Christ Appears For Us
Eternal God, grant me grace to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.
Read Hebrews 9:23–28
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Christian hope is a multifaceted truth. It gives us strength for daily living, but here it has a heavenly dimension. No matter what may happen on earth, a believer can be confident because everything is settled in heaven.
These verses summarize the contrast between the old way of relating to God and the new way in Jesus Christ. The primary significance of the former is that it was a copy of the latter, intended, by its very ineffectiveness, to be a visible, acted prophecy of better things to come. The contrast between the Levitical high priest’s severely limited access to the Most Holy Place and Christ’s unhindered access to “heaven itself” (24) is particularly striking. There is a clear emphasis on the “once for all” (26) nature of Christ’s sacrificial ministry, in contrast with the need for constant repetition of animal sacrifices under the old covenant. The shedding of his blood was the final, ultimate sacrifice. It brought to an end the need for any more sacrificial shedding of blood. The human predicament remains the same (27), but by Christ’s death all sin is dealt with for all believers, of all races, for all time, so that we may face both physical death and judgment with confidence in him. “It is finished” indeed (John 19:30).
Focus especially on Christ’s “appearances” in these verses. “But he has appeared once for all” (26), where “appear” means that which was hidden has now been made visible (in the incarnation; John 1:14). He now appears “for us in God’s presence” (24), where he intercedes this very day on our behalf, pleading our case before the Father (Heb. 7:25). He will “appear a second time” (28), when “every eye will see him” (Rev. 1:7). Consider in each case the purpose of his appearing and thank him. What does it mean to you to be among “those who are waiting for him” (28)? Verses 27 and 28 together form a good brief summary of the Gospel; they are well worth memorizing and sharing.
What truths can take from this passage that will help you in your faith-sharing?
Lord, may I be a transparent transmitter of the Gospel today.