Questions for Littles: Who came as High Priest of the good things to come (v11)? What kind of tabernacle does He minister in? What as not used to make it? Indeed, what is it not a part of at all? With what did He enter the Most Holy Place (v12)? How often has He entered there? What kind of redemption has He obtained? What blood used to be splattered (v13)? To what ashes did this blood witness? What did all of this cleanse? By whose blood are we cleansed (v14)? Through what (Whom!) did Christ offer Himself to God? What does His blood cleanse? From what does His blood cleanse our consciences? Of what does this make Him Mediator (v15)? By what means? For the transgressions under which covenant does v15 specifically say Christ made redemption? Who from that covenant received the promised eternal inheritance?In the Scripture for the sermon this week, the Lord said something amazing about the tabernacle and sacrificial system of the Old Testament. He called them dead works!
Why were they dead? Because they couldn’t accomplish the cleansing of sin. It required Jesus’s death as the Mediator of the new covenant, just to provide redemption for the transgressions under the first covenant.
By this definition, all of our works are dead. Nothing we do can ever atone for sin. Nothing we do can ever provide redemption. This is why when God was talking about how our being made right with Him is all about Jesus, in 6:1 He called the first part of the foundation of the faith, “repentance from dead works and faith toward God.”
That is to say: the very first foundation of our faith is giving up the idea that we can ever do anything to make up for our sin, and holding on to Jesus (as the only One) and His death (as the only thing) that could ever take away the guilt and uncleanness of our sin.
And every time the Lord adds a person to His church, He holds up a giant sign of this fact: “This is how I promise to save you!” What is that sign?
Well, it’s not the sprinkling of goat’s blood. That was an Old Covenant sign that reminded the people that the same goat’s blood was on the altar the inner room of the tent—that they were represented by blood sacrifice before God.
And, it’s not the cutting away of flesh in a bloody ceremony that reminds us that we need the deadness of our hearts removed, because the human man who fathered us deserved for us to be dead sinners.
Now, when the Lord adds someone to His church, He declares “This is how I promise to save you!” by the splattering of water, not blood. The blood has been spilled once, and the Lamb who was slain is our Mercy Seat to this day, sitting upon the throne in glory!
But the water is splattered down here on earth to remind us that He gives us an interest in His sacrifice, a participation in His sacrifice, not by a priest on earth splattering us with blood, but by our Great High Priest in heaven pouring out His Spirit upon us!
Now, nothing would make less sense than trusting in a sign that says “Trust in Christ!!” But to those who trust in Him, nothing is more comforting than a sign that shouts, “This is how I promise to save you!” Let us refuse to hope in anything else!
What are some things that we slide into treating as if they keep us right with God? How does remembering your baptism help steer you away from that?Suggested Songs: ARP78B “O Come, My People” or HB198 “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”