Introduction: Have you ever had someone ask you, “What have you done
for me lately?” Our studies for the last two weeks have been the
death and resurrection of Jesus. How glorious was Jesus’ triumph over
death! But, that was over 2,000 years ago. Is that the end of the
story? What, if anything, is Jesus doing now? If He is doing
something, is He doing it for you and me? Let’s plunge into our study
of the Bible and find out!

  1. The First Contract

    1. Read Hebrews 9:1. A “covenant” is a contract. What was
      involved in this “first contract?” (It had rules for
      worship and it had a special place for worship.)

      1. Who do you think are the parties to this first
        contract? (God and humans had an agreement about how
        humans should approach and worship God.)

    2. Read Hebrews 9:2-5. What is being described here? (The
      place of worship and the articles used for worship in the
      first contract. The “earthly sanctuary” started out as a
      portable tabernacle that was constructed in the wilderness
      journey of God’s people from Egypt to Palestine. Later,
      King Solomon built a permanent structure in Jerusalem
      following this same general plan. Solomon’s temple was
      destroyed and a replacement built that lasted until its
      final destruction by the Romans in 70 A.D.)

      1. What divided the “Holy Place” of the temple from the
        “Most Holy Place?” (The “second curtain.”)

      2. What was the purpose of the Most Holy Place? (The ark
        represented the presence of God. It contained the Ten
        Commandments. Above the cover of the ark, between the
        two cherubim, was where God would come to give
        directions to His people. Exodus 25:22.)

    3. Read Hebrews 9:6-7. How were these two compartments of the
      temple used? (In the outer court, the “Holy Place,” the
      priests offered daily sacrifices for the sins of the
      people. The priest sacrificed an animal because the person
      bringing the animal had sinned. The blood of the animal
      transferred the sin of the person to the temple(Leviticus
      5). Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest
      entered the inner court, the Most Holy Place. He did this
      to take the blood symbolizing the sins of the people to
      God. By this annual ceremony the sins of the people and
      the High Priests own sins were removed from the
      temple(Leviticus 16).)

    4. Read Hebrews 9:8. There is a lesson for us in this system.
      It seems to say that we did not have an adequate map. What
      does this mean? A map to what? (No one but the High
      Priest could enter the Most Holy section of the temple,
      and he could only do it once a year. The Most Holy Place
      was where the Ten Commandments were kept and where God
      would come. Therefore, this must mean that we (the
      ordinary people) did not have an adequate map to find
      obedience or find God.)

  2. The New Order, the Map and the Second Contract

    1. Read Matthew 27:50-51. This refers to the curtain
      separating the Holy from the Most Holy sections of the
      temple. Why are we told that it was ripped “from top to
      bottom?” (Humans would start from where they were –
      standing at the bottom. This was done supernaturally.)

      1. When did this happen? (At the time that Jesus died on
        the cross.)

      2. Why would Jesus’ death have anything to do with the
        curtain in the temple? (Read Hebrews 10:19-20. Jesus
        death opened up the way for ordinary people to
        approach God. We now have “the map” to get to God!)

    2. Read Hebrews 9:8-10. The “time of the new order” has
      arrived. What is the “new order?” Why does it have
      anything to do with the existence of the place of worship
      under the first contract?

      1. If the old place of worship is destroyed, how does
        that help us with our “map” to find God?

    3. Read John 1:29. Here is a big hint about the new order and
      the second contract. Why is Jesus called the “Lamb of
      God?” What does He have to do with taking away the “sin of
      the world?” (John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of
      God” from the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Under the
      old order, actual lambs were sacrificed to remove the sins
      of the people. This was just a temporary arrangement
      ( Hebrews 9:9-10), one which did not really clear the
      people of sin, but one which illustrated the new order in
      which Jesus died for our sins!)

    4. Read Hebrews 9:11-12. Hebrews just explained that Jesus
      was the Lamb. Now we are told Jesus is also the High
      Priest. How can He be both?(Under the first contract, the
      old order, a human High Priest carried the blood of an
      animal into the Most Holy Place (where God would come)once
      a year. This was the method of removing sin and it was
      repeated annually. In the new order, the second contract,
      Jesus carried His own blood into the presence of God.
      Thus, He performed the role of both the sacrifice and the
      High Priest. Jesus did this just once to make a one-time,
      full payment for our sins.)

      1. Where is Jesus acting as the High Priest? The text
        says Jesus “went through the greater and more perfect
        tabernacle [temple].” We already discussed three
        temples, which one is this? (Read Hebrews 8:5 and
        Hebrews 9:24. Jesus is serving in the temple in
        heaven! The heavenly temple was the pattern for the
        temples here on earth.)

        1. Why would there be a temple in heaven before any
          were built on earth? What purpose would it

    5. Read Hebrews 10:8-10. How is the new covenant (contract)
      an improved version of the old?

      1. Why would God not be pleased with the first contract?
        (God is never pleased with us sinning. He was less
        pleased that animals died as the result. However, the
        animals impressed on the people that sin caused
        death. It symbolized the sin problem and what God
        intended to do about the sin problem.)

      2. Why would the death of Jesus be more pleasing? (Jesus
        fixed the sin problem in many ways. One is that He
        died once for our sins so that we could become holy
        and have eternal life.)

    1. Read Hebrews 10:19-22. We read this text earlier and noted
      that Jesus was also compared to the curtain that separated
      the Holy from the Most Holy place. How is Jesus like the
      curtain that was ripped? How does this help us with the
      “map” problem that we discussed earlier? (The curtain kept
      everyone but the High Priest from entering or even seeing
      the Most Holy place — where God dwelled. Jesus gives us
      access to God! When we died with Jesus for our sins, and
      were washed in baptism, we have been given access to God!)

    2. We considered earlier why there would be a temple in
      heaven before any were built on earth. Do you really think
      there is a physical temple in heaven which looked like the
      ones on earth? (No doubt there is a place in heaven where
      God lives. But, when I read that Jesus is the Lamb, the
      High Priest and the Curtain, I begin to think that the
      physical temples on earth may be largely symbolic of what
      is going on in heaven. What is done in heaven is very
      real. It is the substance of what the earthly temples

  1. Confidence in Our Salvation

    1. When Hebrews 10:19 tells us to confidently enter the Most
      Holy Place in heaven, what does that mean as a practical
      matter? I’m not actually setting foot in heaven now. How
      do I show my confidence? How do I enter? (Entering the
      Most Holy Place was the means by which sin was removed.
      You approached God with His Ten Commandments. I can only
      understand this to mean that I must have confidence in my
      salvation. If I confidently enter into the place where sin
      is taken away, I know I have salvation.)

    2. Read Hebrews 10:26-27. Does my confidence include the
      understanding that once I am saved I always will be saved?

      1. If you say “no,” read Hebrews 10:14. How do you
        explain this? (Jesus did make us perfect through His
        life and death. We can, however, reject His gift of
        perfection by choosing a sinful life.)

      2. How can I balance the great news of the new order,
        the second contract and my map to God with the
        reality of my daily struggle with sin? (Jesus paid
        the price for our sins. We now have access to Father
        God. But we must have the attitude that we want to
        avoid sin. We must ask the Holy Spirit to help us be
        obedient to God’s will, the Ten Commandments.)

      3. Read Hebrews 10:15-16. What does this suggest about
        our relationship to God’s Ten Commandments and the
        Holy Spirit? (Obedience becomes part of our attitude
        through the power of the Holy Spirit.)

    3. Friend, now that you are part of the new order, the second
      contract and a holder of the map, will you determine to
      pursue holy living?

  2. Next week: His Return as King and Friend.