Monday, April 25, 2022

Hebrews 13:11-13


11 After the high priest offers the blood of animals as a sin offering, the bodies of those animals are burned outside the camp. 12 Jesus himself suffered outside the city gate, so his blood would make people holy. 13 This is why we should go outside the camp to Jesus and share in his disgrace. ~ Hebrews 13:11-13

Today, we return to our study of Hebrews 13 wherein the writer of Hebrews gives us practical application of the many doctrinal truths given throughout this great book. This teaching comes on the heels of his comparison of the the Old Covenant given to Israel at Mt. Sinai and the New Covenant procured by the Lord Jesus at the cross of Calvary.

In v.11 of today's passage we read, "After the high priest offers the blood of animals as a sin offering, the bodies of those animals are burned outside the camp."

Having warned these young Hebrew Christians about false teachings which emphasize food restrictions and external religious demands, and, having highlighted that it is only the grace of God that truly strengthens us in our pursuit of Him, the writer of Hebrews turns our attention to the tabernacle. Back in the days when the sin offerings were brought into the tabernacle the priests were forbidden to eat them, so they were taken outside the camp of the people and burned. The priest could eat the meat of all of the other offerings, but not the sin offering. 

Of course, this was yet again another picture of the coming Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. As was pictured by the sin offering, the Lord Jesus was taken outside the city of Jerusalem and put to death on a cross.

In v.12 of today's passage we read, "Jesus himself suffered outside the city gate, so his blood would make people holy."

As the sin offerings were taken outside the camp of the people, the Lord Jesus was separated from God while He hung on the cross. He suffered outside the gate. And, by His perfect blood that was shed for the complete forgiveness of our past, present and future sin, He made all who would believe on Him holy, sanctified, perfect in God's eyes, and set apart for our intended purpose. No believer should be weighed down by doubt that He is right with God through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. We have been set free from the penalty of all of our sin, past, present and future. And the freedom of knowing this should free us to be totally invested in God's call upon our lives.

In v.13 of today's passage we read, "This is why we should go outside the camp to Jesus and share in his disgrace."

When we decided to place our faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin, we separated ourselves from all other beliefs. The Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant sin offering who was rejected by the religious system of this world. He willingly went outside the camp to take the load of every sin ever committed upon Himself. And, through His death, God judged that sin as He hung there on that cross from nine o'clock in the morning until three o'clock in the afternoon. He did this so that the willing of heart might be sanctified with His own blood. He was despised, rejected, hated, betrayed, arrested, mocked, beaten, killed like a common criminal, and, He accepted every bit of it to shed His blood on our behalf. How can we help but to love Him in return?

According to Hebrews 9:22, "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." 

The Lord Jesus knew this verse, so He shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins. The Old Testament sacrifice was a shame to the people and they put it out. So, the Lord Jesus had to be shamed by being put outside and rejected by man and God, in order to do what no one could do. He did this to provide a sacrifice good enough to procure the forgiveness of our sin. And, in order for you and me to benefit from His sacrifice, we had to be willing to go out from the religious system and to identify with His reproach and shame as He bore our sin on that tree.

We share in the Lord's disgrace not only when we receive from Him as our Savior and receive the forgiveness of our sin, we share in His disgrace when we walk with Him on a daily basis. The root word translated "disgrace" was used by Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, in Luke 1:25. Elizabeth was barren and she could not have children. And, her barrenness was a disgrace in their Jewish society. According to Luke 1:7, in those days being advanced in age began at 60 years old. After Elizabeth became pregnant at around 60 years of age or older, she said, "What the Lord has done for me will keep people from looking down on me.

This disgrace includes being looked down upon by those not in a personal relationship with God. We must recognize it is an honor to suffer for the name of Christ because in our suffering we are granted a deeper fellowship and intimacy with Christ. We all want a trouble free life, but the trouble free life is a shallow life. You see, when we have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, those around us will welcome our involvement in their lives when their trouble comes. Pain, of any sort, is one of life's greatest fellowship enhancers. It enhances our fellowship with God and with others who share in the pain.