Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 50
Hebrews 8:11 – 9:14 – Part 2
Now as we begin this last lesson for book 50, let’s go back to Hebrews chapter 9 where we ran out of time again in our last lesson. As we teach this we see the association of the Old Testament economy as it was practiced back there first in the tabernacle, and later on in the Temple which had the same floor plan as the tabernacle. But, here in Hebrews we’re really referring to that tent in the wilderness. And then our last verse was that “all these things,” the furnishings, the Day of Atonement, the bringing in of the animal’s blood, all of that was just a picture of what would be fulfilled and consummated when Christ would go the way of the Cross. So now the first word of verse 11 is what?
“But…” Now you have the flip-side! Yes, all that was as good as it could be, BUT it had now outworn its usefulness. Now we’ve got something ‘far better,’ as we’ve been seeing all through the Book of Hebrews.
“But Christ (after the priesthood of Melchizedek) being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, (now I’m reading this slowly) not made with hands,….”
Well, if it’s not made with hands, where is it? In heaven. In the heavenlies. There is a prototype and we showed that several weeks ago, that when Moses got instructions to build the tabernacle in the wilderness, what was it patterned after? The likeness of the one in heaven. Alright, and here it is again. That this Priest, Christ, the Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with silver and gold and animal skins and linens and so forth. But with materials of the Heavenlies and only God knows what that is.
My, aren’t you getting kind of homesick for Heaven? I think every believer from the young ones to the old one should be – and you know what? We had to drop a television station a while back and we had kids that were eleven and twelve years old who called and cried, literally, bawled, because they were using our program every morning in their home schooling and wanted to know why in the world we had to drop the program? Well, I’ll tell you that tears you up. But, on the other hand, it thrills us, that we do have a lot of kids listening and watching our program.
A couple of years ago, Iris and I were just beside ourselves because a mother and two kids came to one of our seminars and the kids came up; one was 14, and one was 12, something like that. And they hugged us like long lost grandparents! And the poor mother was so embarrassed. And she said, “Well Les, you’ve got to remember, they watch you every morning.” Well you know, that thrills our hearts that we’re not just appealing to the ‘gray hairs;’ we do have a large audience of kids, eight, nine, ten – in fact we’ve got one family, now their kids are 17 and 18 and they’ve been with us for almost seven or eight years every morning. So you keep praying that we’ll keep reaching a lot of these younger folks.
But anyway, most of you understand that the tabernacle in the wilderness was made of earthly materials, but this tabernacle, this prototype, if I may call it that, is made in glory, with things that we can’t comprehend. All I know is, it’s glorious! It’s going to be beyond human comprehension. Alright, so verse 11, finishing it.
“…by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;” (creation). So it’s not on this earth. Alright now verse 12, and here comes the whole meat or the substance of this portion of Scripture.
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, (as we just saw in the previous verses in our last program) but by his own blood (the Blood of the Cross, on Calvary as the high priest entered behind the veil with the blood of an animal. This high Priest, Christ Jesus Himself) enters into the holy place, (in heaven. In other words into the presence of God the Father. Not with the blood of bulls and calves) having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
With His own Blood we have the redemption. Now I know this is all hard for us humans to comprehend but we take it by faith. How did He approach the Father in the Holy of Holies in heaven presenting His own Blood at the Mercy Seat of the Throne Room? Remember Aaron and the following priests came in behind the veil with the blood of animals, so Christ came in with His own Blood. Now I’m going to take you back to John’s Gospel for a short lesson, we haven’t done this either for a long time.
I think we did it when we taught the gospel of John verse by verse. So come back with me to chapter 20 and you all know the account. How that Mary Magdalene, along with all of the other believers and followers of Jesus, had no idea that He would be raised from the dead. That fact never entered their mind, even though Jesus had told the Twelve more than once, that He would die and rise again, yet it was hidden from them, providentially of course. And so Mary Magdalene is no different and so she’s going to carry out the process of anointing the body after the burial.
“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, (in other words, before full daylight.) when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.”
Now here comes the human element, the minute she sees that, she’s shaken to her toes and what does she do? She just turns on her heels and she runs as fast as that poor girl can run and finds Peter and John.
“Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, (whom we know was, John) and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.”
Peter doesn’t say, “Well, Mary, we know! He’s not supposed to be in the tomb. He’s raised from the dead!” He hasn’t got the foggiest notion of resurrection yet, and so he’s just as shocked as Mary.
“Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.”
Don’t think for a minute that was an early morning stroll. They ran! This was shocking, the tomb empty! With all those Roman guards stationed with threat of their lives if anybody would try to take the corpse. Because you know, that’s what the Pharisees did. They made sure that the Romans stationed guards around the tomb because they had heard that somebody had said He would be raised after three days and three nights, so they thought that was just a gimmick. They’d come and steal the corpse and then they’d be able to say, “See, He rose from the dead.” So they purposely asked the Romans to put extra guards around the tomb.
Now if you know Roman law, you know that when those men were stationed with that kind of responsibility it was with their lives at stake. And here comes Mary and now Peter and John and I don’t even see any record that the soldiers are around. They’ve either run for their lives or they’re already executed, but they’re not there. But the tomb is empty.
“So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.”
I think this is all so practical because we’re pretty confident that Peter was quite a bit older than John and so the young man shows his athletic ability. And so John outruns Peter, and gets to the sepulchre first. But of course, John is more timid than Peter and so he doesn’t go right in. You want to remember the sepulchre was a cave in the limestone and that’s why the stone could be rolled away from the opening. And so verse 5.
And he (John) stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.(I just picture him as being a little bit young and timid.) 6. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, (now I like to bring this down to the every day. He’s probably around forty years old. And I don’t know how far he’s run but he’s been running pretty hard, so what’s he doing? He’s huffing and he’s puffing, but he doesn’t even stop to get his breath, Can’t you just hear him? So Peter) went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie.” As he looks around, he just surveys the whole scenario. Now verse 7.
“And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.” In other words, meticulously folded in a place by itself. This wasn’t just some ramshackle casting off of these grave clothes.
“Then went in also that other disciple, (John) which came first to the sepulchre, (now watch this) and he saw, (the evidence and he, what?) and believed.”
Now what does that tell you? He didn’t know anything of resurrection before this. He knew Who Jesus was, he was a believer, but he had no concept of resurrection. Again that just tells us something. You see, to believe in the resurrection was not a prerequisite for salvation in the Kingdom Gospel. All they were to believe was that Jesus of Nazareth was Who He said He was. And that He was the King of Israel, the Promised Messiah, and that’s all. They didn’t have to believe in a death, burial and a resurrection like we do for salvation, as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and Romans 10:9-10 So it wasn’t necessary for Peter and John to have believed in resurrection up to this point because it wasn’t expected of them. God had kept it secret from them, as you see in Luke 18:31-34, but now when they see the evidence, they believe. Now look at the next verse.
“For as yet they (Peter and John and I guess I can safely include Mary Magdalene) knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” Plain English. They didn’t know, but they didn’t have to know to be saved in that Kingdom economy. Now verse 10:
“Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. 11. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,”
I suppose her curiosity got the best of her. What in the world caused Peter and John to exit so quickly and go? And so she looks in. Now she sees something that Peter and John did not. And what is that? Angels.
“And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seeketh thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener,…”
I have to stop right here. Why, first and foremost does not Mary recognize the resurrected Christ? Well, I have to feel the number one reason is found in Isaiah chapter 52. Why do you suppose Mary did not recognize Jesus, as He’s now standing there in human form, bodily? He didn’t have a ‘kooky’ look about Him. He looked very normal. But here in Isaiah is what she saw last before they took Christ down from the Cross.
“Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. (so we know the prophet is speaking of the Messiah.) 14. As many were astonied(astonished) at thee; his visage (or His appearance) was so marred more than any man,…”
Now listen, we know that the human beings were experts at torture. All the way up through human history, they have been able to torture men beyond human comprehension, but,nobody under the most extreme torture ever had their facial appearance so distorted and so marred as Christ’s was on the Cross. Now we have to realize that, yes, He was scourged. He took the beatings that the Romans administered before He went to the Cross, and they pulled His beard, and the crown of thorns but other than that, we have nothing in the record that they beat on His face, so we have to kind of put two and two together.
What caused his visage to make him look so horrible that it was worse than any human being had ever appeared? The sins of mankind. All the sin of the world was laid on Christ as He hung on that Cross. And you and I again, in the human realm, cannot comprehend that, but I can see that this would cause that physical deforming of His very appearance. And so “He was more marred than any man and his form more marred than the sons of men.” Not so much because of what the Romans had done, but because of the sin that was laid on Him as He hung there on the Cross.
Alright, so now if you’ll come back to John, use just a little bit of human logic. So if the first thing that Mary would have thought of Christ coming back to life, she would have had to undertake seeing that marred face and all that went with it. But here stands Someone looking perfectly whole. Not a scar. Not a mark, except in His hands and His feet and His side. Looking at verse 15 again:
“…supposing him to be the gardener, (which means He looked perfectly normal, not like anything bizarre at all) saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” I will give Him the proper burial and all the ceremonial ritual of the spices and herbs and so forth is implied. Now Jesus speaks in verse 16.
“Jesus saith unto her, Mary….”
Iris and I are learning that when we’re in strange places people recognize our voice far before they’ll recognize our facial appearance and you just watch for it. I’ve given this example before. You can be in the kitchen and if your television is in the den or living room completely out of sight and if you hear a movie with someone that was maybe a great star thirty or forty years ago, you’ll recognize the voice long before you will the picture. I know I do. I can recognize a voice just immediately. Well, I think it’s typical of everybody. Well it’s the same way here. She didn’t recognize anything about Him from His physical appearance but the minute He spoke; it was voice recognition. And that’s all He had to say, “Mary,” see?
“…She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.” Can’t you just hear the excitement in that? These people are human! Just as human as we are and to suddenly realize that this was Jesus standing there in front of her alive and normal looking! No wonder she was shook. And now look what she does.
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not:…’”
Again, you’ve got to read between the lines once in a while and you won’t do any violence to Scripture by doing it. What was the custom even back then when you saw somebody that you hadn’t seen in a while or you were just suddenly engrossed in who they are? Well, you hug them! You all do. My, I see a lot of people and I’ve always said, I’m not a born hugger, but I see some of the rest of you and, my, you can hug! Well, listen, they were no different. So what’s she ready to do? She’s ready to give Him a bear-hug. To think that He’s alive and well and normal! But what does Jesus do? He stops her short and he says: “Touch me not.” Mary, don’t you hug me. Why?
“…for I am not yet ascended to my Father: (now He’s not talking about Acts chapter 1, He’s talking about an immediate ascension right here.) but go to my brethren, (the eleven) and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. 19. Then the same day at evening, (Sunday night) being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
Now where was He those eight or ten hours? In Glory! Plain as day. Alright now let’s come back to Hebrews once again and maybe this will all fall in place. Back to Hebrews chapter 9 verses 11 and 12 again:
“But Christ (Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified, now resurrected) being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, (in other words, this glorious tabernacle in the heavenlies) 12. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place,…” He did not enter once a year, but rather, once for all eternity He entered into the holy place, that is in heaven. Not the one behind the veil as it was on earth, but he entered into the Holy of Holies in the Heavenlies, into the very presence of the merciful, gracious God, not with the blood of bulls and calves but with his own Blood.
Now what does He do? When He leaves off speaking with Mary, He took some of His Blood that was shed on the Cross – I feel He literally took His own Blood and being the God that He was, that was no problem for Him to recapture some of that Blood that had fallen. He takes that Blood and He takes it right up into the Throne Room of Heaven and presents it as the full atoning Blood now, of the Cross, which was far above the animal’s blood. It was the Blood offering that all of humanity had now been waiting 4,000 years, from Adam, and now it finally happens.
And now, He has totally removed the veil and we no longer have to go through all of this ritual. Now every believer has full access, without apology, into that Throne Room of heaven. Why? Because this divine Blood of Christ has now been placed on the Mercy Seat forever and ever. Alright verses 13 and 14:
“For if the blood of bulls and goats, or the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, (if it could) sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: (in that old economy) 14. How much more(oh, beyond comparison!) shall the blood of Christ, (you cannot compare the efficacy of animal’s blood with this divine Blood of Christ) who through the eternal Spirit offered himself (as the supreme sacrifice. See how plain this is? He is the atoning Blood. He is the supreme sacrifice and so) without spot to God, purged your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Oh, what a difference. We’re not worshipping idols of wood and stone. We’re not worshipping some manmade religion. When we come in under that shed Blood of Christ by faith in His death, burial and resurrection; we now have full access to God. We can pray to Him twenty-four hours a day and we can slip out into eternity with full assurance that we’re going into His presence.