Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 9

The meaning of the Day of Atonement

Hebrews 9:24

The author of Hebrews now explains the true meaning of the Day of Atonement.

The Day of Atonement was the day when Israelís chief priest entered the most holy room in the temple (Godís house). It only happened on one day in each year. And on that day, God forgave his peopleís sins (wrong and evil deeds). See Hebrews 9:7.

The real meaning is about Christís return to heaven after his death. He went to God the Father there. And he did it for us.

All people are guilty of sin. And our sin has ruined our relationship with God. We deserve to die because of our sin. We deserve Godís punishment. But on the cross, Christ suffered the punishment for us (Isaiah 53:4-6). He died because of our sin.

So Christ died for us. But then, he went to God the Father on our behalf. That is why Jesus is our chief priest (Hebrews 4:14). He made it possible for people to have a right relationship with God (Hebrews 9:11-15).

Israelís chief priest entered that holy room only briefly. He could not remain there. But when Christ entered heaven, God the Father gave him a seat at his own right side (Hebrews 1:3). Christ is still there today. And he is still our chief priest. He continues to pray and to speak to God the Father on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25).

Israelís chief priest did his work on behalf of the people in Israel. And Christ did his work for all the people who put their trust in him. They are the people who have confessed their sin to God. They have invited him into their lives; and they have begun a new relationship with him. And so God has forgiven all their sin.

Next part: Christ: our priest and our sacrifice (Hebrews 9:25-26)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.