Introduction: “Faster access.” Since GoBible is an Internet ministry,
all of you who read this lesson no doubt want the fastest possible
access to your Internet data. Have you ever given thought to “faster
access,” or “better access,” when it comes to your relationship with
God? The book of Hebrews has been teaching us about the parallel
between the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries. This parallel has a lot
to teach us about our access to God. Let’s dive into our lesson and
see what we can learn!

  1. The Shadow

    1. Read Hebrews 10:1. When you think of a “shadow,” what
      comes to mind?

      1. How would you define the word “shadow?”

      2. How is shadow used in this text? (As something that
        generally resembles the original.)

        1. In your experience, how close is a shadow to the
          reality? (My shadow is generally a distortion of
          the way I actually appear. My shadow makes me
          appear either very tall or very short.)

      3. How is “the law” a shadow of the good things ahead?
        (The Greek word translated “law” can mean “the
        principle.” The writer of Hebrews seems to be
        telling us that the principles of the Old Testament
        sanctuary service are a reflection, but a distorted
        reflection, of the ultimate principles of God’s

      4. In this case, what is wrong with “the shadow?” How
        does it distort the true image? (One major problem is
        that the sanctuary service did not make perfect those
        who participated in the system.)

      5. Are there other ways in which the Old Testament
        sanctuary service distorts our ultimate picture of
        God? (A very significant distortion has to do with
        our access to God. Sins were only forgiven through
        the help of the priest. Only the High Priest was in
        the presence of God, and then only one day a year. As
        we will see later in this study, that gives us a
        distorted picture of our present access to God.)

    2. Read Hebrews 10:2-4. How do we know that the Old Testament
      sanctuary service did not make the people perfect? What
      logical argument is made by the writer of Hebrews?(He has
      three arguments: 1) If just one sacrifice could cleanse
      the people from their sins, they would not need to keep
      sacrificing. 2) If just one sacrifice would have
      eliminated sin, then the people would no longer have any
      feelings of guilt. 3) The sacrifices were just a reminder
      of sin, not a solution to sin, because animal blood cannot
      remove sin.)

      1. Now that we are under the New Covenant, should the
        opposite now be true? We have been studying that
        Jesus was sacrificed just once for our sins. See
        Hebrews 9:28.

        1. If you said, “yes, the opposite is now true” why
          does the sanctuary service in heaven continue?

        2. If the opposite is now true, would we need to
          continue to feel guilty?

        3. If the opposite is true, would we need to
          continue to be reminded of our sins? (Only one
          sacrifice by Jesus was needed. As we consider
          the parallel between the Old Testament sanctuary
          service, and the one in heaven, Jesus, our High
          Priest, is now in that part of the sanctuary
          service where He is in the presence of God the
          Father. He is there on our behalf. That should
          release us from feeling guilt for sins which
          have been confessed to Jesus.)

  2. What God Wants

    1. Read Hebrews 10:5-7. What does God NOT want? (Burnt
      offerings and sacrifices.)

      1. Why not? God set the sanctuary sacrificial system up,
        didn’t He? The Old Testament sanctuary service was
        not just some “brain storm” that Moses had one day,
        right? (The key to the answer is in verse 7. Jesus
        says “I have come to do your will.” God’s will is
        that we obey. What Jesus did for us is to perfectly
        obey the law on our behalf. The sacrifices were not
        the goal of the sanctuary system. The goal of the
        system was obedience to the law. That comes only
        through Jesus.)

    2. Read Hebrews 10:8-10. What ultimately made us holy? (Verse
      10 tells us that God’s will, through Jesus’ sacrifice, has
      made us holy.)

      1. What does this tell us about God’s desire for us to
        be saved? (God’s will is that we be saved. That is
        His desire!)

      1. What is “the first” that Jesus has set aside? What is
        “the second” that Jesus has established?

      2. Are you holy now?

  1. Mediation

    1. We have learned so far that the sanctuary system was
      intended to draw our attention to the better principles
      that govern God’s kingdom. One of those principles is that
      the life and death of Jesus is intended to make us holy.
      Let’s explore this a bit more. Read Hebrews 7:23-25. What
      kind of salvation is available to us? (Complete

      1. What do we have to do to obtain this complete
        salvation? (Come to God through Jesus.)

      2. What does Jesus do when we come to Him seeking
        salvation? (He intercedes for us.)

      3. We see that God is “on board” with this program. It
        is God’s will that we be saved. It is His will that
        we be holy. Why, then, would Jesus have to intercede,
        or mediate for us? If God is “on our side” why do we
        need a mediator?

        1. Read Colossians 1:19-22. What is the problem
          between God and humans? (Because of sin, we were
          in a state of hostility to God.)

          1. How does the work of Jesus change that?
            (Jesus’ sacrifice has “reconciled” us to
            God the Father.)

          2. What do you think this reconciliation has
            done for your access to God?

  2. New Mountain

    1. Read Hebrews 12:18-21. What is being described here? (This
      is a description of the giving of the Ten Commandments to
      the Israelites at Mount Sinai. See Exodus 19.)

      1. Even Moses was trembling with fear. Why did God
        approach the people in such a way? (This reflects the
        hostility between God and man that was created
        because of sin. God wanted to “put the fear of God”
        in their hearts.)

    2. Read Hebrews 12:22-24. Describe how the reception at Mount
      Zion is better than the reception at Mount Sinai? How are
      things different?

      1. Why are things different? (Jesus has defeated sin. He
        has overcome evil. He has reconciled us to God. He
        has been working as our mediator under the new
        covenant. Instead of fire, brimstone and terror, we
        face a happy, joyous heavenly host to welcome us

      2. How would you describe this access to God? (Imagine
        the difference between entering a home where the head
        of the household had some serious problems with you,
        as opposed to where the head of the household felt
        joy because of you.)

      3. In the context of all of this happiness, why is the
        “blood of Abel” mentioned? (Both Jesus and Abel died
        as a result of sin. The difference is that Abel’s
        death shows us the natural outworking of sin. While
        Jesus gave us the opportunity to claim the victory
        over sin. We do not face the natural, ultimate
        consequences of sin because of Jesus. One of those
        natural consequences of sin is that it is repugnant
        to a Holy God. Jesus, however, has made us holy.)

        1. What kind of attitude should we have as a
          result? (We can rejoice. Jesus has made us holy.
          Jesus is mediating on our behalf. Heaven looks
          forward to us arriving. What access we now

    3. Friend, it that the reception you want to have in heaven?
      Do you want heavenly beings to have joy at your arrival?
      If so, repent, accept Jesus as your substitute, and He
      will make you holy.

  3. Next week: Jesus, Our Sacrifice and Salvation.