Hebrews 9-10
(The Mediator)
December 18th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.

- Hebrews 10:19-21 (MSG)

Summary of Chapters

These two chapters form the center of Hebrews. Chapter 9 wraps up the topic of the High Priest and also begins the topic of The Mediator. Chapter 10 continues and concludes the discussion of the Mediator and begins the final section of Hebrews, which describes the superiority of faith.

The first part of chapter 9 describes the greater glory of the new order led by Christ. The author describes the original tabernacle and its articles that were prepared by the Israelites, as described in Exodus. The main articles and their placement were described in Exodus 25, 37, and 40.

The remainder of chapter 9 begins a description of the role of Jesus as The Mediator, including an explanation of the significance of his death and a description of his entrance into heaven. Chapter 10 concludes the topic of The Mediator by emphasizing the importance of Jesus offering himself as the sacrifice (1).

The author explains that the old system of sacrifice was just “a shadow of things to come,” but Jesus is the real thing:

    Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

    “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
    with burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you were not pleased.
    Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
    I have come to do your will, my God’(Psalm 40:6-8).”

    First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    - Hebrews 10:5-10 (NIV)

The author concludes this topic with the promise of forgiveness, quoting Jeremiah 31:34 when he says “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” The final section of chapter 10 initiates a discussion on the superiority of faith. The author encourages the people to persevere and to help one another with their faith.

Reflection and Application

So why did God define a whole detailed tabernacle and system of sacrifice if he knew that one day he would replace it with the Christ? Perhaps he did it so that we would have a better understanding of the role of Jesus. These are topics that are worth exploring, but could be discussed endlessly.

The more important point is to understand that Jesus came for us - born of the Virgin Mary on the day that we celebrate each December. He came to be with us so that we know he understands our pain and he came to serve as a mediator to the Father. He is one of us, yet part of God. He is our defense lawyer and also serves the time, allowing himself to be taken away in handcuffs to accept the penalty for our sins. We can reach out to him anytime to confess and be renewed. We only need to believe and take advantage of the offer.

"I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day (Peace on Earth)", Performed live by Casting Crowns

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. Has anyone (besides Jesus) ever taken a punishment for you (either on purpose or because of some miscarriage of justice)?
    2. Why do you think that God defined a whole detailed system of sacrifice and then replaced it with Jesus?
    3. Are you ready to go before Jesus with your confession and be renewed today (again)?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we know you have a purpose for all of your plans. Help us to accept your will and confess to your Son, Jesus.

    Prayer Concern
    Those who are incarcerated


    (1) Guthrie, Dr. Donald, The Letter to the Hebrews, An Introduction and Commentary, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester England, 1986 p.58-59

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: Hebrews 11-13 (Superiority of Faith – and the Hall of Fame)

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