‘‘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? Heb. 9:14
Additional reading: Rom. 1:20; 1 Tim. 1:17
Paul in a brief description of the old system established the fact that the old order as compared to the new order was temporary and in fact did not make worshippers of God completely clean from their sins as they needed to make sacrifices daily. Even the priests also needed to offer sacrifices to atone for their sins first before attending to the needs of the people daily or yearly as the case may be.
‘‘This is how those things have been arranged. The priests go into the outer tent every day to perform their duties, but only the high priest goes into the inner tent, and he does so only once a year. He takes with him blood which he offers to God on behalf of himself and for the sins which the people have committed without knowing they were sinning.’’ (Heb. 9: 6 – 7 CEV.)
Despite all the rigours of this system, the people still did not have direct access to God: ‘‘By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the entrance to the Most Holy Place was not freely open as long as the Tabernacle and the system it represented were still in use.’’ (Heb. 9: 8 NLT.) Apart from the people not having direct access to God under this system, the consciences of the people and in fact their old deeds remained unchanged. ‘‘This is an illustration pointing to the present time. For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them. For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies—physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established.’’ (Vv. 9-10 NLT.)
But when a better system came through Jesus, who did not sacrifice the blood of goats but His own blood, He entered the Most Holy Place once and for all with His own blood and redeemed man from his sins: ‘‘But [that appointed time came] when Christ (the Messiah) appeared as a High Priest of the better things that have come and are to come. [Then] through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with human hands, that is, not part of this material creation. He went once for all into the [Holy of] Holies [of heaven], not by virtue of the blood of goats and calves [by which to make reconciliation between God and man], but His own blood, having found and secured a complete redemption (an everlasting release or us.)’’ (Vv. 11 – 12 AMP.)
Though through the blood of goats and calves fellowship between God and man was made possible, reconciliation was, however, not eternal as it was only a covered sin for a while. Only the blood of Jesus Christ made a permanent reconciliation between God and man possible. And Jesus did this once for all rather than the ceremonial sacrifices, which the old system so required.
‘‘How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal [aionios … perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well):- eternal, forever, everlasting, world (began)] Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The sacrifice or death of Jesus on the cross was of the spirit—spiritual and not carnal or of the flesh as it was in the case of goats and calves, therefore, could not permanently deal with sin. But because the sacrificial death of Jesus was spiritual, it permanently took away our sins and gave life everlasting—perpetual—indefinite life to all that believe.
‘‘But Christ was sinless, and he offered himself as an eternal and spiritual sacrifice to God. That’s why his blood is much more powerful and makes our consciences clear. Now we can serve the living God and no longer do things that lead to death.’’ (CEV.) ‘‘So surely the blood sacrifice of Christ can do much more. Christ offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make us completely clean from the evil we have done. It will give us clear consciences so that we can worship the living God.’’ (ERV.) There is just no basis to compare. The Holy Spirit of God gives eternal life as He Himself is eternal.
Meditation: So life in the Spirit is eternal!
Prayer: As Jesus gave Himself up as a living sacrifice, may I also be a living sacrifice by Your Spirit that my life may be pleasing to You.
Question: Why is the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross eternal?