Monday, February 05, 2018

2018.02.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 9:1-10

Questions for Littles: What did even the first covenant have (v1)? What was prepared (v2)? What was in the first part? What was it called? What was the part behind the second veil called (v3)? What was in that part (v4)? With what metal were those things covered? What was in the ark? What was above the ark (v5)? Into which part did the priests always go (v6)? Who went into the second part (v7)? How often did he go? What did he bring with him? For whom did he offer this blood? Who was teaching all of this (v8)? Which way was still not revealed while the first tent was still standing? Who could not be cleansed (“perfected”) by these gifts and sacrifices (v9)? What part of him, in particular, could not be cleansed? For what purposes could he be cleansed (v10)? Until what time?
In the Scripture for the sermon this week, we heard much about the first tabernacle. It existed in two parts, both of which were holy, and sacrifices were required to cleanse a priest in order to go into either part.

The first part was set up kind of like a receiving room, with the lamp stand, the table, and the show bread. Here, properly consecrated priests could come and go as necessary to keep this outer room properly maintained.

But the whole point was to keep a way open to the Holy of Holies. That outer room had to be maintained properly all year long in anticipation of the one day each year the High Priest would pass through it to apply the blood of the atonement to the mercy seat—the lid of the ark—in the Holy of Holies.

But there were several shortcomings here. First, there was the need for the atoning blood and the incense to make a cloud of sweet smoke that would fill the inner room and hide the High Priest from Him who sat enthroned upon the cherubim.

And even the atoning blood could not cleanse the conscience. It was appointed by God to permit the priest to perform all of the rituals described in the Law, but could it make a man right with God? God required perfect obedience, and how could a baby sheep take the penalty of a sinful man who deserves to be punished in his eternal soul?

By commanding this design, the Holy Spirit was saying that as long as the first tabernacle stood, the way to the true Holy of Holies was closed. God could still be worshiped, and Christ could still be hoped in. But it was absolutely clear that only Christ Himself truly opens the way to being right with God and at peace with Him.

Dear Christian, though our worship is simpler and with less visible glory, we too will be greatly mistaken if we think that it is our actions that bring us to God. Our actions have value only as given by Christ, who alone brings us to God in Himself.
Why do we do what we do in worship? How are we made acceptable to God?
Suggested Songs: ARP24 “The Earth and the Riches” or HB368 “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”

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