Christ's Better Sacrifice Outline - Hebrews 9:13-28
Before we turn to Hebrews 9:13-28 let’s begin in Amos 8. The LORD gives Amos a vision where he is shown a bowl of summer fruit and he is asked, “What do you see?” Amos responds, “A basket of summer fruit.”
What does this vision mean?
Will there be a season of plenty for the people of God?
Will there be a season of blessing, prosperity and abundance for God’s people?
The Lord interprets this vision for Amos and it does not speak of prosperity, plenty, or blessing for God’s people. God says in verse 2, “The end has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass by them. The songs of the temple shall become wailing's in that day.”
It is very clear that this is not a vision about prosperity but of judgment. When Amos sees this he cries out, “So many bodies! They are thrown everywhere!” (3) Amos laments that the destruction and loss of life will be so great.
Then He cries out to the people, ‘Silent!’
What were the people doing that was bringing this severe judgment upon God’s people?
What were they saying that made the prophet cry out, ‘Silent’? There are two reasons.
First, the people needed to give their attention to Amos and listen to what he says. Verse four says, “Hear this…”.
Secondly, the people need to stop speaking sinfully against the LORD. We will read, “Hear this...you who...say…”.
We see this inverses 4-6, “Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, ‘When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat?’”
In these verses we see four sins that were bringing God’s judgment upon the people.
The needy and the poor have been neglected.
Greed and selfishness abounds.
God’s commands, the Sabbath Day, and the true worship was being perverted.
The people of God are sold for goods and profit.
After the LORD speaks about these sins we read in Amos 8:7, “The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: ‘Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.”
We’re not just told that the LORD will not forget any of their sinful deeds.
We are told that the LORD has sworn to not forget any of these sins.
He has promised to remember them.
He has given an oath that He would remember them all!
What a terrifying promise and oath that the LORD has sworn!
There is something else that makes this even more terrifying?
God will judge them for their sins and their bodies will be strewn in the streets.
But after this happens the LORD will not forget their sins (Matthew 10:28).
We have seen something similar to this in the book of Hebrews. Do you remember Hebrews 3:16-18 which says, “Who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?”
Even though our bodies will die we will still face judgment. Our text today in Hebrews 9:27 speaks of this when it says, “It is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment.”
He will not forget any sins, or iniquity or any transgression.
Every sin done in thought or word or deed will be remembered and judged by the LORD.
Our kids have been learning about these things. Kids, do you remember last weeks Catechism Question?
“Can anyone keep the law of God perfectly?”
Do you remember the answer to that question?
“Since the fall, no mere human has been able to keep the law of God perfectly, but consistently breaks it in thought, word and deed.”
We see something else in Amos 8:7 that we should consider. We read, “The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob…”. What does it mean that the LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob? There are two possible meanings.
First, this statement may be a reference to the sinful pride of His people Jacob. The LORD swears that He will judge thepride and arrogance that Israel because they’ve been defiant towards Him and His Word.
Amos 6:8speaks of thiswhen the LORD says, “I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his strongholds, and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.” If this is the case, the LORD would be promising that He would judge His people for every sin that they had committed against Him and His Word.
However, there is a second point that we can consider. The words the ‘pride of Jacob’ could refer to an oath that God made with Himself to deal with His peoples sin.
We can see this happening in Amos 6:8.We read, “The Lord God has sworn by Himself, declared the LORD, the God of Hosts, ‘I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his strongholds, and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.’”
Something similar happened in Hebrews 6:13.We read, “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself…”. In Hebrews God was swearing to fulfill His promises to Abraham!
If this is the meaning in Amos 8:7 the LORD would be making a promise that He would provide salvation for them. He would provide atonement for their sins. Because of God’s grace and mercy sinful people can have hope!
In Psalm 47 God’s people are described as the ‘pride of Jacob whom God loves’. However, they have sinned and broken covenant with the LORD. Therefore, God would send His Son, the ‘pride of Jacob’,who is the Son that the Father loves and is well pleased with (Luke 3:22 – ‘You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.’).
God will deal with our sin in one of two ways.
He will either judge the sinner where every sin will be remembered
OR He will deal with every sin that that person has committed in the death of Jesus Christ.
Amos 8 should help us appreciate the Good News that we will read about in Hebrews 9:13-28.
In Hebrews 9:13-28 that God has provided a way for His people to be forgiven from all of the sins. We will see three things emphasized in our text.
First, Christ’s sacrifice is more efficacious than animal sacrifices.
Second, Christ’s sacrifice was necessary.
Third, Christ’s sacrifice is the final sacrifice which addresses sin once and for all.
The Efficacy Of Christ’s Sacrifice
In Hebrews 9:13-14we see the efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice. We read, “For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”
Amos spoke to a people who despised the Sabbath Day and the ordinances of the LORD. They despised these things even though these Old Testament sacrifices could accomplish outward sanctification.
Instead of obeying and being grateful for what the LORD had provided these sinful people said, “‘When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat?’”
These people were wise in business, but they were fools in matters pertaining to sanctification and holiness.
They desired to make a profit from the buying and selling of God’s people; but they were unaware that they were slaves to sin and liable to God.
The commands of God were a burdensome task for them; rather than a blessing which should have been done with thanksgiving.
Therefore, God said, “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.”
Those who honored God knew that there would come a day when God would provide a more efficacious sacrifice. We see this in our text this morning in the words, “If the blood of goats and bulls sanctify the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”
The Necessity Of Christ’s Sacrifice.
In Hebrews 9:15-23 we see the absolute necessity of the sacrifice that Christ offered to forgive His people of their great sins. We read, “Therefore Heis the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance(not judgment and wrath), since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant(from the sins that are never forgotten). For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”
In Amos 8:7 the LORD promised to never forget any of their sinful deeds; however, here we see that the LORD has established a New Covenant through which He would forgive sinners and give them an eternal inheritance.
This happened because a death has occurred that established a New Covenant. The death of Jesus Christ upon the cross redeems a person from every sin that was ever committed under the first covenant.
In Exodus 24 we read about the day that the First Covenant was established. On that day Moses took the blood of the animal sacrifices and sprinkled it upon the people and other things. But even after this was done the people were told that they could not draw near (24:2). But because of Jesus and His better sacrifice sinners can now be forgiven all of our sins and draw near to God.
The Finality Of Christ’s Sacrifice
In Hebrews 9:24-28 we see that the sacrifice of Christ never needs to be repeated again. His death settled our accounts, granted forgiveness of our sins and givesus Christ’s righteousness. We read, “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
In Amos 8:7God promised to never forget the sins of the people. We saw that God would judged themfor their sins and they would be convicted of every sin they had ever committed. But now, Christ appears in heaven before the Father for us! He offers His sacrifice one time to put away sins.
No amount of animal sacrifices could save a person from their sins and deliver them from God’s wrath.
We were reminded in Amos 8:7 that “The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: ‘Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.” The LORD had sworn, made an oath, and made a promisethat He would remember every sin that the people had ever been committed. But because of Jesus Christ and His death there is forgiveness and salvation to all who repent of their sins, believe on Him and trust Him for their salvation.
Psalm 69:30-32 describes how we should respond to this Good News, “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, ‘Let your hearts revive.’”
Why would anyone ignore the grace and mercy of God?
Why will so many ignore the danger that is at hand and sit here even now and wish this Sabbath day would be over already so they can continue with their plans, their priorities, and their purposes?
If the people in Amos 8 were so foolish for thinking so little about the Sabbath and the sacrifices in the Old Testament, how much worse is it if we ignore what Jesus has done for us?
Hebrews 10:28-29 speaks of this, “Anyone who set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the bolld of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?”
We were told in our text that “Christ has entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.”
Is He mediating for you before the Father?
Is there a reason why you would not respond to the Good News that has been given to you?
The Puritan Richard Baxter once pleaded with his congregation saying, “How can you make so light of heaven and hell? Your bodies will soon lie in the dust, and angels or devils will presently seize upon your souls, and every man and woman of you all will shortly be among other company, and in another case than now you are; you will dwell in those houses but a little longer, you will work in your shops but a little longer; you will sit in those seats, and dwell on this earth, but a little longer; you will see with those eyes, and hear with those ears, and speak with those tongues, but a little longer; till the resurrection day; and can you forget this?”