Bible Reading: Hebrews 9:23-28, NKJV
Perfection. Have you ever seen it? Sure, we may look at a snowflake, a flower or a child’s smile and we feel that we are looking at perfection. In our mind’s eye, it may seem that way, but that snowflake will soon dissolve, the flower is missing a petal, and the child will certainly have his share of misbehavior. The fact of the matter is that in this world, it is very rare—impossible, even—to find something without spot, without blemish, without defect.
The same can be said of the Old Testament sacrifices—they were not perfect. They did not purify anything and never truly dealt with sin and judgment. But when we look at the sacrifice of Jesus, the most pivotal moment in history, we witness something that is faultless. Hebrews 9:23-28 shows us that Jesus’ sacrifice was perfect.
First, Jesus’ sacrifice purified everything—even itself (vv. 23-24). Christ’s blood not only purified mankind, but heaven as well. Why heaven? Was it corrupted because of Satan’s presence or defiled because of God’s wrath? No! Christ’s blood had to cover everything, and therefore even the way into heaven must be covered and enshrouded with blood in order to cover man as he comes to God. The sacrifice of Jesus is what makes it possible for us to enter into heaven. We have been cleansed through the blood of Jesus on the cross.
Second, Jesus’ sacrifice does not need to be repeated (vv. 25-26). Every year under the old covenant, the High Priest had to make atonement for the sins of the nation on Yom Kippur. However, since the blood of animals is incapable of permanently atoning for sin, the High Priest had to repeat the sacrifice year after year. Not true with Jesus’ sacrifice. He never had to repeat it because it was a perfect sacrifice—the shed blood of a Man for men. He died once for all.
Finally, Jesus’ sacrifice is perfect because it took away judgment (vv. 27-28). There is an old joke that says that the only two sure things in life are death and taxes. There’s certainly some truth to that statement. Man has an appointment with death that he cannot avoid and he must keep. Man dies once—not twice (except for Lazarus who died twice, and Elijah and Enoch who did not see death). And just as man dies once and then is judged, Christ died once to take away our judgment. That is the point of Hebrews 9:23-28.
Jesus’ sacrifice was so perfect that it purified everything from you and I to heaven itself; it never had to be repeated, and took away our judgment.
Take a moment today to appreciate the incredible impact of Christ’s death and resurrection; the purifying final act that took away judgment for those that call upon His name. What a joy to place our eternal hope in Him!
If you’ve never experienced the peace and love that only comes from a relationship with Jesus, visit PeaceWithGod.net. There you, too, will find the hope of Jesus through His perfect sacrifice.
Scripture Reference: Hebrews 9:23-28
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are [b]copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another.
26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.