacle and the priestly service were only earthly representations of that which they represented in heaven.

25. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

26. For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

The high priest went into the “Holy of Holies” on the great day of atonement to present the blood of animals before God as a reminder to the people that only a blood sacrifice could atone for their sins. The fact that this sacrifice was repeated year after year after year was proof that an animal sacrifice could not bring eternal forgiveness. Christ only shed his own blood once and died once because his sacrifice was sufficient to bring everlasting forgiveness.

27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

We die once and are judged (we have no second chance). Christ took our sins upon himself. If we accept him as our Lord and Saviour, we will be judged “not guilty”.

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