Today’s chapter starts off with some details about how the tabernacle was set up. It gives some great descriptions of exactly what it would look like and makes it very tangible for readers. I love the little aside that the author gives at the end of verse 5 when they write “But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.” It makes me smile because I imagine someone who is so excited about sharing everything they have with the Hebrews, but has to contain themselves because they know they have more important things to discuss.
Now on to the “more important” things! At this point people would’ve known what priests had to do when going into the Most Holy Place and recognized the sacrifice that was required. The author here is giving the background information for the rest of the message to show the significance of Christ. It is explained that priests no longer had to go to a place made by humans that required continuing sacrifice of animals for forgiveness; Christ was able to enter the Most Holy Place by one sacrifice to obtain eternal redemption (vs. 11-12). This would’ve been a big deal in this time!
Verse 14 and 15 are great verses to meditate on for this chapter! “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ… cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” What a great verse to give us some perspective! We have a Savior who offered himself as a completely perfect sacrifice ONE TIME for the redemption of our sins that should’ve led to death. And why? So that we can not only serve the living God, but also so that we can be set free from our sins and receive eternal inheritance (vs. 15). That is simply amazing, friends!
There is so much more in this chapter that we could really unpack, but I don’t need to write a whole book so we’ll finish off with the final verses 😊
When we look at verse 27 there are two really big pieces that we need to recognize. The first is in verse 27 which reads “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” This key factor on the morality of humans is one of the many reasons Christianity differs from other religions. Here it says that people get one life to live, they die one time, and after will face judgment. The second piece shows me that people have a lifetime to seek forgiveness for their sins. It doesn’t say that we will face judgement after we do that one really bad sin, or that by the time we reach a certain age, etc. We will face judgment after death. With that in mind, we aren’t all guaranteed a long lifetime to seek that forgiveness. Are you living each day as if you could be judged the next moment? Are you continually serving the living God and asking for forgiveness when you fall short? Those can be some sobering questions to ask yourself.
Finally, in verse 28, we get a glimpse of that hope we have. “…And he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Jesus is coming again! I want to be one of those who are waiting for him, and I hope you all do too! Today, how can your actions, thoughts, words, and choices reflect that you are waiting on Jesus’ return? Or, how can you encourage a brother or sister in Christ and remind them of his second coming?