I AM the mediator of a new covenant
People have a problem with the amount of blood which Judaism required, calling it the
butcher block religion. However, it is necessary that we understand that God’s original command to Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil came with the imperative that disobedience required death –not good works – death. Adam’s son, Cain found out the hard way that his own good intentions of coming with veggies, was not acceptable because he refused to come as God commanded with the blood of an animal like his brother did. You could say that his was the first false religion of good works outside of the Garden. Instead of repenting and obeying God’s directives, he became defensive and became the first murderer.
Like Cain, people throughout the ages think that they can appease God any way they please with money, church attendance, good deeds, reliance on Christian heritage; all Wrong. Like a child who refuses his dad’s help saying “I can do it myself” we humans have an inherent pride which we must come to the end of to get our Father’s assistance. The sacrificial system was provided to the Jews by God to atone for his anger at man’s sin. By coming in obedience with an acceptable offering that God commanded, demonstrating their faith, they were admitting their guilt, their need for his forgiveness, and were acknowledging His provision thus receiving pardon for their sin. Some would say that this is intolerant of other religions. Of course it is, but we need to remember that it is God who is offended by man’s disobedience and it is God’s right to stipulate how he would make restitution with us, and it is not for you and I to decide but to simply obey what he has written. To which I would ask; why would you want to invent your own way when God has already provided you a free one?
The Blood of Christ
11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All
10 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; 6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. 7Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, O God.’ ”
We have been made holy through Christ’s work
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. 18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
Who are you Lord?
I Am Perfect, My Heaven is perfect and Holy. My salvation through Christ is perfect. I AM the one who established my first covenant to reveal my Holiness, but have now done away with it by establishing my New Covenant with you which is perfect. I AM all knowing and wise, I knew that you could not keep the first covenant of the Law, so I AM the one who came to fulfill it for you in Christ. Now, all who come to me through Christ will be made perfect as well, because I AM the cleanser of consciences, the remover of sin, and the creator of new hearts and minds. I have finished my work on your behalf – once for all time; I AM completely at peace with you now in Christ. The first covenant made you remember your sin every year. Your imperfection was always before you. But in this new covenant, I have removed your guilt and will remember it no more.
I AM the embodiment of the Law, which was impossible for you to keep. You cannot do it to be good enough on your own. Without you realizing your personal sin, you will never need my salvation. I AM the fulfillment of the Temple also. In your despair I provided my sacrificial system to give you my forgiveness, grace and mercy. Only those who know they need my provision for them will receive it. In Jesus Christ, I revealed and fulfilled the Law and became the perfect sacrifice for everyone so that there is nothing more anyone can do to gain my acceptance. No more sacrifices are necessary. No more adherence to the Law. “Come to me you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest for your souls.” This is why I said “It is finished.”
The Old Testament Law and sacrificial system was just a picture of what God had in mind for all of humanity not just Israel. As we have said previously, those were just pictures and illustrations of the reality in heaven to be fulfilled by Christ for the cleansing of our souls – permanently.
Wages of sin is death – not good works
Throughout the Old Testament, God reminded us that “the soul that sins shall die.” It is only because of God’s mercy that he instituted the sacrificial system to belay the death of the sinner and eternal punishment. God called men to be priests who could mediate on behalf of sinful men with the blood of animals just as God first did in the garden when he shed the blood of the animals to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness and shame. There is no magic in the blood of the animals. It is a picture, a reminder to the worshipers that “it should have been they who died”, but that God provided a way of escape – a substitution for them, as long as they trust him and follow his instructions through faith.
A clean conscience
What would you give to have your conscience cleansed? This is the stuff religions try to deal with. Yet only God can do it right. How would a clean conscience change our life and faith? Having our minds and hearts recreated should change the way we live. We would have a life of total confidence instead of religious working, guessing and worrying about purgatory or hell. That is true freedom. That is why Jesus had to come.
More to come,