Many say that the reformation occurred with Martin Luther. However, in the text at the end of verse 10 and the beginning of verse 11, we read about how Christ started this reformation. It says (read verse 11), “…”
The focus is Christ’s entry into Heaven as High Priest. Christ figuratively entered once for all into the holy place, that is Heaven. Not only did He enter into the holy place, but He entered it with His own blood. The priests in the Old Testament entered the holy place with the blood of bulls and goats.
We have the reason for Christ entering with His own blood. For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
From the Jewish standpoint, the Levitical sacrifices were adequate enough for a person’s ritual impurities. For example, if a person touched a dead body, the person who touched the body would be considered ceremonially unclean. He would then have to be sprinkled with the ashes of a heifer mixed with water. But that was the external that was made clean. That person was still unclean because there was sin internally, for which little could be done by the goat and bull sacrificed on the Day of Atonement.
A person’s guilty conscience was not purified under the Old Law. The cleansed conscience is for a set purpose. That purpose is given at the end of verse 14, to serve the living God. In the first few verses of this chapter the author described the regulations of worship and the priests in their ritual duties. Now, he concludes the thought that we, who are cleansed by the blood of Christ, are to give ourselves in dedicated service to the true God.
Christ’s death makes it possible that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. Christians are called through the preaching of the Gospel. Romans 10:14-17 reads, How then will they call on him whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news? But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us? So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. So this is how we are called. God doesn’t whisper in our ears, He doesn’t speak to us in our dreams. We are called by the Gospel.
Christ died for all. And according to v 15, His blood reaches both directions, for those under both testaments, the Old Testament and the New Testament. So the promised inheritance, which is eternal (9:12), is for all of God’s people if only they remain faithful.
Verse 16, 17-In the case of a will, the person who makes the will, the testator, must die in order for it to take effect. In making his point, the author uses one word in Greek that refers to both “covenant” and “will.” Christ is both mediator and testator. As testator, He had to die in order to convey to us the inheritance of salvation.
Verse 22-there were exceptions to the things that could not be sprinkled with blood. See Numbers 31:21-24; Leviticus 5:11-13.
Verse 23-Heaven did not have to be literally cleansed of any bad thing. This is just figurative to give emphasis that Heaven is much better than the earthly tabernacle.
Verse 25-26-these two verses are saying what was previously stated in other chapters. Christ did not have to repeatedly offer Himself. Having to repeatedly offer sacrifices indicates imperfection. This is why in the previous chapters the author kept saying that the Old Law was imperfect and weak because of the constant sacrifices that had to be made for the people’s sins. Every time a sin was committed, that person had to sacrifice an animal. Christ does not have to be sacrificed every time we sin against Him. We repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness. That’s the beauty of the New Testament and that’s what the author wants the Jewish Christians to understand.
Verse 27-This verse does not mean that we as human beings are appointed to die, or that as individuals each one has his or her predetermined hour for death. Rather, the thought here is that as men die only once, so Christ died only once to bear the sins of many. We learn this from 2:9-10.
Verse 28-Christ will leave Heaven but never again will He have to atone for sin. Rather when He does come again, it will be to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him. Christ is the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him (5:9).