“But when Christ appeared as a High Priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”
The writer of Hebrews began to show his readers the difference between the sacrifices as types of Christ and His work under the Mosaic Law and the one final sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the reality of those types. And, he spends a lot of time on this subject because of its extreme importance in understanding the transition from law to grace.
The good things to come refers to the Church Age and the companying divine blessings, i.e. our 40 spiritual assets. One of those 40 assets provided by God is the priesthood of the believer. Jesus Christ is our Royal High Priest. (Hebrews 5:6,10) Jesus Christ represents us in Heaven before the throne of God. By becoming our High Priest, Jesus Christ became our Mediator with God. (I Timothy 2:5-6) As believers in this age, we belong to His priesthood (the Royal Priesthood). This priesthood is far superior to any that existed in the past, which means that the blessings associated with this priesthood are also far superior to any that have ever existed.
Christ as a unique High Priest was greater than any that ever existed before. And, the priests within His priesthood (believers in the Church Age) are unique as well. Jesus Christ is a Royal High Priest. Christ began His function as a High Priest once He ascended into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father. He entered Heaven into the Throne Room of God, the true Tabernacle made by God, not man.
One of the major doctrines we need to examine is “the blood of Christ.” There has been and continues to be much controversy over what this means in the Word of God. The phrase “the blood of Jesus Christ” occurs frequently and we need to understand its true meaning. The phrase, not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, launches us into this important subject. In these phrases we have two kinds of blood. The first is the blood of goats and calves and the second is the blood of Christ. The first was a type under the Mosaic Law to illustrate the Person and work of Jesus Christ (the Messiah). The second was the reality of that type in the Person and work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. This is the most basic but most important doctrine to understand if we are to understand the true meaning of the phrase “the blood of Christ.” Before we go any further, let’s make it very clear that Jesus Christ did not bleed to death on the Cross.
In the Old Testament typology, worship was always connected with blood because the blood portrayed salvation. The animal blood of the sacrifice portrayed the “blood of Christ,” which is a synonymous term for His saving work on the Cross. Animal blood represented the figurative blood of Christ, not His literal blood. The animal blood of the Old Testament portrayed the atoning work of Christ on the Cross. Inasmuch as Christ had literal blood and figurative blood, the saving work of Christ is connected with His figurative blood. He still had literal blood in His body after death. The representative analogy is now established. While the animal blood was literal, it is typology, it represented the figurative blood of Christ, which was His spiritual death on the Cross. (Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 10:19; 13:20; 1 Peter 1:2) Christ died twice on the Cross. Many times in the New Testament the word “death” pertaining to the work of Christ on the Cross is in the plural, but it was translated in the singular.
Once again, Christ did not die on the Cross by bleeding to death. (John 19:30-34) The physical death of Christ on the Cross occurred from His own free will, not from bleeding to death. (John 10:18) After His work on the Cross was finished He exhaled His last breath in which He uttered the words of Psalm 31:5, c.f. Luke 23:46. “It is finished” said by Christ on the Cross meant that the salvation work of paying for the sins of the world was completed. (John 19:30) And He then dismissed His own spirit. (Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30) Therefore, the blood of Jesus Christ is a representative analogy between the physical death of the animal and the spiritual death of Christ on the Cross being judged for our sins. (I Peter 2:24) The blood of animal sacrifices was an image pointing to the reality of the Cross. (Hebrews 9:12-14) Therefore, the blood of Christ depicts the saving work of Christ on the Cross.
The Levitical high priest had to enter into the Holy of Holies every year. But, Christ went into the true Holy of Holies once for all, having satisfied the righteousness and justice of God. The three hours of work on the Cross were a fulfillment of all the typology. Therefore, there is no longer a need for the types.
We must keep in mind that the phrase “the blood of Christ” in the Bible does not refer to the literal blood from His hands and His feet on the Cross. The “blood of Jesus Christ” refers to Christ bearing our sins; Christ taking our place; Christ becoming a substitute for us. There are four doctrines of salvation (soteriology) depicted by the blood of Christ: 1) Expiation - Revelation 1:5 2) Redemption - Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 9:12 3) Justification - Romans 5:9 4) Sanctification - Hebrews 13:12.
You and I are born spiritually dead and possess a sin nature, but Christ was born spiritually alive without a sin nature or Adam’s sin. Christ also lived a perfect life free from personal sin. Since He was perfect, He was qualified to be our Redeemer. Christ died twice on the Cross, and He was very much alive during one death because He kept screaming “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The problem is that most people do not distinguish between the two deaths of Christ. The blood of Christ refers to His work on the Cross for three hours, always alive while bearing our sins and being judged for us. Failing to see that, some fail to realize the impact and the implication related to their own salvation. The Bible calls spiritual death “his own blood” or “the blood of Christ,” which designates the fact that Christ was fulfilling the typology of the sacrifice of animals.
What were the believers in Jerusalem doing wrong? They were going into the Temple and offering animal sacrifices when the animal sacrifices as types had been fulfilled. The year was 67 AD, but more than 30 years earlier the typology had been fulfilled completely. Therefore they were in reversionism and “crucifying the Son of God afresh and putting Him to open shame” by this practice. In other words, they in effect mocked, ridiculed, and blasphemed the Lord Jesus Christ by going back to the types when the types had been fulfilled in Christ, once for all.
One of the results of the fulfillment of these types was that Christ secured eternal redemption for believers on the Cross. Redemption is the saving work of Christ on the Cross toward sin. In other words, the saving work of Christ on the Cross toward God was propitiation, toward man was reconciliation, but toward sin it was redemption. Redemption refers to the work of Christ in purchasing our freedom from “the slave market of sin.” We are born in “the slave market of sin” because we are born with a sin nature and Adam’s original sin. Therefore we are born spiritually dead. Christ was born outside “the slave market of sin,” by means of the Virgin Birth. He therefore bought our spiritual freedom from the penalty of sin by means of redemption. (Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:14; Psalm 34:22; Galatians 3:13; I Peter 1:18-19)
The Biblical definition of the word redeemed is to be ransomed. There are three Greek words for redemption: “agorazo” meaning to buy, “exagorazo” meaning “to buy out of or remove from sale” and “lutroo” meaning to release on receipt of ransom or payment. Christ has fulfilled all three. (Romans 7:14) The believer is also redeemed from the Mosaic Law.
The doctrine of redemption was communicated in the Old Testament by the shedding of blood. (Hebrews 9:22; 9:12) The Old Testament believers understood and applied this doctrine. (Job 19:25-26) The “blood of Christ” was the ransom money or the purchase price for our freedom or redemption. The blood of Christ depicts His saving work on the Cross, His spiritual death and being judged for our sins. (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; I Peter 1:18-19)
The results of redemption: a) deliverance from the Mosaic Law (Galatians 3:13; 4:4-6) b) redemption provides forgiveness for sins (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:15; Isaiah 44:22) c) redemption provides the basis for justification (Romans 3:24) d) redemption provides the basis for sanctification (Romans 5:25-27) e) redemption provides the basis for the believer’s eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:15) f) redemption is the basis for the Strategic Victory of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Angelic Conflict (Colossians 2:14-15; Hebrew 2:14-15) g) redemption of the body in resurrection is the ultimate status of the Royal Family of God. (Romans 8:23; Ephesians 4:30)
The Old Testament practice of the “kinsman redeemer” is a perfect example of how Christ redeems us from the Law and from sin. Certain requirements had to be met in order for a person to free someone from slavery. The redeemer had to be a relative, he had to be able to redeem by meeting the purchase price and he had to be willing to redeem the person in slavery. (Book of Ruth)
By taking on humanity, Jesus Christ became a “kinsman” to all mankind. (John 1:1-3, 14) In order to meet the purchase price, Christ had to be perfect (no sin of His own to pay for). He was born of a virgin, therefore, He had no sin nature and He lived a sinless life, which qualified Him to meet the purchase price for our sin. (Matthew 1:23, I Timothy 3:16; Romans 5:8; II Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 2:9-11, 4:15: I Peter 1:18) Christ was also willing to redeem us. He was obedient to the Father’s plan for salvation and gave His life freely. Christ even restricted the use of the power of His deity (doctrine of Kenosis) and used the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish all of this for us. (Philippians 2:5-8; Romans 5:19, Luke 22:42, 23:46)
The results of redemption are: