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Lesson 12: Jesus, High Priest of the True Tabernacle (Heb 9:1-12)
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Lesson 12: Jesus, High Priest of the True Tabernacle (Heb 9:1-12)



Layout of the Tabernacle (9:1-5)

Services in the Tabernacle (9:6-10)

Christ in the True Tabernacle (-12)

Key Words/Phrases

First covenant, ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary, tabernacle, first part, lampstand, table, showbread, sanctuary, veil, Holiest of All, golden censer, the ark of the covenant, golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, the tablets of the covenant, mercy seat, priests, high priest, blood, perfect in regard to the conscience, the time of reformation, the good things to come, eternal redemption.

General Analysis

1.   Verses 11-12.

Segment Analysis

1.   Verse 1 introduces the subject matter of the first two paragraphs. Verses 2-5 are about the earthly sanctuary, and 6-10 are about the divine service.

2a.  It represents God’s dwelling among His people.

2b.  God’s covenant defines His relationship with His people. But in order for God to establish a relationship with man, He must provide a means through which sinful man may come to His presence. This is why the tabernacle and the divine services form an integral part of the covenant. The tabernacle represents God’s presence among His people and the ordinances of divine services gave people access to God, although such access was an indirect one. Central to the divine services is the atonement for sins, without which sinners cannot come before God. Thus, the tabernacle and divine services were the means through which God entered into a relationship with His people.

3.   Two—the

Holy Place
and the Holiest of All (i.e.
Most Holy Place

4a.  A veil (3).

4b.  The veil symbolized God’s separation from man and was a prefiguration of the body of Christ (). Sinful man could not come into the presence of the Holy God. But this veil was torn in two from top to bottom when Jesus gave up His spirit. Christ has accomplished the work of salvation and opened a new and living way through His body so that we who believe in Him may now draw near to God (10:19-20)

5a.  The lampstand, the table, and the showbread (2).

5b.  The golden censer and the ark of the covenant (4).

Note: “There are problems about the expression translated ‘the golden altar of incense.’ The word thymiaterion denotes something connected with the burning of incense (thymiama), and in the LXX it is always used of a censer. Some (e.g., KJV, RV, Snell) favor this meaning here. But the word is also used by Symmachus, Theodotion, and others of the altar on which incense was offered (Exod 30:1-10)…” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Vol 12. p. 81). For our purpose, we will understand this term to refer to the golden censer, since the censer had an important part on the Day of Atonement, which the context of this passage focuses on.

The description of the golden censer seems to contradict Exodus 30:6, which tells us that the altar of incense was placed in the

Holy Place
outside the veil. But we should note that the author of Hebrews does not say that the censer was in the
Most Holy Place
, but that the
Most Holy Place
“had” the golden censer. The golden censer was connected to the Most Holy Place because on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar, bring it with the sweet incense into the Most Holy Place, and offer the incense on the fire before the Lord (Lev 16:12-13). Hence, it would be appropriate to consider the golden censer as belonging to the
Most Holy Place
(cf. Ex 40:5; 1Kgs ).

The connection between the golden censer and the

Most Holy Place
is even clearer when we take it to a spiritual level. Through the atoning death of Jesus Christ, we may now draw near to God in the
Most Holy Place
and offer our prayers to Him. There is no longer a veil that separates believers from God. The prayers of the saints rise up directly to the very presence of God (cf. Rev 8:3).

5c.  The golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant (4).

6.   God’s glory and mercy.

7.   The priests went into the first part of the tabernacle, but only the high priest could enter the

Most Holy Place
. The priests entered the
Holy Place
daily, but the high priest entered the
Most Holy Place
once a year. The priests served in the
Holy Place
without blood, but the high priest went into the
Most Holy Place
with blood.

8.   Atonement (7).

9.   The way into the Holiest of All was not made manifest (8), and the gifts and sacrifices could not make man perfect in regard to the conscience (9). The ceremonial cleansing under the first covenant only purified the external, but it could not remove sins or set free a guilty conscience.

10a. The place of service (11)

10a. Christ has entered the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands and not of this creation. He has gone into heaven to appear in the presence of God ().

10b. Instead of offering the blood of goats, He entered the

Most Holy Place
with His own blood.

10c. Whereas the priests offered sacrifices continually, Christ offered His blood once for all. Because His sacrifice was perfect, He only needed to offer Himself once.

10d. The blood that the high priests offered could only purify the flesh, but the blood of Christ brings eternal redemption.

11.  Redemption denotes purchasing with a ransom in order to set one free. With His own blood, Christ has paid for our sins once for all.


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