Read: Hebrews 9
If you didn’t catch the message from the most recent Lord’s Supper Sunday, you should definitely go back and check it out. (Video at bottom)
In that message, Tim discussed the Mercy Seat. Ultimately, he discussed that in Romans 3:25, Paul described Christ’s sacrifice as the Mercy Seat—"God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed.” (Romans 3:25, NET).
The blood poured out on the Mercy Seat was a picture of the sacrifice of Christ. The Ark was beautiful in appearance—finely crafted gold. Year after year, blood spilled over the Mercy Seat such that although beautiful underneath, it was covered in filth. That seat and the blood poured over it was a barrier between the Law within and the presence of God above. Christ, who perfectly embodied the Law, covered himself in our filth (sin), so that we could enter the presence of God.
Hebrews 9 begins with the description of the tabernacle, the location of the Ark, and a brief description of the practice of offering sacrifices under the Old Covenant. In verse 6, we get a glimpse into the day-to-day activities of the priests. Verse 7, however, (very briefly) describes the Day of Atonement—the once-a-year celebration in which the priest went into the Most Holy Place to pour blood on the Mercy Seat and offer sacrifice for the people (See Leviticus 16).
Every aspect of the Day of Atonement, from the purity and cleanliness of the High Priest, to the blood poured out, points to Christ as the greater fulfillment. This is what the author of Hebrews called, “a symbol for the present time.”
Christ, the ultimate High Priest, came through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, and he entered once for all into the Most Holy Place not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and so he himself secured eternal redemption…For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands—the representation of the true sanctuary—but into heaven itself, and he appears now in God’s presence for us.
Salvation has always been by grace through faith in God’s provision. Under the Old Covenant, God established a system that illustrated his character—his lovingkindness. It made allowance for sin through the sacrificial system. But it was incomplete. It pointed forward to a perfect time when the Messiah would come. Christ came at the perfect time for a variety of reasons to which we can speculate, and probably an infinite number more we can’t. In the Old Covenant faith was taking God at his word in the sacrificial system, trusting him with every aspect of your life. In the New Covenant, faith is taking God at his word in the sacrifice of Christ, and trusting him with every aspect of your life. The means by which people are saved has not changed, the content of that faith has been revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, our Mercy Seat.
By: Tyler Short
We need to study God's character more and thus the law, His law, the Old Testament for sure. I think if I've been told that his law demonstrates His character a thousand times then I need to hear it a thousand times more.
Thank you Tyler Short. Jumpstart seems to get better & better every day. I’ve said for years that Romans is my favorite book in the Bible. I’m beginning to think Hebrews has now become my favorite. I love how Hebrews so clearly explains how Jesus has become our High Priest and that we now have direct access to the Creator of the universe because of the atoning blood of Jesus.
“and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance”
I’m not sure why this segment of today’s scripture spoke so loudly to me today but it did. The Bible clearly teaches us what is right and wrong. I can’t claim ignorance, so my sin is willful and rebellious. I’m grateful that God’s mercies are new each day and that the door is always open for me to come to Him in repentance. Each time I read the words of Paul when he talks about his struggles with sin I am encouraged. The author of nearly two thirds of the New Testament said “the things I don’t want to do I so easily do & the things I desire to do I struggle to do”. (paraphrase). I grew up in a small Baptist church where we often sang the hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”. All our sins & sorrows we can take to Him and He is our advocate before our Heavenly Father. Praise God for this good gift!
That same passage spoke to me too, Mike. "..for the sins the people had committed in ignorance." It tells me how just by being in human skin I sin every day, whether I'm aware of it or not, and how much I need the advocacy of Jesus to keep in a righteous relationship with God.
Such a great reminder. Outside of Jesus’ help, we are hopeless.
That’s great, Mike. Thank you for sharing.
Great explanation of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. It's important that we see why the OT is there, as sometimes we just don't understand it all. However, when you read the NT in light of the OT, it becomes more clear the design and plan the God had. Thankful that God makes a way for us now through the sacrifice of his son!
It truly amazes me how they Bible is one book.
It’s amazing how it all fits.