Lesson 23 | Sabbath, 3 December 2022
“For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:26.
“When the high priest entered the holy place, representing the place where our High Priest is now pleading, and offered sacrifice on the altar, no propitiatory sacrifices were offered without. While the high priest was interceding within, every heart was to be bowed in contrition before God, pleading for the pardon of transgression. Type met antitype in the death of Christ, the Lamb slain for the sins of the world. The great High Priest has made the only sacrifice that will be of any value….” –That I May Know Him, p. 73.
Need to repeat the sacrifice
- What did the Levitical high priest have to do every year? How was Jesus’ sacrifice totally different from this?
Hebrews 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others.
Leviticus 16:29, 34 And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:… 34And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the Lord com- manded Moses.
“Christ did not rend His robe, but His soul was rent. His garment of human flesh was rent as He hung on the cross, the Sin-bearer of the race. By His suffering and death a new and living way was opened. There is no longer a wall of partition between Jew and Gentile. ‘By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.’ This enabled Him to proclaim on the cross, with a clear and triumphant voice, ‘It is finished.’ ‘Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with the blood of others; for then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.’ ‘This man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.’ Christ entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. ‘Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.’ He has qualified Himself to be not only man’s representative, but his advocate, so that every soul, if he will, may say, I have a Friend at court, a High Priest who is touched with the feeling of my infirmities.” –Review and Herald, June 12, 1900.
- What did the high priest have to take with him and offer to enter the most holy place?
Hebrews 9:7, 22 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:… 22And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
“In His intercession as our Advocate, Christ needs no man’s virtue, no man’s intercession. Christ is the only Sinbearer, the only sin offering. Prayer and confession are to be offered only to Him who has entered once for all into the holy place.” –That I May Know Him, p. 73.
Reason for the repetition
- In the earthly sacrificial service, why was it necessary to repeat the sacrifice for the cleansing of the sanctuary every year?
Hebrews 10:2; 9:13, 14 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins…. 9:13For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
“The gospel of Christ reflects glory upon the Jewish age. It sheds light upon the whole Jewish economy, and gives significance to the ceremonial law. The tabernacle, or temple, of God on earth was a pattern of the original in heaven. All the ceremonies of the Jewish law were prophetic, typical of mysteries in the plan of redemption.
“The rites and ceremonies of the law were given by Christ Himself, who, enshrouded in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, was the leader of the hosts of Israel; and this law should be treated with great respect, for it is sacred. Even after it was no longer to be observed, Paul presented it before the Jews in its true position and value, showing its place in the plan of redemption and its relation to the work of Christ; and the great apostle pronounces this law glorious, worthy of its divine Originator.” –(Signs of the Times, July 29, 1886) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1095.
No need to offer sacrifices for Himself
- What great offering did the Son of God present instead of offering some other victim? Did He need to offer sacrifices for Himself to enter the most holy place, as did the earthly high priest?
Hebrews 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
1 Peter 1:18, 19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
- Why did Jesus not need to repeat His sacrifice, as the Levitical high priest had to do every year?
Hebrews 9:26, 28 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself…. 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
“Behold the apostle preaching in the synagogue at Corinth, reasoning from the writings of Moses and the prophets, and bringing his hearers down to the advent of the promised Messiah. Listen as he makes plain the work of the Redeemer as the great high priest of mankind–the One who through the sacrifice of His own life was to make atonement for sin once for all, and was then to take up His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. Paul’s hearers were made to understand that the Messiah, for whose advent they had been longing, had already come; that His death was the antitype of all the sacrificial offerings, and that His ministry in the sanctuary in heaven was the great object that cast its shadow backward and made clear the ministry of the Jewish priesthood.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 246.
Assurance of forgiveness and redemption
- What, then, do we have in Him and in His blood? What does His one sacrifice ensure His followers forever?
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
“Our great High Priest completed the sacrificial offering of Himself when He suffered without the gate. Then a perfect atonement was made for the sins of the people. Jesus is our Advocate, our High Priest, our Intercessor. Our present position therefore is like that of the Israelites, standing in the outer court, waiting and looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” –That I May Know Him, p. 73.
One sufficient sacrifice
- What does Jesus’ one offering mean? For whom was His sacrifice effective?
Hebrews 10:10; 5:9 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…. 5:9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“Our Saviour is in the sanctuary pleading in our behalf. He is our interceding High Priest, making an atoning sacrifice for us, pleading in our behalf the efficacy of His blood. Parents should seek to represent this Saviour to their children to establish in their minds the plan of salvation, how that because of transgression of the law of God, Christ became our Sinbearer. The fact that the only-begotten Son of God gave His life because of man’s transgression, to satisfy justice and to vindicate the honor of God’s law, should be constantly kept before the minds of children and youth. The object of this great sacrifice should also be kept before them; for it was to uplift fallen man degraded by sin that this great sacrifice was made. Christ suffered in order that through faith in Him our sins might be pardoned. He became man’s substitute and surety, Himself taking the punishment, though all undeserving, that we who deserved it might be free, and return to our allegiance to God through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. He is our only hope of salvation.” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 369.
What Christ suffered
“Justice demanded the sufferings of man; but Christ rendered the sufferings of a God. He needed no atonement of suffering for Himself; all His sufferings were for us; all His merits and holiness were open to fallen man, presented as a gift.” –The Faith I Live By, p. 102.