We begin this week looking at Hebrews 9:6-10
v6: The priests would daily enter into the Holy Place in order to do their work.
v7: But: In contrast to what we saw in Heb 9:6, the High Priest would enter once a year into the Holy of Holies (‘the second part’, inner room). Here we have a clear reference to the Day of Atonement. This was the day that the High Priest would do his duty to bring about atonement for himself and for the people. He did it alone.
- Sins committed in ignorance: This was the sin of the people demonstrated in ignorant or unknowing acts, not reflecting, in their behavior, the knowledge of G-d.
v8: The Holy Spirit indicating this: This was shown to us by means of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit signified to us, through the works being performed repeatedly in the tabernacle, that something (greater) was coming.
- Holiest: ‘Saint’ and ‘Holy Place’ are two very different words in English, but in Greek and Hebrew this one word can be translated as either of these two things. The context tells us where to use what word when. This word, translated ‘Holiest’ in most Bibles, is in the plural in Greek. Written in this form, and in this context, it should be translated ‘saints’.
- Way (of the saints): We, as believers, should live (our ‘way’) in a greater expression of spirituality – not focusing upon the physical but emphasizing the spirit. Yeshua said that true worshipers need to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). The writer is saying that as long as the temple was still standing the emphasis of worship was primarily outworked physically. Worshipping in the Spirit was not being done to the fullest extent at the temple.
- Not yet made manifest: While the tabernacle/temple was still functioning, the people did not think about the fact that it could be a picture/pattern for something greater. As long as the children of Israel were in the land, and the temple was there, they just continued going through the same process, year after year after year. They did not focus on a more excellent way. Only after the temple was taken away did they begin to think about G-d’s future redemption and what He was going to do – the transition from this age to the Kingdom of G-d (The revelation of the greater, the more excellent, was only manifested to them when the way of the saints was revealed).
v9: Symbolic: It was a parable, an example. G-d commanded all of these things in order to lay the foundation so that we could better understand a more excellent and perfect way, a way that involves Messiah Yeshua.
- Gifts and sacrifices… cannot make him who performed the service perfect: These offerings were not able to make perfect the consciences of the worshippers/those who were serving.
v10: Various washings: Baptisms (for the purpose of purity and change of status).
- Fleshly ordinances: These religious rites were imposed under the law of Moses. They dealt more with outer acts, the surface, without dealing with/cleansing the inner being of a person. They are all simply foundational (examples) in order to help us understand the greater work of G-d.
- Until the time of reformation: Meaning for the time when G-d would reform worship. He did so by means of Messiah Yeshua.