The More Perfect Tabernacle, Heb 9:1-28

In Heb 9 we see that Jesus is the mediator of the new testament.  By the shedding of his own blood, he offered a better sacrifice than the blood of bulls and goats.  And, unlike the earthly high priests who offered in the worldly tabernacle, his sacrifice was performed for the more perfect tabernacle in heaven, v.11.  

Let’s do a quick review before we go through the verses in Heb 9.  In Heb 7 we learned that Jesus, after the order of Melchisedec, has a more perfect priesthood than the priests after the order of Aaron.

In Heb 8 we learned that Jesus obtained a more excellent ministry than the priests after the order of Aaron.  They ministered under the old covenant.  Jesus, on the other hand, is the mediator of the new covenant, a better covenant established upon better promises.

In Heb 9 Paul contrasts the worldly sanctuary of the Old Testament with the more perfect tabernacle in heaven.  And he contrasts the blood of bulls and goats with the blood of Jesus Christ.  It’s obvious that the more perfect tabernacle in heaven and the blood of Christ are much better than the worldly tabernacle and the blood of the animal sacrifices.

A description of the worldly tabernacle, v.1-5

In verses 1-5 Paul gives us a brief description of the tabernacle that Bezaleel and his helpers built in the Old Testament.  He concludes his summary with “of which we cannot now speak particularly”, v.5.  This statement emphasizes that this tabernacle no longer exists.  It’s gone.  These Jews can no longer utilize what was given to them in the wilderness.

A description of the divine service, v.6-7

In verses 6-7 Paul briefly describes the divine service in this worldly tabernacle.  The priests went always into the first tabernacle, where the candlestick and the table of shewbread were.  And only once each year, on the day of atonement, the high priest went into the second tabernacle with blood to make atonement for his sins and the sins of the people, Lev 16.

The first tabernacle was a figure of the true tabernacle, v.8-10

In verses 8-10 Paul explains that these carnal ordinances and this first tabernacle were a figure of the true tabernacle until the time of reformation.  To reform is to change into an improved form.  Certainly, the holiest of all in heaven is an improvement over the second tabernacle down here.

And in the remaining verse of this chapter, Paul demonstrates why the more perfect tabernacle in heaven is superior to the worldly tabernacle down here.

Christ shed his own blood not animal blood, v.11-15

v.11-12, Unlike the priests who offered animal blood often and on the day of atonement, Jesus shed his own blood, he entered the heavenly tabernacle only once, and he obtained eternal redemption.

v.13-14 animal blood only purified the flesh, Num 19:2, 17-19.  The blood of Christ purges your conscience.

v.15 Jesus’s offering provided redemption for the transgressions under the first testament with eternal inheritance.  

Christ himself died, not animals, v.15-17

v.15-17 “by means of death”.  The reason the Christ died is that the testator must die or there is no testament in effect.

Christ’s blood purified the heavenly tabernacle, v.18-24

v.18-23 “by blood”.  Without shedding of blood is no remission.  The patterns of the heavenly were purified with animal blood.  The heavenly were purified with the blood of Christ.  v.24 Christ entered the heavenly not the earthly tabernacle.

Christ offered himself only once, v.25-28

v.25-28 Christ offered himself once, not often.  As it is appointed men once to die, so Christ died once.  The second time, Jesus appears without sin unto salvation, Rom 11:25-27.  He appears to those who are looking for him. Matt 24:42-44 says, “Watch therefore”.  See also Matt 25:10.

In v.26, the reference to the “end of the world” is a reference to the second advent, Matt 24.

To study the prior lesson, see A More Excellent Ministry. To study the next lesson, see The Perfect Sacrifice