Tabernacle Day 5 All Area Access: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What does it mean in verse 12 that there was “one sacrifice for sins forever”?

2) What is the importance of having “…boldness to enter the sanctuary…”?

3) What is the significance of being able to “draw near” to God?

Hebrews 10:11-22

11 Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. 12 But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. 13 He is now waiting until his enemies are made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after he says:

16 This is the covenant I will make with them
after those days, the Lord says,
I will put my laws on their hearts
and write them on their minds,
17 and I will never again remember
their sins and their lawless acts.

18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus— 20 he has inaugurated for us a new and living way through the curtain (that is, through his flesh)— 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.

Original Intent

1) What does it mean in verse 12 that there was “one sacrifice for sins forever”?
The exact author of Hebrews is unknown, but is commonly thought to be Paul or one of his disciples.  However, the intent of the author is clear: to build a strong case that the traditions of the Jewish faith point to the new and greater truth found in Jesus Christ (see Matthew Henry’s introduction to Hebrews for further explanation).  In the Old Testament tradition, the offering of sacrifices was a central activity in the life of God’s people.  A large portion of the Old Testament book of Leviticus is dedicated to those practices.  For the Jewish people, it would have been a new concept that there was no longer a need to make regular sacrifices to compensate for one’s own sin.  In this passage,  the “one sacrifice for all” references the atoning death of Christ on the cross.  In this one act, He covered every sin for all time.  As a result, there is no longer need for the regular sacrifices required by Jewish law.  The sacrifice is complete in Him, superior to any earthly sacrifice that could ever be given.

2) What is the importance of having “…boldness to enter the sanctuary…”?
Don’t miss the controversy of this particular statement.  To say that God’s people, other than the priests, would have the right to enter the sanctuary of God, would have been nothing short of scandalous to the Jewish community.  That was a privilege only given to the priests who were set apart and consecrated.  Even then, it was only on the Day of Atonement that only the chief priest were allowed to enter the Holy of Holies (see Leviticus 16).  This would have been a violation of every Jewish law the readers would have known.

3) What is the significance of being able to “draw near” to God?
Just as entering the sanctuary would have been shocking to the Jewish people, the idea of coming near to the Almighty God would have been even more of an affront to their traditions.  Distance from the Father was a reality and way of life.  The courtyards were as close as the people would come to their Holy God.  Only priests were allowed to go anywhere beyond the courtyards, and even then, there were strict limitations on the priests for approaching the Holy of Holies.  Exodus 28 lines out multiple expectations for the priests that would keep them safe as they approached the presence of God.  From those instructions, it was made clear by God to the Israelite people that there could be danger in His presence and it was to be treated with great care and caution.  Suddenly switching that line of thinking would have undoubtedly been a challenge for those who were devout followers of the Jewish tradition.

Everyday Application

1) What does it mean in verse 12 that there was “one sacrifice for sins forever”?
1 John 1:7 says, “…the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”  All sin.  Not some.  Not just mine.  Not just yours.  Not just the ones that are “not so bad.”  Not just the ones we can’t imagine ever committing ourselves.  ALL.  OF.  THEM.  What that means for us is that we don’t have to work and offer sacrifices any longer to make up for those sins.  We don’t need anyone else to do that for us, either.  Not only did Jesus cover all sin, He covered them forever.  His ability to cover our sin is limitless and without constraint.  Do you struggle to accept that Jesus’ sacrifice paid for ALL of your sin?  If you have difficulty with that truth, you may find yourself saying or thinking things like, “yeah, but what about…”  or “that was just too bad…” or “I need to get myself cleaned up before I can be close to Him…”  Or do you sometimes have a hard time accepting the truth that His sacrifice covered all of your sin FOREVER?  In that instance, you may find yourself dealing with thoughts like, “He’s never going to love me the same since I…”  or “I have used up all of His grace so I better do something to make myself better…”  Consider where you are with those two ideas and what truth you need to remember.

2) What is the importance of having “…boldness to enter the sanctuary…”?
For us, the idea of entering the sanctuary means that we can approach God without the help of anyone else.  We don’t need anyone, like a priest, to intercede on our behalf.  We can talk directly to God anytime we choose, and not just on designated, special days.  We have gained this access through the death of Christ, who now serves as the only mediator we need (1 Timothy 2:5).  Fear is gone, distance is abolished.  We are also wise to remember that entering the sanctuary to approach God is a bold move as well.  Approaching God changes us and transforms our lives.  It’s no small task.  Are you willing to take the risk to enter?  Or do you hold back for fear of what it will mean to your life?

3) What is the significance of being able to “draw near” to God?
Consider the importance of the invitation from the most high, holy, and perfect God to come near…not just gaze at a safe distance, but to actually come close.  There is a loving intimacy to that invitation and it’s one that should not be taken lightly.  God, in all of His majesty and perfection, doesn’t particularly need anything from us.  However, He desires us.  He wants you to come close.  What, if anything, do you allow to keep you from drawing near?  For you personally, what does it mean to draw near to God? How, where, when and in what ways does that happen best for you?

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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