Maiandra GD – (It’s been an interesting winter. Dad has gotten his truck stuck in the snow twice. The drifts are high enough to not only reach but cover the benches of a standard picnic table. Our only other four-by-four is the suv that can manage to traverse the driveway, but as its system malfunction warning lights have recently activated, we considered it wise not to risk it. To our fortune, our neighbor bailed us out with a tractor. We can only hope we will be equally able to get out when we need to later.)
Hebrews 9:11-15, “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. 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!
15For 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.”
Wikipedia: “The word “covenant” principally refers to any of a number of solemn agreements made between God and the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible, as well as to the New Covenant, which Christians consider to be the final fulfillment of these. Christians typically use the term “Old Covenant” to collectively refer to the covenants described in the Old Testament.
The Apostle Paul, in his letters, also considers Christ’s death to mark the beginning of a new covenant era. In this era, he claims, the traditional barriers between Jew and Gentile are broken down. Both are approved by God on the basis of faith. However, he also warns Gentile believers in Jesus (whom he views as the Jewish Messiah) not to boast in their newfound acceptance by God, for they have been “grafted in” to the covenantal tree whose root is in the promises to national Israel.”
Hebrews 9:16-28, “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 effect without blood. 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.
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. But 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.”