You have to spend some time in this chapter and focus specifically on these verses: 15, 22, 26b, 28. Let’s break them down starting with a general overview of the chapter. The author speaks about an old covenant which was established under Moses and how important it was for this covenant to be established with blood. It was the blood of the animals which were sacrificed on behalf of the people and on behalf of the priest who was offering the sacrifice for the people. He gives the details of what was in the ark of the covenant: Aaron’s budding staff, golden urn holding the manna, and the tablets of stone on which were written the Ten Commandments. It is really fascinating stuff, but then we move into the new covenant.
Verse 15 gives us the first taste of Jesus described as a mediator of the new covenant. It is Jesus who mediates, Jesus who is in between us and God, it is Jesus who steps in the chasm and in the breech that has occurred because of our sin. His role as mediator cannot be understated. As a mediator he has died himself which allows those of us in the new covenant to receive eternal life. The mediator made that happen.
Verse 22 reminds us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. This is true for both the old and the new covenant. The old covenant had the shedding of blood of the animals. In the new covenant the shedding of blood was that of Jesus himself. As a result of the shedding of Jesus’ blood our sins are forgiven. Can we get any more basic and fundamental than that? This is at the root of what we believe. But we go on.
Vs.26b, now remember when there is a b after a verse it means that you only read the second part of the verse. The first part doesn’t really pertain to what we are saying. So, b tells us that Jesus came one time to save us of our sins. He didn’t have to do what the priests had to do with the animals which was sacrifice them every single year. No, Jesus’ act, once in the realm of history, was enough to wash our sins clean. This is powerful, this is strong, this is important to remember. When we approach the throne of grace and ask for forgiveness and ask for a personal relationship with Jesus we only need to do that once. When we do that once, it is over, it is done, Jesus becomes our mediator, our God, our high priest, yes our Savior.
Finally, vs.28 reaffirms our belief that Jesus is coming back again. We do not know when he is coming back and these verses don’t address the “when”, but we do know that he is coming back. This is far more important and absolutely fundamental to our faith knowing that Jesus is coming back again. When he comes back again it is not to teach, it is not to heal, it is not to deal with sin like he did the first time that he came. When he comes back again it will simply be to gather his beloved with him, those who are eagerly waiting, to be with him for eternity.
This may, but probably not, beat out Romans 8 as the most important chapter in Scripture. Let’s give it a second place. Powerful stuff.