Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hebrews 9

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The Earthly Holy Place (v. 1-10)

A holy place is described where the priests perform their ritual duties, there is also a second section behind a second curtain that only the high priest can go and only once a year (the holy of holies). He goes there to make offerings for the unintentional sins of his people. But the holy spirit says that the holy place is not yet open as long as the first section is still standing. The first section is symbolic of the current age. Therefore gifts and offerings deal with various regulations but they cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper.

I think it is interesting that they are explicitly talking about the symbolic nature of this passage. It makes me wonder how much of Hebrews (and also how much of the bible as a whole) is supposed to be symbolic. What is supposed to be literal and what is just a symbol, and how are we supposed to tell the difference?

Redemption Through the Blood of Christ (v. 11-28)

Jesus entered the true holy place not made by men through the use of his own blood, for if the blood of a cow can sanctify, how much more will the blood of Christ do?

On one hand this seems to make some sort of sense, if the blood of a cow has cleansing properties, then the blood of Jesus should have stronger properties. I was thinking though, what is the purpose of a sacrifice, I had always thought it was to give up something of value, I'm showing loyalty to my God by giving up part of my harvest, Jesus dying for me doesn't quite seem analogous. Although I guess here they are focusing on the fact that blood is cleansing, I guess I don't understand that one bit.

The old law required blood so that is why it has to be done this way.

We are changing the law right? So why do we have to follow their rules? I'm not sure this makes a lot of sense.

Jesus has sacrificed himself for all of us at once, he does not have to do the sacrifice every year as the old high priests did.

I guess it is supposed to be a perfect sacrifice so it only has to happen once, as opposed to the old high priests who had to do it more often. 

Christ will again appear one day not to deal with sin, but to see those who have been eagerly waiting for him.

We end by mentioning the eventual second coming of Christ.

Wow, I scanned through Guzik's commentary to see if I had missed anything and came across this comment.

"It is assumed that all believers will eagerly wait for Him. It’s a sad case that this assumption doesn't always play out as true!"

I think that plenty of believers think this is true, and this mentality is what let's people believe guys like Harold Camping and ruin their lives by wasting their retirement savings on billboards.

For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation)

Again, not a whole lot here, sorry if these posts have been fairly boring lately, the material I have to work with is just not very interesting right now. 


  1. It's hard to debate Christians because they are all Biblical snowflakes. Everyone believes a different percentage of the Bible is literal. How they come to know what is symbolic deals with there own credulity, I suppose. However, I've never met a Christian who likes Jesus' teachings but assumes every supernatural bit is symbolic, which seems the way to go.

    1. That's a good point, you really can't assume almost anything when talking with a believer. I guess that means it is really important to have our conversations with them be very question based. And we also know that any time we write a post which assumes certain assumptions of Christianity, there will be a huge swath of Christians who would disagree with the premises.

  2. As I was reading this, sacrifices almost seem like a tax. God gives you your animals but you have to get rid of a certain number of them.

    1. That's a good point, I guess it's a test against greed?


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