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Wednesday, June 30 2021
Contributor: Dolapo Olaoye
But - The “but” here makes a contrast to Old Testament rituals that could not make the believer’s conscience “perfect” (Heb. 9:9-10). Christ’s finished work on the cross as our High Priest resolved that problem. Here it focuses on what is real rather than what is symbolically anticipated.
Christ [the Messiah] came as High Priest – Christ arrived in the presence of God to minister as our High Priest. This refers to His ministry in heaven. Giving us access to our Priest-King in glory.
of the good things to come, - The “good things” (redemption privileges we have in Christ) refer to the new privileges whereby the believer can relate to God through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
with [in connection with] the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, - This “tabernacle” is heaven itself. It is where Christ went into the presence of God as High Priest. No mere human being could construct a tabernacle like this. God constructed this tabernacle, not man.
that is, not of this creation - Christ’s role as High Priest links with the heavenly tabernacle, not the earthly material order. Our perfect High Priest serves in a perfect heaven to make perfect those who believe.
Verse 12 speaks of Christ’s means of entry into the eternal Most Holy Place. The blood of atonement was the difference between life and death when entering God’s presence.
Jesus shed his blood and offered it on the heavenly altar that we might be sanctified at heart and cleansed in our consciences. The apostle talks about outward cleansing! And many people are only concerned about that. They care about how they appear on the outside. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they care about their own appearance, but they care about outward things that make them feel good about themselves and makes others see them as righteous people. They don’t see themselves as hypocrites, but they see themselves as people who are really trying hard to please God with all the outward things they do for God and for each other and for the church.
Jesus shed his blood and offered it on the heavenly altar that we might be called by God. The blood of Jesus has the power to effect one of the greatest callings in human history. Jesus had once said regarding his crucifixion: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32) Ever since then everyone whose sins have been washed by Jesus’ blood and through faith in him have been mysteriously drawn to the Lord Jesus. We who are drawn to the Lord Jesus automatically know that we belong to him.
Wednesday, June 23 2021
Contributor: Alex Kokobili
• Verse 1: The Ordinances of Divine Service of the First Covenant.
We see here that the old covenant involved regulations that the people had to observe as required for their service to God. This means they had to obey the Ten Commandments and alongside ordinances (what the priest had spelled out for it to be pleasing to God) in all areas such as purification, petitions, and supplications, etc. If the requirement was not followed, the worship of the people or their household would be rejected and sometimes with terrible consequences. See example in Leviticus 10:1-3
Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. 3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’” So Aaron held his peace.
The earthly sanctuary was the dwelling place for God’s tabernacle (Ark of the Covenant). This was a sacred place with partitions, i.e., outer court and the holy of holies (Ezekiel 41: 1-4) and it was built to specifications as directed by God.
• Verses 2-5: Description of the Earthly Sanctuary
This pattern of worship had its constraint and it was only the priest that was assigned and must always be available to lead the people as required for worship, offering, or sacrifice to God. The priest must first be purified before ministering before the Lord. Once a year the priest went into the Holy of Holies and if he is unworthy while inside the Holy of Holies, he would be struck dead. The hem of the garment of the priest had bells (Exodus 39:26) and if the priest dies for any reason in the holy of holies, he was dragged out with the extension of the rope that was attached to his leg. In Numbers 16: 1-40 we see that a rebellion came against Moses by Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and on the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben. What a foolish way to die from the wrought of the Lord. They either forgot about the sons of Aaron who died in Numbers 10: 1-3, or they were not born then. They declared themselves holy and burnt incense in the tabernacle of meeting and God’s glory appeared before the congregation and they did not know that it was not a sign that we were holy, then God’s anger rose against them without mercy.
• Verses 8-10: The Holy Spirit Is the Gift of God for The New Pattern of Worship
We realize that the Holy of Holies was very significant in the old pattern of worship. That part of the tabernacle was a dwelling place of the divine presence of God. But now, we realize we have greater access to God’s Holy Spirit in this New Covenant different from the old, and that is why the veil in the temple was torn apart (Mathew 27:51).
Wednesday, June 16 2021
Contributor: Wale Abiona
Man continued to fall into divers kinds of errors, with the enemy taking advantage.
A quick look into the promise in Genesis 12:1-3
Now because of His promise and covenant, which expresses God’s own faithfulness to His Word, He delivered them out of Egypt, and performed many wonders in their sight throughout their wilderness journey, hoping they will remember His special love for them, but they complained still. He gave them a new set of rules to guide them and added some
The laws will no longer be written on a tablet for them but will be in their mind and printed in their heart.
See Proverbs 2:10, Psalms 1:2, Joshua 1:8
The implications of these verses is that
The Old Covenant was the “working arrangement” that God had with Israel. He had chosen them for a special relationship that He did not have with any other group of people on earth. He took just a few patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) and grew their descendants into a great nation and gave them a land (Canaan) and His law to live by (see Exodus 20 and following). The Israelites were to remain loyal to God, obeying Him and worshipping Him alone. If they did, He promised to bless them, and if they did not, He promised they would be chastened (see Deuteronomy 27—28).
Wednesday, June 09 2021
Contributors: Esther Ikpe & Isekhua Evborokhai
Verses 1-2: Summarizing Points Previously Made About Jesus as Our High Priest
a. This is the main point of the things we are saying: Apostle Paul brings together the main point of the previous chapter. We have a High Priest – Jesus Christ – who serves us from a position of all authority in heaven (seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty).
b. Who is seated at the right hand of the throne: Additionally, Jesus is seated in heaven, in contrast to the continual service of the priesthood under the Law of Moses.
i. The tabernacle and the temple of the Old Covenant had beautiful furnishings, but no place for the priests to sit down because their work was never finished. The work of Jesus is finished; therefore, He is seated in heaven.
c. A Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle: Jesus doesn’t serve as a priest in an earthly tabernacle or temple. He serves in the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, the original made by God. The tabernacle of Moses was a copy of this original, and it was made by man (Exodus 25:8-9).
i. Some suppose the true tabernacle is the Church or Jesus’ earthly body. But it is best to understand it as the heavenly reality that the earthly tabernacle imitated.
Verse 3: Jesus’ Priesthood Had a Sacrifice – And A Better Sacrifice
a. Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices: Sacrifice for sin is essential to the concept of priesthood. Jesus represented a superior priesthood and offered a superior sacrifice. He laid down His own life to atone for sin.
b. It is necessary that this One also have something to offer: Though Jesus never offered a sacrifice according to the Law of Moses He did offer a better sacrifice – the sacrifice of Himself.
Verses 4-5: Jesus’ Priesthood Had a Temple – And A Better Temple.
a. If He were on earth, He would not be a priest: Jesus was not qualified to serve in the inferior earthly priesthood. There are priests – plenty of them – who were qualified to serve in the priesthood according to the Law of Moses.
b. Who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things: There were plenty of priests who could serve in the copy and shadow on earth. Yet Jesus is the only One qualified to serve in the superior heavenly priesthood. The earthly service, though it was glorious in the eyes of man, was really only a copy and shadow of the superior heavenly service.
c. Copy and shadow of the heavenly things: Exodus 25:40 tells us that Moses’ tabernacle built on earth was made according to a pattern that existed in heaven. This was the pattern which was shown to you [Moses] on the mountain. Therefore, there is a heavenly temple that served as a pattern for the earthly tabernacle and temple. Jesus’ ministry as our High Priest takes place in this heavenly temple, not in the copy and shadow built on earth.
i. First century Jews took tremendous pride in the temple and did so for good reason: it was a spectacular architectural achievement. However glorious the Jerusalem temple was, it was of man (and mostly built by Herod the Great, a corrupt and ungodly man). Therefore, it was nothing compared to the glory of the heavenly temple that Jesus served in.
Verse 6: The result: Jesus presides over a superior priesthood with a better covenant and better promises.
a. He has obtained a more excellent ministry: No earthly priest could take away sin the way Jesus did. Therefore, Jesus’ ministry is far better than the ministry of the priesthood under the Law of Moses.
b. Mediator of a better covenant: Jesus has mediated for us a better covenant, a covenant of grace and not of works, guaranteed for us by a cosigner (Hebrews 7:22). It is a covenant marked by believing and receiving instead of by earning and deserving.
i. Jesus is our Mediator for this greater covenant. Mediator is the ancient Greek word mesites, which means “one who stands in the middle between two people and brings them together.”
c. Which was established on better promises: Jesus has better promises for us. These are promises to see us through the most desperate and dark times. These are promises that become alive to us through the Spirit of God. These are promises of blessing and undeserved favor instead of promises to curse and judge.
The new covenant is also better because it was ratified by better blood (Hebrews 12:24) and finally, it is a better covenant because it came through a better Mediator.
Wednesday, June 02 2021
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
INTRODUCTION: In last week’s study we were looking at the greatness of Jesus’ Priesthood as it compared with the Levitical priesthood; that it was a far better way between us and God. In today’s study Paul continues with his logical argument as to why this is the case by referring to the permanency and perfection of Jesus’ priesthood in contrast to the continuously changing and imperfect Levitical priesthood
1. An Unchanging Priesthood Means a Lasting Salvation (Verses 23-25)
The Passion Translation kicks off verse 23 by saying: “As additional proof . . .” Paul, in these three verses presents additional proof is support of Jesus’ permanent and perfect priesthood.
Proof #1: He Continues Forever: There were many priests under the old system, for they eventually died and their office had to be filled by another but Jesus continues forever, as our High Priest even after He ascended into heaven.
Proof #2: An Unchangeable Priesthood: The priesthood under the Law of Moses constantly changed, and so it was either better or worse through the years depending on the character of the priest. But Jesus has an unchangeable permanent priesthood. He will never die and so we don’t need to worry about a “bad priest” replacing Him.
Proof #3: He Is Able to Save To the Uttermost: The unchanging nature of Jesus’ priesthood means that the salvation He gives is also unchanging, permanent, and secure. Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. Because He is our High Priest forever, He can save forever. He will save . . .
(i) Those who come to God through Him: This tells us whom Jesus is able to save. It means those who abide in the Son and have fellowship with the Father. It also shows where we have to come for salvation – to God. It is one thing to come to church; it is another thing to come to God. This shows the place of abiding in the security of the believer. When we come to God through Him, He saves us to the uttermost. In Jesus there is complete security of salvation.
(ii) He Ever Lives to Make Intercession for Them: It is strengthening and reassuring to know that Jesus prays for us, and that He ever lives to pray for us. This is tremendous encouragement to anyone who feels like giving up. Jesus’ intercession on our behalf is not a matter of pacifying an angry Father who wants to destroy us. It means that He continually represents us before the Father so that we can draw near through Him, and that He defends us against Satan’s accusations and attacks. Like He did for Peter in Luke 22:31-32
2. Jesus Is Better Qualified to Be a High Priest Than Any Priest from The Order of the Law of Moses. (Verses 26-28)
The Levitical priests had to offer sacrifices for their own sins, but Jesus did not, because he had no sin. When he offered himself, it was not for himself, but for everyone else. He was the kind of sacrifice we really needed — without blemish, fit even for the holiest place in heaven. In these last three verses, Paul presents four reasons why Jesus’ Priesthood was a perfect one
Reason #1: He is a High Priest Best Fit for Us: The priests under the Law of Moses did not have the personal character of the Son of God. Jesus is holy, harmless (without guile or deception), undefiled, separate from sinners (in the sense of not sharing in their sin). Jesus is far superior in His personal character than any earthly priest.
Reason #2: He has become higher than the heavens: Two facts prove the perfect character of Jesus. First, His exaltation in heaven. Second, that He did not need to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins – which the other priests needed to do daily.
Reason #3: He offered up Himself: This is totally unique. A priest may bring a sacrifice and offer it on the altar. But Jesus was both the priest and the sacrifice. This is the best sacrifice brought to God the Father by the best priest.
Reason #4: He has been Perfected Forever Verse 28 says: For the law appoints as high priests men who have weaknesses: Under the Law of Moses the priests were always men with weaknesses. But Jesus is a Son who has been perfected forever. Because He is a perfect High Priest, He was able to offer up Himself as a perfect sacrifice for our sin. Jesus is perfectly qualified to be our perfect High Priest – perfected forever.