Ears to Hear Heb. 9:1-10
1 Now the first covenant, in fact, had regulations for worship and its earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tent was prepared, the outer one, which contained the lampstand, the table, and the presentation of the loaves; this is called the holy place. 3 And after the second curtain there was a tent called the holy of holies. 4 It contained the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered entirely with gold. In this ark were the golden urn containing the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 And above the ark were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Now is not the time to speak of these things in detail.
6 So with these things prepared like this, the priests enter continually into the outer tent as they perform their duties. 7 But only the high priest enters once a year into the inner tent, and not without blood that he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit is making clear that the way into the holy place had not yet appeared as long as the old tabernacle was standing. 9 This was a symbol for the time then present, when gifts and sacrifices were offered that could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They served only for matters of food and drink and various washings; they are external regulations imposed until the new order came.
My devo for EvFree Fullerton
The writer to the Hebrews continues to point out that the gospel is Jesus plus nothing! There was nothing wrong with the activity of worship in the tabernacle; it was God planned and authorized. But it was designed with a deeper message.
God is not interested in ritual. It means nothing to him. It is a religious play enacted to show people what is going on in their inner life. Further none of the ritual reaches the inner man. It is ineffective.
The tabernacle is another “object lesson” or visual parable of Jesus. God wants to dwell with his people and did so through the tabernacle in the Old Testament. But it was just temporary and symbolic. Now we are reminded of the better promise, the better sanctuary, the better sacrifice provided by the new covenant! The blood of Jesus completely satisfies the ritual so God dwells with us permanently.
How often do we focus on the ritual of worship, which is worthless as a ritual? Do you catch the argument? The first covenant ritual only affects the outer man, the body. Whatever we are trying to do for God, our activity on His behalf, cannot get below the surface. By contrast, the new covenant depends not on the work of the worshipper but on the activity of Christ in our place! Our own activity adds nothing to our acceptance before God. God does not love us more because we come to church each week or because we serve him. God loves us because He is love and we serve Him because we love Him