A BETTER TABERNACLE
Hebrews 9:11-12 But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Two covenants were referred to in the preceding chapter - the Old Covenant established between God and the Jewish nation that was revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai, and the New Covenant, which governs the Christian Dispensation, and was established, and revealed through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. These two covenants were revealed and compared in Chapter 8. We are told that the New Covenant was a better covenant, which was established upon better promises (Vs. 6). The contrast continued in chapter 9 with the comparison being made between their covenant tabernacles. Under the Mosaic Law, the tabernacle, or sanctuary of worship, was constructed by men, but under specific directions given by God to His servant, Moses. God spelled out, in detail, its measurements, and the materials to be used, in its construction. In previous verses 1-5, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, within the tabernacle, were identified, and their furnishings were described. In verses 6-10, we find a brief description of the religious rites, and by what order of priests, that they were to be performed.
Beginning with the lesson text, the tabernacle under the New Covenant is described. Some controversy exists among, so called, bible scholars as to the definition of the tabernacle referred to in the lesson text. However, a study of both verses in the lesson text seems to clearly establish the more perfect tabernacle as heaven, itself. It is in heaven that Jesus Christ now dwells. It is in heaven that He now reigns as the Monarch of the kingdom of God. And it is in heaven that He presently serves as the High Priest and Mediator between God and His faithful children. Under the Old Covenant, priests were required to come from the heritage of Levi. Therefore it was necessary for this law to be made void in order that Jesus could serve as High Priest. Jesus entry into the more perfect tabernacle was not made possible by the blood of goats and calves, as was required by the high priests under the Jewish Dispensation. It was the death of Jesus that ushered in the New Covenant, which made the first old, causing it to vanish away (Heb. 8:13). Jesus entered into the more perfect tabernacle, that is heaven, by the shedding of His own blood. After His death, burial, resurrection, He ascended into the perfect tabernacle of heaven.
With the shedding of His blood, Jesus Christ was sanctified to serve as High Priest in the more perfect tabernacle of heaven. At the same time it was by the shedding of His blood that He ordained eternal redemption for us. Redemption was not for the period of one year, as it was under the Old Covenant, but it was eternal. Redemption under the New Covenant is not temporary. Once one has obeyed God's will and been baptized into the body of Christ Jesus, redemption of our past sins will continue forever. God's revelation to the apostle John assures us Jesus loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood (Rev. 1:5).
Under the Old Covenant, the high priest entered into the old tabernacle, and, after sacrificially cleansing himself of sin, offered the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer in order to temporarily sanctify and purify the Jewish nation (Vs. 13). This was God's plan and it was good. However, under the New Covenant a much better cleansing is made available through our High Priest, Jesus Christ. It was the unblemished symbolic Lamb of God - the pure sacrifice of Jesus, Himself, through whom obedient Christians have their conscience purged from the guilt of past sins (dead works),and the beginning of a new life of dedicated service to our living God (Vs. 14). Complete redemption of sins was not available under the Old Covenant. It took the death of Jesus, under the Christian Dispensation, for redemption of those under previous dispensations to become effective and permanent. And for this cause He (Jesus Christ) is the Mediator of the New Testament, that all faithful children of God, both under the old laws and under the present laws of God, might receive the promise of eternal inheritance (Vs. 15).
Under the Christian Dispensation we have a better High Priest, a better sacrifice for our sins, a better covenant relationship with God, and a better understanding of God's will. In Jesus Christ we have the perfect law of redemption, and access to a better tabernacle - eternal life in heaven.