Your birth certificate does not have an expiration date. God sees and knows, but does not cause, our deaths.
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
We tend to put on God’s shoulders something that is not really His doing. That “something” is the hour of our death. Growing up Southern Baptist, I heard often that God has an appointed hour for me to die, based upon Hebrews 9:27, which says, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement,” but a specific hour is not what the text is really addressing. Let’s look at a bit closer,
24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 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.
Let’s look at the text literally (who’s talking, background, plot, audience), morally (the point), and spiritually (application).
Literal- The writer is addressing Jews, hence the deep sacrificial descriptions. The time of the writing is around 50 A.D. The point is to build a case for Jesus being the Last Sacrifice.
Moral- The Old Covenant was built upon a sacrifice that covered sin, but did not take away sin. It was designed to point to a coming Ultimate Sacrifice, who is Jesus Christ. Just as the priests entered the holy place to offer sacrifices, Christ entered the heavenly holy place to offer Himself. But, the priests had to repeat this process year after year where Jesus did it only once for all. The comparison/contrast continues in verse 27: Just as we die once, so Christ died once. It’s not a matter of a certain time, but that it happens once. So, what kills us? Basically, it’s the overall consequences of sin in our world and in us through disease, nature, personal choice, other people’s choices, etc. The text simply tells us that WE WILL DIE–but that’s a good thing, because who wants to live forever in these decaying earth-suits?!
Spiritual- Whereas all previous sacrifices could not take away sins, Jesus’ perfect sacrifice could and did! Let’s look a little further in the book, 10:3But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Tomorrow, we will look at 8-10 and how Jesus establishes the New Covenant with us.
Abba, thank You for Jesus coming and taking away my sin. I couldn’t do it myself; I needed You. And, now that I have met You and You have invited me to be a part of the Fellowship of the Trinity, I never want to be without You! Give me spiritual eyes, Lord, to see what You see in people, circumstances, and life. Amen.