8. Jesus, Our Willing Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:11-10:18)

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Audio (30:10)

Matthias Grünewald, Die Kreuzigung Christi (1523-1524)
Detail from Matthias Grünewald (German artist, 1480-1528), "Die Kreuzigung Christi" (1523-1524), Tauberbischofsheimer Altar, 193 × 151 cm. Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, Germany. Larger image.

We're over our head now, deep into the kind of worship that God had instituted in the tabernacle in the wilderness in Moses' time. What is all this? What difference does it make to us in the twenty-first century? What it comes down to is assurance of forgiveness, a cleansed conscience, as we'll see.

But to attain this assurance of forgiveness, it helps to understand where it comes from, how it works. If you've ever been troubled, wondering if God can possibly forgive you for your sins, then this passage will help you. So settle back, take some time to understand it, and I'll try to explain it as clearly as I can. Of course, this letter was written for Jewish Christians twenty centuries ago. But I'll try to clarify what it is saying for us in our generation.

Our author has been talking about how the New Covenant brought by Christ is superior to the Old Covenant instituted under Moses, that the readers were tempted to return to. Now he turns to the matter of sacrifice, part of the ritual performed in the tabernacle and later in the temple.

It's important to understand the word "sacrifice" here. In every day speech we often use the word "sacrifice" to mean something we've given up, as in parents sacrificing so their children can go to college. But in the Bible, "sacrifice" (thisia) refers to an offering made to God. Under Mosaic law, sacrifices typically involved the sacrifice of animals as a burnt offering at the tabernacle, though grain offerings were sometimes made as well.

It is this sense of an offering made to God that the author of Hebrews is speaking. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross, he contends in this passage, is far superior to the old form of sacrifices of Judaism. That's how it fits together logically. Now let's examine some of the gems of insight contained here.

Offering His Own Blood (9:11-14)

Let's begin by a second look at the last couple of verses in the previous lesson. Note particularly what he says about blood:

"11When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption." (9:11-12)

As we explained previously, each year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies (the Most Holy Place) of the tabernacle to make atonement. He would bring with him the blood of a bull and then a goat (Leviticus 16:14-15) and sprinkle it on the top of the ark -- "the mercy seat" (KJV, NRSV) or "atonement cover" (NIV). It is this blood that our author is talking about. The high priest brought the blood of bulls and goats to make atonement, but Jesus brought his own blood -- and with it paid for our redemption.

Now the writer continues, contrasting the old ceremony on the Day of Atonement with what Christ has done. Notice in these verses the theme of cleansing:

"13The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (9:13-14)

The Old Covenant was about ceremonial cleansing of the outward person before God. The New Covenant is about cleansing the heart, the inner person, the conscience, so that we can leave behind the "acts that lead to death," which are essentially inner sins, and go on free of them to serve God.

We'll talk about the cleansing blood of Christ, in a moment. First we need to understand the background of holiness, sanctification, uncleanness, and cleansing.

Holiness, Sanctification, and Cleansing

To understand this we need to examine the idea of holiness taught in the Pentateuch, the Torah, the first five books of the Bible.

Holiness is one of the essential attributes of the divine nature. The Hebrew verb qādash connotes "the state of that which belongs to the sphere of the sacred."1 A state of holiness requires entire freedom from moral evil as well as moral perfection. To approach God, then, one must be holy, clean of moral and ceremonial defilement. To be holy means to be separated exclusively to God, specially set apart as God's own servant.

God is sinless. The prophet Habakkuk wrote of God: "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong." (Habakkuk 2:13a). The holiness of God was awesome. But sin separates us from God. The prophet Isaiah wrote: "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear" (Isaiah 59:2).

A priest's job was to bring people to God by offering animal sacrifices on their behalf in the tabernacle -- and after Solomon's time, in the temple. The offerer laid his hand on the head of the animal, the animal was killed, and its blood would be accepted in place of his own to make atonement for his sin (Leviticus 4). Blood was forbidden to Israelites to drink; it was reserved for this ritual of atonement:

"For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life" (Leviticus 17:11, 14).

Since a priest's job was to offer these holy sacrifices to make atonement and served in the tabernacle and temple, the priest needed to make sacrifices for his own sins, too. One of the lessons for priests was:

"You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean." (Leviticus 10:10)

For the priest, this meant care to observe all of God's laws and regulations. It meant a ceremony of ordination in which the priest was sanctified or declared holy, wearing special clothing when in the tabernacle, marrying within the priestly Levitical clan. It also came with benefits: eating from "God's table," the priest's share of the people's offerings, and receiving the tithe of the people to sustain his family.

The Cleansing Blood of Christ (9:13-14)

Now in light of what we know about atonement through blood and holiness, look again at our passage, noting especially some of the keywords that are repeated later in this passage twice or more:

"13The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (9:13-14)

"To be ceremonially unclean" (NIV), "unclean" (KJV), "defiled" (NRSV) is kionoō, "to make common or impure, defile" in the cultic sense.2 It means that we cannot approach God in this state of unholiness, uncleanness. To do so means that we would fry in the brilliance of his holiness.

"Clean" (NIV) is the opposite, katharotēs, "cleanness, purity,"3 in a Levitical sense. It is closely related to the verb katharizō, "cleanse, purify,"4 which appears in several times in our passage (9:14, 22; 10:2).

"Sanctify" (9:13, 14; 10:10) is hagiazō, "to separate from things profane and dedicate to God, to consecrate," and so render inviolable, also "to purify (levitically), to purify by expiation."5 To sanctify, then, means to cleanse and declare clean before God. Sanctifying is what a priest does for the people -- what our High Priest Jesus Christ does for us.

Now let's look at a few more of these key words:

"Offered" (NIV) is prospherō, "to present something to someone by bringing it, bring, offer, present," of offerings, gifts, etc.6 Christ offered himself, our writer says, by means of the Eternal Spirit, the Holy Spirit. This was not just a physical offering, but one brought about by the Holy Spirit according to the will of God. The crucifixion is not an accident, but a voluntary offering of Christ for our sins.

"Unblemished" (NIV) is amōmos, "pertaining to being without defect or blemish, unblemished, of the absence of defects in sacrificial animals."7 Jesus' sacrifice is compared to animal sacrifices. Just as they must have no defects or physical impediments, so Jesus is without sin.

The effect of this sacrifice is the cleansing of the conscience.

"Conscience," as mentioned before, is suneidēsis, "the inward faculty of distinguishing right and wrong, moral consciousness, conscience."8 Instead of being haunted by our sins of the past and wondering whether a priest's annual sacrifice really took care of it before God, Christ's sacrifice of himself convinces us that our sins are forgiven, that we can go on, that we can approach God and be acceptable before him, that we can serve9 the Living God.

In 1878 Elisha A. Hoffman penned a hymn with the phrase, "the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb."10 Verse 14 is no doubt the text that inspired those words -- the ability of Christ's offering of himself to quell our heart's self-doubt and condemnation. If Christ has gone to such a great extent for my sins, then I can be confident of great forgiveness!

Q1. (Hebrews 9:14) In what way does Christ's sacrifice of himself cleanse the conscience in a way that the animal sacrifices of the Old Covenant could not?
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The Mediator and Ransom of the New Covenant (9:15)

Now the writer introduces two amazing words to describe Christ:

"For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance -- now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant." (9:15)

First, Jesus is called a "mediator" (mesitēs), "one who mediates between two parties to remove a disagreement or reach a common goal, mediator, arbitrator."11 Jesus the Mediator has taken God the Father in one hand, and us human beings in the other hand, and drawn us together in him, in Christ. He is the one who removed -- by means of his own sacrifice for our sins -- what had kept us and God apart: sin. Now the Mediator has brought God and us together. Hallelujah!

Second, our author calls Jesus a "ransom" (NIV) or "redemption" (KJV, cf. NRSV). The word is apolutrōsis which originally referred to, 'buying back' a slave or captive, that is, 'making free' by payment of a ransom." Here the word denotes, "release from a captive condition, release, redemption, deliverance," as well as "redemption, acquittal."12 Using a related Greek word, Jesus explained his mission: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom (lutron) for many" (Mark 10:45). We were like slaves to sin, and he bought us so that he might set us free, "free from the sins committed under the first covenant," our author explains.

Q2. (Hebrews 9:15). Read also 1 Timothy 2:5. In what sense does Jesus serve as a mediator? In what sense is Jesus a ransom from sin?
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The Necessity of the Shedding of Blood (9:16-22)

Now we begin a section where the writer is arguing the efficacy of the New Covenant, which I'll print without much comment.

"16In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect13 without blood." (9:16-18)

His point is that death, the shedding of blood, was necessary for a covenant to take effect. Now he argues that blood is necessary for cleansing (katharizō, see above) -- a concept foreign to us, but not to this letter's Jewish Christian readers.

"19When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20He said, 'This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.' 21In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (9:19-22)

I've always been especially interested in verse 22b: "Without the shedding of blood14 there is no forgiveness of sins" (NRSV). When I was in college I struggled to find some way to explain Jesus' crucifixion in some other way than as a fulfillment of the Jewish animal sacrifice for sin.

The significance of Jesus' death isn't found in his being a misunderstood martyr dying for a good cause or an important truth. Many brave men and women have been willing to die for what they believed. But Jesus' death as a sacrifice, as a ransom, was required if we were to have our sins forgiven. That is the plain sense of Scripture. Like it or not, this is what the Scripture teaches us throughout the New Testament. I concluded finally that there is no other explanation that has support in the Bible. That's what his crucifixion meant -- what it means! The result of his crucifixion, his sacrifice is "forgiveness" (verse 22, aphesis), "the act of freeing from an obligation, guilt, or punishment, pardon, cancellation."15 Under the Old Covenant, the animal sacrifices provided a symbolic cleansing. Under the New Covenant, the sacrifice of Christ for our sins provides an actual full cleansing, pardon, wiping away of sins, cancellation of their punishment.

The Copy and the True Sacrifice (9:23-26)

"23It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. 25Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world." (9:23-26a)

We see again our writer's theme of the true (in heaven) and the copy (on earth). In 8:5 he compared the true place of worship in heaven with the copy of it, the tabernacle, that Moses was told to make, "according to the pattern shown to him on the mount" (Exodus 25:40). Here our writer compares the continued sacrifices of the tabernacle/temple worship with the once-for-all sacrifice that Christ offered in heaven.

Christ's Once for All Sacrifice (9:26b-28)

"26bBut now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." (9:26b-28)

Notice the repeated "once/once for all" (hapax) in these verses emphasizing the uniqueness, the single, one-and-only occurrence of Christ's sacrifice.16 The earthly high priest made his offering again and again. Christ our High Priest makes his offering once only and for all time "at the end of the age."

His purpose is to "do away with" sin. "Do away with" (NIV), "remove" (NRSV), "put away" (KJV) is athetēsis, is used twice in Hebrews, in 7:18 as a legal technical term, "annulment," and here more generally, "the process of causing something to be set aside, removal."17 Sin stood between us and God. Through Jesus' sacrifice, it was set aside, removed, forgiven, pardoned, and no longer stands in our way.

The Inevitability of Death and Judgment (9:27)

Verse 27 is frightening in its bald statement of facts:

"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment...."

The writer introduces it to strengthen the idea of "once." But it contains two other chilling concepts:

  1. The inevitability of death. "Destined" (NIV), "appointed" (KJV, NRSV), is apokeimai, "it is unavoidable in view of inevitable circumstances, it is certain, one is destined."18
  2. The sure prospect of judgment (krisis) the "legal process of judgment, judging, judgment."19

Sometimes we humans try to live our lives in denial of both death and judgment. And for a while we may succeed in blocking out the truth. We must live fully for the present -- to make the most of the day (Ephesians 5:16) -- but also in light of the certainty of death and eternal judgment. This sounds excessively morbid. It isn't. It is rather living in light of reality rather than the denial of both that infuses our culture.

Christ's First and Second Comings (9:28)

"... So Christ was sacrificed21 once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." (9:28)

This verse, unique in the New Testament I believe, compares the purpose20 of Christ's first coming with his second:

First coming

Bear/take away sin

Suffering Servant

Second coming

Bring salvation

Traditional Jewish understanding of Messiah

Christ's first coming was to deal with our sins. Our author quotes the phrase in Isaiah 53:12: "he bore the sin of many." "Take away" (NIV) or "bear" (KJV, NRSV) is anapherō, "take up as a burden, take up."22 He took on, assumed our sin in order to carry it away.

His second appearance23 isn't as our Sacrifice but as our Savior, bringing us salvation in the sense that the Jews always expected their Messiah to come. Our Savior first saves from the guilt and slavery of sin, then from the oppression and confines of these earthly bodies unto the glorious liberty of the children of God in their resurrection bodies (Romans 8:21).

Notice those he comes to save: those who are "waiting for him." "Waiting" (NIV), "look for" (KJV) is apekdechomai, probably best translated by the NRSV as "eagerly waiting."24 As Jesus was preparing his disciples for his death, he indicated by a string of parables that they should be ready for and anticipate his return at any time, rather than be lulled into complacency and dullness by the long wait.

  • The Parable of Noah and the Flood (Matthew 24:37-39)
  • The Parable of the Two Men and Two Women (Matthew 24:40-42), which concludes "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."
  • The Parable of the Thief in the Night (Matthew 24:42-44), which concludes, "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
  • The Parable of the Faithful and Wise Servant (Matthew 24:45-51), which warns, "It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns" (24:46).
  • The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), which concludes, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."
  • The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

I don't believe that we are saved by the degree of our eagerness in awaiting Jesus' coming -- we are saved by grace. But Jesus' consistent instruction to his disciples is, though the Master be delayed, expect him to arrive any minute.

Q3. (Hebrews 9:28) How did the purpose of Christ's First Coming differ from his Second Coming? Which did the Jews expect? How does the mission of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 fit here?
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Impossible for the Blood of Animals to Take Away Sins (10:1-4)

Our writer continues his contrast between the shadow and the reality, the earthly ritual and the heavenly worship.

"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming -- not the realities25 themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly26 year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3But those sacrifices are an annual reminder27 of sins, 4because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." (10:1-4)

Verse 4 stands out as a bald statement which is reinforced in verse 11b. Why can't the blood of bulls and goats take away sins? Was God's gift of forgiveness through the Old Covenant system of atonement a sham? No, it wasn't. Here's how I understand Old Covenant sacrifice vs. Christ's sacrifice.

  1. Greater to Lesser. Animal sacrifices were not adequate because the sins of the greater (the human) were atoned for by the sacrifice of the lesser (the animal). That seems backward. In Christ, the sins of the lesser (the human) were atoned for by the sacrifice of the greater (Christ, the Son of God). Only the sacrifice of the greater for the lesser is actually adequate to atone for our sins.
  2. External vs. Internal. Centuries before Christ the prophets were aware that animal sacrifice was not adequate to atone for sins, partly because it dealt with external atonement, but didn't affect the heart of the person. It is the repentant heart, not methodical fulfillment of ritual sacrifice through which God brings salvation. For example, read:

    Psalm 50:8-15. "Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High."

    Isaiah 1:11-15. "'The multitude of your sacrifices -- what are they to me?' says the LORD.... "Wash and make yourselves clean... Stop doing wrong, learn to do right. Seek justice...."

    Hosea 6:6. " For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings."

    Amos 5:21-25. "Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them.... But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!"
     
  3. Shadow vs. Reality. The author of Hebrews has compared the tabernacle as a shadow, a copy, a pattern of the original, with the true tabernacle being in heaven. Sacrifices are the shadow, Christ is the true sacrifice that animal sacrifices point to. God instructs his people through the shadow so they will be able to understand the reality.

God did not lie when he said,

"For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." (Leviticus 17:11)

God accepted their sacrifices and offered atonement for their sins -- the shadow -- realizing that the Messiah would come and he would bear in himself -- in reality -- the sins of the whole world -- past, present, and future!

Q4. (Hebrews 10:4) Why can't the blood of bulls and goats actually take away sin? What happened then to the sins the Old Testament saints thought were atoned for under the Old Covenant?
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Support in Psalm 40:6-8

To support his argument, our author quotes from and then comments on Psalm 40:6-8 (in the Greek Septuagint translation):

"5Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
    'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
    6with burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you were not pleased.
    7Then I said, "Here I am -- it is written about me in the scroll --
    I have come to do your will, O God."'
8First he said, 'Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them' (although the law required them to be made). 9Then he said, 'Here I am, I have come to do your will.' He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (10:5-10)

The "body you prepared for me" is the true sacrifice of Christ's body. Notice that verse 9b uses two verbs: "set aside" and "establish":

"Sets aside" (NIV), "abolishes" (NRSV), "taketh away" (KJV) is anaireō, "to remove or take away."28
"Establish" is histēmi, "to set up or put into force, establish."29

Old Testament sacrifice is now obsolete and is "set aside" for that reason, since Christ's once-for-all sacrifice on the cross has been made. He sets aside animal sacrifice (the shadow), to establish in our hearts and minds Christ's sacrifice (the reality).

The Sacrifice that Makes Perfect and Holy (10:11-14)

Our author closes this section with a contrast between repetitive tabernacle sacrifices and Christ's single offering of himself for sins.

"11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away30 sins. 12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." (10:11-14)

Verse 14 sums it up. By one sacrifice Christ has done two things -- both with Greek words we have already studied:

  1. "Made perfect forever" (teleioō). In Greek grammar this is in the Perfect Tense, which carries the idea of an action what has already been completed in the past and the condition still exists. We have already been perfected by Christ's sacrifice.
  2. "Being made holy" (hagiazō). In Greek grammar this is in the Present Tense, which carries the idea of an action which is still in progress. We are in the process of being made holy.

Our salvation has been completed -- signed, sealed, and delivered. But our character transformation, the process of becoming like him in our thinking and behavior is a process. In Christian theology this process is called "sanctification." We despair over our sins, but his once-for-all sacrifice has dealt with them. However, our renewed repentance from those sins is evidence he is purifying our conscience and changing our heart. Rather than external, Christ's sacrifice for us works through his Holy Spirit from the inside out!

There Is No Longer a Continuing Sacrifice for Sin (10:15-18)

Our author concludes with quotations from the famous New Covenant passage in Jeremiah that he introduced in 8:8-13:

"15The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
    16'This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
    I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.'
17Then he adds:
    'Their sins and lawless acts
    I will remember no more.'
18And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin." (10:15-18)
Hebrews: Discipleship Lessons, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson (paperback and e-book formats)
Lessons are also available in e-book and paperback formats.

Since our sins are now forgiven, repetitive tabernacle or temple sacrifices are inappropriate. Christ has been sacrificed and he is risen. And in this he offers plenty of forgiveness for all.

Prayer

Father, we thank you that Christ is our Sacrifice who has fully and completely given himself for our sins -- the Greater for the lesser -- that we might be forgiven. In Jesus' name, we gratefully pray. Amen.

Key Verses

"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (Hebrews 9:14)

"For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance -- now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant." (Hebrews 9:15)

"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." (Hebrews 9:27-28)

"It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." (Hebrews 10:4)

References

  1. Thomas E. McComiskey, qādash, TWOT #1990.
  2. Kionoō, BDAG 552, 2.a.. The Greek noun koinōnia, "joint participation, community," is from the same root.
  3. Katharotēs, Thayer 313.
  4. Katharizō, BDAG 488-489, 3.b.α., c.
  5. Hagiazō, Thayer, 6, 2 and 3a, b.
  6. Prospherō, BDAG 2.a.
  7. Amōmos, BDAG 56, 1.
  8. Suneidēsis, BDAG 967-968, 2. This is a key concept in Hebrews, found at 9:9, 14; 10:22; and 13:18.
  9. "Serve" is latreuō, "serve," in our literature only of the carrying out of religious duties, especially of a cultic nature, by human beings. At 9:9; 10:2, "the worshipper (who is concerned with the rituals prescribed by Mosaic ordinance)." (BDAG 587).
  10. "Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?" (1878), words and music by Elisha Albright Hoffman.
  11. Mesitēs, BDAG 634, found three times in Hebrews at 8:6, 9:15; 12:24.
  12. Apolutrōsis, BDAG 117, 2.a.
  13. "Put into effect" is egkainizō, "to bring about the beginning of something, with implication that it is newly established, ratify, inaugurate, dedicate," here and at 10:20 (BDAG 272, 2.).
  14. "Shedding of blood" (NIV) is haimatekchusia, "the shedding or pouring out of blood" from haima, "blood" + ekchunō, "pour out" (BDAG 27).
  15. Aphesis is found here and at 10:18 (BDAG 155, 2.).
  16. "Once" is hapax, " in verses 26, 27, and 28. "as a numerical term pertaining to a single occurrence, once," used a number of times this passage. Also found in 9:7; and in the sense, "once and for all" at 6:4 and 10:2. Hapax, BDAG 97.
  17. Athetēsis, BDAG 24, 2.
  18. Apokeimai, BDAG 113, 3.
  19. Krisis, BDAG 569, 1.a.α.
  20. Purpose in 9:28 is expressed by the double parallel occurrence of the preposition eis as a marker of a specific point of reference, "for, to, with respect to, with reference to" (Eis, BDAG 289-291, 5).
  21. "Sacrificed" (NIV) is prospherō, "bring, offer, present" (BDAG 886, 2.a.).
  22. Anapherō, BDAG 75, 4.
  23. "Appear" is horaō, passive. in the active sense, "become visible, appear." horaō, BDAG 719-720, A.1.d.
  24. Apekdechomai, "await eagerly" (BDAG 100).
  25. "Realities" is eikōn, "that which represents something else in terms of basic form and features, form, appearance," here, "form of things in contrast to their skia (shadow)" (BDAG 281-282, 3.).
  26. "Repeated endlessly" (NIV) is diēnekes, "pertaining to being continuous, without interruption, always" (BDAG 245). Used only in Hebrews 7:3, 12, 14, 10:1.
  27. "Reminder" is anamnēsis, "reminder, remembrance of something" (BDAG 68).
  28. Anaireō, BDAG 64.
  29. Histēmi, BDAG 482-483, 3.
  30. "Take away" is periaireō, literally, "take away from around something," here, "to do away with, take away, remove" (BDAG 799).

Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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