Christ and the Altar – Hebrews 10:11-25
I. THE OLD ALTARS
a. The sacrifices were multiple
Genesis 8:20 (NASB) 20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Genesis 12:7-8 (NASB) 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. 8 Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.
Genesis 22:9 (NASB) 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
Genesis 26:23-25 (NASB) 23 Then he went up from there to Beersheba. 24 The Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you, and multiply your descendants, For the sake of My servant Abraham.” 25 So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
Exodus 25:8-9 (NASB) 8 Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it.
Numbers 3:5-8 (NASB) 5 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 6 “Bring the tribe of Levi near and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him. 7 They shall perform the duties for him and for the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, to do the service of the tabernacle. 8 They shall also keep all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, along with the duties of the sons of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle
Leviticus 17:11 (NASB) 11 For the [a]life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’
b. The priests stood up at the altars
c. The animal sacrifices could not remove sin
Hebrews 10:4 (NASB) 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Hebrews 9:22 (NASB) 22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Hebrews 10:1 (NASB) For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.
II. THE NEW ALTAR
a. Jesus died once
Hebrews 13:10 (NASB) 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the [a]tabernacle have no right to eat.
b. Jesus sat down
Hebrews 9:28 (NASB) 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
c. Jesus’ sacrifice can remove sin
Hebrews 10:10 (NASB) 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Acts 10:43 (NASB) 43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”
1 John 1:9 (NASB) 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:3-4 (NASB) 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
III. THE NEW WAY
Exodus 30:6-10 (NASB) 6 You shall put this altar in front of the veil that is near the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is over the ark of the testimony, where I will meet with you. 7 Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. 8 When Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. 9 You shall not offer any strange incense on this altar, or burnt offering or meal offering; and you shall not pour out a drink offering on it. 10 Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once a year; he shall make atonement on it with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once a year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”
Psalm 141:2 (NASB) 2 May my prayer be [a]counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.
a. Believers can enter God’s presence
Matthew 27:51 (NASB) 51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.
1 John 2:1 (NASB) My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
Hebrews 7:25 (NASB) 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
b. Believers can be living sacrifices
Romans 12:1-2 (NASB) Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Hebrews 13:15 (NASB) 15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.