SUMMARY.--The Tabernacle. Its Furniture. The Significance of Its Service. The Greater Tabernacle and Its High Priest. The Two Testaments. When the New Testament Came into Force. The Dedication of the First Testament. This a Pattern of Heavenly Things. Christ, Our High Priest, Hath Entered the Perfect Tabernacle.
16-17. For where a testament is. An inheritance has just been spoken of ( verse 15 ). That suggests a last will and testament, one meaning of the Greek word diatheekee used in verse 15 . A testament has no force until the testator is dead. 17. Is of force after men are dead. As soon as a man dies, his last will and testament comes into force, but has no force whatever while he lives. The application of this is that Christ's testament, the new covenant, came into force when he died. The old covenant was in force to the cross; it was then "nailed to the cross," and Christ having died, the New Testament came into force. It has been urged against this view that the making of wills was not a custom of Israel. It was, however the custom of the whole Roman Empire, and Judea was now a Roman province. The Roman customs had made provinces of the empire familiar with the use of wills.
18-22. Neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. The death and shedding of the blood of Christ was necessary to the inauguration of the New Testament, as has just been shown. Even when the First was inaugurated, Christ died in type and blood was shed. I believe that the apostle means to say that even in the inauguration of the Old Testament death was necessary, the death of a victim, which pointed to Christ's death. 19. For when Moses. For the events alluded to, see Exod. 24:1-8 . All that God had proclaimed in the ten commandments and the accompanying precepts ( Ex. 21-23 ) was written in the book of the covenant. This was read to the people, and they promised obedience. Then the book and all the people were sprinkled with blood. 20. This is the blood of the testament. The covenant had been dedicated by blood. It is well to note that this covenant embraced the Decalogue, yet it was the covenant done away to make room for the covenant of Christ. The tabernacle worship had not yet been set up. 21. Moreover he sprinkled with blood. Afterwards, about a year later, when the tabernacle was ready, both it and its furniture were sprinkled ( Exod. 40:9-15 Lev. 8:24 ). 22. Almost all things. See Leviticus 16:16 Leviticus 16:19 Leviticus 16:33 . Under the law almost every thing was purified by blood, lest it had been defiled. Without shedding of blood is no remission. Every sin under the law required atonement, and no atonement could be made without blood.
23-26. The patterns of things in the heavens. See chapter 8:5 . The tabernacle and all its service were shadows. These were purified, as we have just seen, by blood. The heavenly things with better sacrifices. By the heavenly things are meant all of which the tabernacle was typical. The holy place was a type of the church, which is cleansed with the blood of Christ. Perhaps, too, there is a reference to the redeemed church above, in the heavens, which eternally praises him who cleansed it with his blood. 24. The holy places made with hands. The tabernacle on earth. Figures of the true. Pictures, copies. Into heaven itself. The true Holy of Holies. There, in the presence of God, Christ intercedes for us, as the high priest below interceded before the Shekinah. 25. Nor yet, etc. The high priest entered once a year with the blood of a victim. Not so Christ, our High Priest. 26. For then. In that case he must have suffered many times. But now once. Only once did he offer sacrifice, viz., himself. In the end of the world. At the end of the Jewish dispensation; literally, "the end of the ages," the end of the antediluvian, patriarchal and Jewish ages.
27, 28. As it is appointed unto men once to die, etc. The fixed order for all men is to die once only, and to be judged after death. When they die, finality is stamped, on their life work. 28. So Christ was once offered. Died once as a sin offering. But judgment followed, and he was justified and vindicated by his resurrection. He died once, and after it was the judgment, that made him the King of glory. His work of redemption was done once for all. So unto them that look for him. All the saints who desire his appearing; to them he shall appear a second time, at his second advent, sinless and the mighty Savior. He becomes a sin offering but once, and appears the second time without a sin offering, because he hath done the work once and forever.