May 15, 2011

Monday after the Third Sunday after Easter


Lectionary

Morning – Ps.85, Ex. 25:1-11, 17-22, Heb. 9:15
Evening – Ps. 77, Is. 45:20, Eph. 1:1-14


Commentary

Hebrews 9:1-14 brought us to understand the finality and full sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice.  His offering of Himself on the cross pays in full the price of our sins and restores us to God.  The animal sacrifices and ceremonies of the Old Testament could never accomplish this, but God can and did in Christ.  Thus we are free from the dead works of the ceremonial law.  Attempts to continue or revive them are actually insults to Christ, which is why Galatians 1:6 says such people have left Christ for another gospel.  This mornings reading continues to insist that the Old Covenant, was temporary, and has been fulfilled in the work of Christ and in calling together the New Israel (Church) in the New Covenant.  The point of Hebrews 9:15-28 is that Christ did not come to continue the Old Covenant but to be the mediator of the New Covenant.

This point is made first by comparing the Old Covenant to a will, which takes effect at the death of the person making the will.  The point is that the promises of the Old Testament become the possession of God’s people at the death of the One making the will, God.  Thus, when Christ died, the promises became ours.   The Church no longer lives in anticipation of the promises, but in the reality of them.

The point is made second by showing that the people and Tabernacle of the Old Covenant were “purified” with the blood of animals, but the New Covenant and its Tabernacle, which is the true Tabernacle in Heaven, is purified with the blood of Christ Himself.  The old Tabernacle was a pattern (copy) of the true Tabernacle (9:23), and Christ entered into the true Tabernacle and holy place with His own blood to bring us into God.

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