Jesus Christ our Best Purifier
Printable version: pastoral letter 162
The Bible speaks of Heaven, and the things of Eternity, as realities. Jesus said that He has gone “to prepare a place” for us. We are encouraged in the Bible to “lay up treasures” in Heaven, and to yearn for Heaven as our “home”.
Jesus Christ has come to fit us for Heaven. His obedient, sinless life and atoning death have opened the way to Heaven for all who come to the Father through Him. His work accomplished salvation for all whom the Father has given to Him (John 6:38, 39).
Take some time and read Hebrews 9. Don’t hurry. There is no prize for reading the Bible with speed.
If Hebrews 9 seems a bit foreign to our Gentile ears, that is because it is! The entire book is steeped in the Old Testament, and no part more than chapter 9. Nevertheless, it has gems in it waiting to be discovered for the one who will dig a bit.
The “big theme” of the chapter is the cleansing power of the Blood of Jesus. Words like “blood”, “cleanse”, “clean”, “clear”, purify” are found in this passage. If we keep this “big theme” in mind, then we will be able to dig out the gems from this great chapter and discover God’s Truth for us in it.
We have already seen that Jesus is our Best Brother, Priest, Prophet, and Promise. Let’s discover now that He is our Best Purifier.
The background to this passage is the Old Testament Temple system. Chapter 9 verse 10 refers to that entire “old” way of doing things as “external regulations applying until the time of the new order.” The big point here is that for all the busyness of the old ways (and impressiveness) there simply was no power there to finish the work of purifying the sinner once and for all (see vv 8,9). No Old Testament Jewish person, be they ever so diligent and fervent, could ever know the peace and rest of a thoroughly cleansed conscience.
The work that Jesus accomplished on the cross is then presented as wholly sufficient for the complete cleansing of the believing sinner. What Good News the Gospel is!
We will take a close look at this by exploring three truths about Christ’s shed blood which shine forth from this passage:
1) The Power of Christ’s Blood (Its efficacy)
2) The Purpose of Christ’s Blood (Its necessity)
3) The Perfection of Christ’s Blood (Its sufficiency)
Ready to think? Ready to worship God with your brains?
1) The Power of Christ’s Blood (Its efficacy) (9:11-15)
Chapter 9, verse 12 tells us that Christ has “…entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” That word “redemption” is a powerful word. It means “to release by the payment of a price”. So we ask:
Who has been redeemed? We have.
From what? From bondage to sin.
By what? The very blood of Jesus Christ.
For how long? For all Eternity
Now, there is no other substance that can cleanse from sin like the Blood of Christ. The blood of 10,000 bulls and goats could not accomplish what this one sacrifice accomplished.
Look at the depth of this cleansing: Chapter 9, verses 13, 14 tell us that the blood of Christ can cleanse way down to the level of the conscience, so that we may be free to serve the loving God. As deep as sin and guilt go, the Blood of Christ can go deeper still and redeem. We can even know redemption at the level of the conscience.
Refuse anything less that the complete work of Christ. What else has the power to cleanse and redeem for all Eternity right down to the very centre of your being? The Blood of Christ shed once secures our “promised eternal inheritance” (v.15). In other words, the redemptive work of Christ is so powerful a remedy for our sin, that our eternal salvation is warranted by it.
2) The Purpose of Christ’s Blood (Its Necessity) (9:16-24)
We must realize and receive as True the fact that God has determined that the way to deliver a sinner from His sins must require the shedding of the Blood of His own Son. This is God’s determination and we are to gratefully receive God’s remedy by faith and not think that we could have somehow come up with a better way! In the Cross God has shown Himself to be both just, and the justifier of those who have faith in Christ (Romans 3:26).
It was God who determined that the Blood of Christ was the only and necessary answer for sin.
Verse 22 states that the Law “requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”. This verse refers to things in the old Jewish Temple. But the very next verse tells us that if the earthly “copies” needed cleansing, the “heavenly things themselves” (that being us, the worshippers. See Rev 5:9-10) must of necessity be cleansed with something better…the Blood of Jesus Christ.
Men and women can be as religious and fervent as they may, but receiving Christ and His finished work on the Cross as the God-ordained remedy for sin is the only and necessary solution which God Himself provides.
Finish the sin and guilt issue by submitting to God’s solution!
3)The Perfection of Christ’s Blood (Its Sufficiency) (9:25-28)
Look at the busyness of the old high priest! Verse 25 reminds us that he had to offer sacrifices again and again, every year. There was never a sense of the job being finished! Untold thousands, and hundreds of thousands, of animals were sacrificed every year to remind Israel of their sins and bring devout Jews to a place of contrition before God. But there was never a sense that things were resolved. The rivers of blood were not sufficient.
They could not do a perfect work.
Now take your eyes off of the old high priest and put them upon your High Priest, Jesus. He has (v.26):
“Appeared once for all”
“to do away with sin”
“with the sacrifice of Himself”
“…was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people”
And He will (v.28):
“…appear a second time…to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him”
So we see that the Infinitely Valuable Son of God paid an Infinite Price to cancel the Infinite Debt that we owed. When Jesus Cried on the Cross “It is finished” (John 19:30), He was declaring that our debt was paid in full and cancelled. His one sacrifice was perfect and sufficient for the sins of all God’s people.
There is nothing you can or need add to the finished work of Jesus Christ. The Father accepts The Son’s blood as Sufficient, and sees His sacrifice as Perfect.
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed…but with the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18)
Oh Believer! Take all your refuge in Jesus Christ: The Best Purifier. Look nowhere else, and accept no substitutes.
His Blood is Effective
To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins
By HIS Blood…and made us to be a Kingdom and Priests
To serve His God and Father, to Him be glory and
Power forever and ever!
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!