REDEMPTION OF THE TRANSGRESSIONS
Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How 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? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
It was prophesied to Daniel that when Messiah was anointed (which was announced at Christ’s first recorded public reading – see Luke 4:18), there would be a complete finishing of the transgression, and an end made of sins. Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed this to have been accomplished from his cross! John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
But what about the sins of those under the old covenant? Their covenant was one that required their obedience in order to receive carnal blessing in earthly places! There was always an “if” in their promised blessings from the Lord God. Deuteronomy 28:1 And it shall come to pass, IF thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, IF thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
Yet it was not possible that even one single sin was cleansed under the old covenant! Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. The animal life contained in their blood would never sustain the ordeal of the cleansing of sin and transgressions. Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Well do we sing, “What can wash away my sin?” And, “What can make me whole again?” The only answer is, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus!” Hebrews 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first (covenant), that he may establish the second (covenant). 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Then how was anyone cleansed of sin in the Old Testament days? In the exact same way one is saved under the new covenant! By believing in Messiah – the Lord Jesus Christ! There is only one way of salvation! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
For it was his cross that ended all transgression and that cleansed every sin of every believer, past, present or future! Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Hebrews 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us (or, ‘apart from us’), should not be made perfect.
But we must not state that the obedience to the law did nothing. For the, “How much more” of our verse fourteen in our context would be meaningless. If the old covenant did absolutely nothing, then all we are left with is just saying, “Christ was better than nothing!” But that is not the case. Therefore the writer of Hebrews can state, “How much more shall the blood of Christ…”
So just what did the obedience of the old covenant accomplish since it did nothing to purge sin and transgression? The apostle relates that to us in verse thirteen. The killing and burning of the red heifer, whose ashes were mingled with water sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: It did provide a ceremonial cleansing for the restoration of external worship!
Numbers 19:9 And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin. 11 He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. 12 He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. 13 Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.
As has been said, the law was a good “schoolmaster,” bringing us to Christ! But it could not do so without the shedding of blood. And this was only to the ceremonial cleansing of the flesh, in order to restore the external worship of the Jewish community. But Christ’s blood removed all moral and spiritual defilement, in order to restore all believers of every nation to spiritual worship. Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Therefore, as we have seen the necessity of his ascension – Hebrews 8:4; the necessity of the new covenant – Hebrews 8:9,10,13; the necessity of the new tabernacle – Hebrews 9:8,11,12,24; so now we are brought to see the necessity of Christ’s death! Along with verses sixteen and seventeen of our context, also consider these verses: John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
The Lord God has designed nature to reveal the necessity of life through death. No one would take a fresh ear of corn, bury it and expect it to do anything except rot in the ground! While it is ‘green,’ it is ‘corn on the cob.’ But only when it dies does it become ‘seed.’ And as it was not ‘good’ for the first Adam to ‘be alone,’ (Genesis 2:18), so the last Adam, (our Lord Jesus Christ), should have his bride – the church – so as not to “abide alone.” Therefore, he must die for her to live!
For as Eve had always been within Adam, as long as Adam had existed, so the church had always been chosen “in him.” Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: And as a “deep sleep” came upon Adam for Eve to be brought out from him, so the sleep of death came upon our Lord, for the blood and water to flow from his side in order for the church – His Bride – to receive redemptive life.
His death was necessary both for the destruction of Satan, and for the deliverance of his elect people! Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Now we take note of that word, “testator” in verses sixteen and seventeen of our above listed context. The dictionary states that a testator is “one who makes and leaves a will or testament.” But if we look at that Greek word translated “testator” we find a little more meaning than that. For we find that our Greek word, here translated into English as “testator,” is the same Greek word translated “appoint,” and “hath appointed,” in Luke 22:29. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; Therefore what we come to realize is that the Lord Jesus Christ was not just the ‘one who made and left a will,’ but actually, the one ‘appointed’ to die in order for the will to be made effectual! For, as the apostle states, where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
A certain couple had an only son. And that son had failing kidneys and a rare blood type. It was decided by them to have another child, who would have the same blood type, and from whom they could harvest a kidney. The second son knew from the beginning that he was brought forth to save his brother from death.
Adam, the first born of creation, had a blood disease. It was called sin! It’s wages always paid off in death. But God, the Father brought forth his last Adam in order for those diseased with death to have life through his blood! 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
As the second son of these parents always knew that he was brought forth in order to save his brother, so we read of our Lord: 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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
If there were a situation of such a family, we can quite imagine that the second son would be bitter in the constant realization that he was brought forth to provide for his brother. But listen to the glorious words of our Lord Jesus Christ as we left the upper room for Calvary: John 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence. Not a hint of bitterness! Not the slightest attitude of resentment! Glorious Savior! Precious Lamb of God!
Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, (that is, he ‘emptied himself’), and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
And what about us? What about our ‘seed?’ Do we ‘fall into the ground and die?’ Are we ‘living sacrifices,’ awaiting God’s daily resurrection? Or are we striving to maintain our lives, while being religious enough to ask God to bless it? That has never worked the will of the Father! 2 Corinthians 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
“Dying with Jesus, through death reckoned mine; Living with Jesus a new life divine…. Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine!”
Pastor Gene Breed
September 14, 2017