For salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him
Hebrews 9:11-28 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things having come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by hands, that is, 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 time, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the violations that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where there is a covenant, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when people are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. 18 Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. 22 And almost all things are cleansed with blood, according to the Law, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
23 Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these things, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made by hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
Hebrews 10:26-31 says: If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Many people fear death because of what is unknown. Today’s text ends saying: Just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. Rather than fear what is unknown, As believers in Christ we eagerly await what we do know. As the psalmist says in Psalm 23:4: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me. Death is nothing to fear for the believer. It is merely a shadow between this life and the eternal life with Him that we eagerly await.
For the unbeliever, is it really the unknown that causes fear, or is it also what is known for them? As the text says: If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment. It seems to me that most people who deny that God exists, do so not because of a lack of evidence or knowledge. Romans 1:18-20 says: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. A person cannot logically look at creation, at its magnitude and its intricacy and deny that it is evidence of a creator. Could all that we see and all that is unseen really have come to be through a series of random accidents? Would an explosion be likely to set the earth in perfect balance, neither to near nor to far from the sun. Picture the results of the explosions that we see on the TV from the war in Ukraine and imagine that they would create ornate structures rather than destroy them. Why do people, with all the evidence of creation, deny God? Because to acknowledge Him makes them accountable to Him.
Again, the text says: It is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment. Philippians 2:10-11 says: At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. There is a choice for each person to make. We can either bow to the Lord now with honor and an eager expectation of what is to come, or we can bow in fear when the day of judgment of sin comes. In John 3:16-21 Jesus says: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.”
Thank You Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. Because of Your great love, I am judged in You, not by You. I am redeemed through Your sacrifice on the cross. I gladly bow my knee and I eagerly await what is to come. Amen.