Jun 23, 2024. Hebrews 13:10-16

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THE CITY TO COME. Hebrews 13:10-16. 6/23/2024. #49.

10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

1. A different altar

                a. Hebrews sought to convince the Jewish believers, that the temple sacrifices were in the past and were of no effect in the present

                b. The altar where the priests ministered was a mere symbolic representation of the real effective altar (the cross) on which Jesus died

                c. Once the genuine satisfactory sacrifice was made, there was no purpose in holding onto the symbolic sacrifices

                d. The priests cannot eat at our altar

                                a1. They have no right to partake of Christ’s sacrifice, for Christ had not yet come as a man

                                a2. The better sacrifice is reserved for believers after the resurrection of the Lord

2. Outside the camp

                a. Hebrews makes a contrast between the place of sacrifice and disposal of the sacrifice versus the place of crucifixion

                b. The sacrifice in the tabernacle took place in the court

                                a1. The animals were killed inside the tabernacle

                                a2. The altar was in the courtyard

                                a3. Offering for sin was on the brazen altar

                                a4. The carcass of the animals were burnt outside of the camp (sacrifice was already made)

                                a5. The animal body was treated as a waste product

                c. Jesus was sacrificed outside the gate of Jerusalem

                                a1. Away from the temple and the city

                                a2. Criminals were crucified by Rome by the road to Caesarea outside the Fish Gate (Tower Gate)

                                                b1. Popular trade route from the north

                                                b2. People would mock the convicts and also be warned about crossing Rome

                                a3. Jesus’s sacrifice outside the camp was of a different variety than the temple offerings

                                                b1. By being sacrificed were the carcasses of animals were burned (outside the camp) Jesus was sacrificed for all people, Jew and Gentile

                                                b2. For this reason, Gordon’s Calvary is probably the actual place of the crucifixion and not The Church of the Holy Sepulcher 

                d. Hebrews invites the Jewish believers to leave the temple which is of no effect in order to come outside the gate to the altar of the cross to embrace Christ

                                a1. Cannot embrace both

                                a2. To embrace Christ is to reject all other means of spiritual entreaty

                e. There is also a contrast between Jerusalem and the Eternal City which will never fade away

                                a1. Jerusalem is a dying city, fading away (II Peter 3)

                                a2. We are heading to an Eternal City, which will never fade away – New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-7)

                                a3. Hebrews invites readers to leave the old dying Jerusalem in order to embrace the New Jerusalem entered into through Christ alone

3. True sacrifice

                a. Jesus as the last sacrifice has made the Levitical sacrifices obsolete and of no effect

                b. Believers offer new sacrifices to God not involving animal sacrifices and grain offerings

                c. Hebrews states that believers offer 3 types of sacrifices to God

                                a1. Sacrifice of praise – to worship and exalt the Lord (including thanksgiving and reverence)

                                a2. Sacrifice of good works – serving others, witnessing, helping, teaching, comforting…

                                a3. Sacrifice of sharing (koininea) – giving of time and resources to help others, shoulder burdens, send the gospel, etc. (James 1-2; Romans 10)

                d. Since sin is paid for, we focus on ministering to others

Key passage:

Revelation 21:1-71 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, [a]John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said [b]to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It[c] is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes [d]shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.