Sunday, August 18, 2013

How the tabernacle pictures the accomplishment of salvation

Hebrews 9:11-12 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 

For the past couple of days we have been considering how the tabernacle of the Old Testament pictures for us Jesus Christ our salvation.  Yesterday we considered the first picture of how the tabernacle pictures the act of salvation - the cross.  In today's post we turn our attention to Hebrews 9:12-28 to understand how the writer uses the tabernacle in a more contrasting way to point the reader to all that Jesus accomplished.  The Gospels record the six hours of Jesus crucifixion, however God revealed the Book of Acts and 21 New Testament letters, plus Revelation to unfold all that Jesus accomplished! What Hebrews 9:12-28 will do is give us a summary of the key accomplishments of Jesus Christ at both Calvary and the empty tomb.

What Jesus Christ accomplished - Hebrews 9:12-28
1. Eternal Redemption. 9:12-13
The word "redemption" is an umbrella term that describes the entirety of what Jesus came to accomplish.  It speaks of "purchasing from the slavery of sin".  In contrast to the blood of bulls and goats offered at the tabernacle, which pointed to what would be the ulitmate accomplishment redemptive work, Jesus' Christ Himself accomplished the necessary work.  His blood satisfied the demands of wrath and once and for all paid the price of salvation, sufficient for all and applied to all who believe. (1 Timothy 2:4; 4:10; 1 John 2:2; 2 Peter 3:9-10)

2. Cleansing of the Conscience. Hebrews 9:14-15
The cross not only provided redemption for sinners, but also cleansing of the conscience.  
Certain sacrifices in the Old Testament were designed to be a means of restoring fellowship between the worshipper and God.  However there was one thing they could not do: cleanse the conscience.  

3. Adoption. Hebrews 9:16-20
Once a sinner has believed on Jesus and repented of their sins, they are adopted as a son or daughter of God. (Romans 8:16) The wonder of adoption is that the Father treats the child of God in the same manner as the Son, meaning that Jesus in His humanity becomes our elder brother, and we his co-heirs, seated in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 2:5-8)

4. Forgiveness. Hebrews 9:21-22
Truly the child of God is adopted by faith into the family of God.  The relationship between God and the believer is fully functioning.  Legally the saint of God is declared righteous because of the credited righteousness of Jesus Christ.  This one time, declared judicial act is called justification.  Like a white linen robe of the priests who served in the tabernacle, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is placed like a robe over us to cover us before a Holy righteous God so that upon the reception of it by saving faith, the Father declares us righteous or "justified".  

5. Representation. Hebrews 9:23-26
Yet another accomplishment of Jesus Christ is that of representation.  Following His resurrection from the dead and ascension into Heaven, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God.  Much like the priests in the Old Testament, Jesus represents us.  However unlike those priests, who died and had to be replaced, Jesus functions as our Heavenly Melchizedek, forever representing us. (Hebrews 7:24-25)

6. Preservation of salvation. Hebrews 9:27-28
The one final accomplishment mentioned in this glorious chapter is that of the preservation of salvation.  The promise of scripture is that all true believers will endure to the end.  Jesus will never leave nor forsake. (Hebrews 13:5)  Furthermore Romans 5:9 tells us that the child of God is justified by His blood and saved from the wrath of God that will be revealed at His appearing.  The tabernacle points beyond itself to the only One who could guarantee such a list of accomplishments - Jesus Christ.