Hebrews 9:24-28 (KJV) For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (25) Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; (26) For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (27) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (28) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
When our Lord Jesus was on this earth – God in humanity manifest – He did many things. One day John the Baptist sent a delegate to Jesus asking simply “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” Jesus answered them,
Matthew 11:4-6 (ESV) Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.
Jesus did a lot of healing. He did a lot of preaching. He did a lot of traveling. He did a lot of loving. Jesus went to Church (they called it “Synagogue”) every chance He was able. He kept every feast and went to every eating meeting that He as a Jew was supposed to go to. And Jesus did a lot of offending. He didn’t intentionally try to hurt anyone’s feelings, but Jesus spoke the plain truth in love. Jesus didn’t beat around the bush. He called it the way it was.
But the one thing Jesus did not do is sacrifice an animal. He did not bring an animal to the Temple to be killed. The blood of an animal was never sprinkled on Him as it was on other Jews. Nor did Jesus try and take the place of the Levite Priest. Jesus was born of the Jewish Tribe of Judah, not of Levi. He was not – while on this earth – supposed to be a priest. Christ was a priest not after Levi, but after Melchizedek.
1 Jesus Came To This Earth On An Appointment. Why did God the Son become the Son of Man? Why did the Perfect come down to this earth? That Baby born in a manger in Bethlehem, why was He born of a Virgin? That Child – born as old as His Father and older than His mother – why was He here?
He was here on assignment, on an appointment from Heaven. We read a few weeks ago:
Hebrews 3:1-2 (KJV) Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;  Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
God appointed Jesus to come to this earth. Jesus said:
John 5:43 (KJV) I am come in my Father’s name ….
Jesus came to this earth because the Father sent Him. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. He came not promoting His own agenda, but came out of love for us. We are broken. We are broken. We think we have it together, but we are broken.
a The Law Cannot Fix What Ails Humanity. We read:
Hebrews 9:24 (KJV) For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true;
In the Old Testament the High Priest of Israel would take an animal that had neither spot nor blemish, sacrifice it, and sprinkle it’s blood on the people. He would then carry the blood of that animal into the inner place, the Holy of Holies. By going through this ritual the High Priest made atonement or a covering for sin. But this was only a temporary covering because the Priest would go this ritual year after year. Why? Because this temporary covering did nothing to correct the problem of the people.
People are sinners.
People are born sinners.
People are born broken.
The Bible declares this over and over.
The WORLD says “People are basically good”.
But GOD says Romans 5:12,19 (ESV) .. sin came into the world through one man,
and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned
… by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners
The WORLD says “Surely there must be exceptions to this.
Some had to be “good”. What about Enoch and Elijah whom God took?
But GOD says Romans 3:23 (ESV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
2 Chronicles 6:36 (ESV) “there is no one who does not sin”
Isaiah 53:6 (ESV) All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way
Romans 3:9-12 (ESV) “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands;
no one seeks for God. All have turned aside;
together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Mark 10:18/Luke 18:19 (ESV) … No one is good except God alone.”
The Bible does tell us that Enoch walked with God and he was not, because God translated him (Hebrews 11:5). The Bible tells us that Elijah was caught up by a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11). But we also know that neither of these men went into Heaven proper, but into Paradise to await the coming of the Messiah.
(If you didn’t learn this last week I hope you’ll learn to be in Church every week.
When you miss Church you miss a blessing.)
Enoch and Elijah went to Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise to await the coming of Christ.
No one entered Heaven proper under the Old Covenant.
Yet God took them with Him. If neither Enoch nor Elijah died, but were taken by God but did not enter Heaven proper, then why did God take them? If man is at heart a sinner (for the Scripture says):
Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Ecclesiastes 9:3 (ESV) … the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
… then why did God call Abraham to follow Him?
Why did God seek the a Shepherd David, and make him King over Israel?
Why did God call Israel, an assuredly broken people, and lead them through the Red Sea?
Because though we are all broken, God loves us all. Because God
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
God wants us to understand that He loves us and REPENT. Repent does not mean to get better nor to clean yourselves up.
Hebrews 9:25 (KJV) … the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
Neither the works of our hands nor the works of the Law are able to bring eternal life. The High Priest of Israel dressed up in holy clothing, doing holy work, working in the Holy of Holies for a holy God. And yet this priest (though outwardly holy) still had to sacrifice an animal for himself. The innocent animal had to die for him. But the problem is …
Man is not an animal
If Man was an animal (and Darwinism is true) then the sacrifice of the animal would have covered our sins. But the sacrifices of animals were but a shadow of that which was to come, something better, Someone better. This Someone is Christ.
God loves us, but we are all broken. But all lives matter. All are created in the Image of God, what the ancients called Imago Dei.
We were not made to be racist.
We were not made to be hateful.
We were not made to hurt one another, nor to objectify one another.
We are not things, and we are not animals.
We are people, humans.
And we needed a human solution for our sins.
This is why Christ came. He IS THE Solution.
I love my grandchildren, and are so grateful that we had time to go and spend a week with them. Thank you for this, Riverview. They grow up so quickly, and we look forward to that time. One day while we were with our Valdosta family (and yes, we missed our Columbia family) my grandchildren came in our bedroom. They started by jumping on the bed. Grandpa said “Ya’ll need to get off that bed!” They kept jumping. “Please get off of that bed!”, I said a little louder. They jumped a little longer, then looked at me and ran out. They came back about a minute later with toy airplanes, and started throwing them around the room. I said “Throw those planes somewhere else!”.
They turned, faced me, and drew back their arms to throw the planes at me.
I said “If you throw those planes at me I will tear them up.” They stopped, looked at me askew and thought about what I said. They took the planes outside. Not because they are “good boys” but because they weighed the threat of punishment against the joy of the sin. My word controlled them, but did not change them. I love my grandkids but they are sinners in need of the Savior. We can punish and threaten and control behavior, but we all are at heart sinners.
But God loves us in spite of ourselves
b Jesus Christ Came From Heaven To Earth To Fix What Ails Us. The Father sent His Son, the One of Whom He said:
Matthew 3:17 (NKJV) … This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
The Father sent the Son so that we might have life. Jesus said:
John 10:10 (KJV) …. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
You do not have life if you are not in Christ. You have animation. You have a form of godliness, but deny the Power thereof. Without Jesus you worship stuff, you worship paper, you devalue life and value stuff.
There is nothing wrong with having stuff, but it’s wrong when stuff has you.
Jesus offers life in Him. He gave Himself for us.
Jesus died for us!
Hebrews 9:28 (KJV) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
How does salvation work? Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. The Levitical High Priest made offering after offering, but Christ made one sinless offering. He was willing to die for us. He took our punishment, He paid our penalty. Sin in us and done by us made us unacceptable to God. I know that “sin” is an old fashioned word that we no longer believe in the modern, post Christian America. But there is sin. And there is a God Who made us sinless, but we became sinful through the works of our hands and the intents of our hearts.
1 Corinthians 15:3 (KJV) … Christ died for our sins …
1 Peter 3:18 (KJV) For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
1 Thessalonians 5:10 (KJV) (Christ) died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.
Someone once said “He laid down His everything for our nothing”. He gave Himself for you and for me. But I want you to look at out text once more:
Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of MANY
It doesn’t say that Jesus was offered many times, but ONCE. But His offer to God is not for ALL, but for the MANY. Why doesn’t it say He bore the sins of ALL?
2 The Gospel Is A Whosoever Will Offer. God does not force the Gospel on anyone. Christ has paid the penalty for our sin, but we must choose to receive that payment. Our text tells us:
Hebrews 9:26-28 (KJV) but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (27) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (28) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many
Jesus came on an appointment to this world because we ALL have an appointment we must keep. What is this appointment?
It is an appointment with DEATH
It is an appointment with JUDGMENT
The Apostle Paul witnessed in the Athens that …
Acts 17:30-31 (ESV) The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
God will judge the world and all that is in it by Jesus Christ, the One He appointed to be the Savior. Every person has a double appointment. It s not an appointment that WE made, but an appointment our MAKER has made.
… it is appointed unto men (mankind) ONCE to die, but AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT:
This is a general appointment, a universal appointment, and a mandatory appointment. The great King Solomon, the richest and wisest man who ever lived, wrote:
Ecclesiastes 3:17 (ESV) … God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.
Judgment is sure, and God is the Sure Judge. Jesus came to this earth with an appointment because WE have an appointment both with death and with judgment. This one time appointment is certain, it is sure, and it is to every person.
Now I want to ask you …. do you know when you are going to die?
Did you receive the engraved invitation?
Did God ask you to RSVP?
No, and neither did I!
God controls the exact moment of physical death for each and every one of us. The Bible says:
Psalm 68:20 (ESV) Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.
It is God Who gives us over to death, so said King David (Psalm 118:18). The Great Evangelist Billy Graham (who is now 97 years old) wrote …
“When we will die is not a matter of accident or chance; the Bible makes it clear that our lives are in God’s hands. He knows the time of our death, and He has even appointed it. The Bible says, “Man’s days are determined; you (God) have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed” (Job 14:5).”
God is the Appointer, the Ultimate Controller of death. He lengthens physical life, He shortens physical life. There was a time when people understood this principle of Scripture. You are here, today, alive and listening to this message because God has willed it to be so. Your life is not guaranteed. James, the Step Brother of Christ Jesus, wrote:
James 4:13-15 (ESV) Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
God has given you and I one more day but, as my momma always said, “Tomorrow never comes”. Today is the day to hear God’s Gospel and respond to it. Today is the day to become part of the MANY.
Hebrews 9:27-28 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (28) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many
3 What Must I Do To Be Saved? Christ did the doing. The answer to your question is …
Acts 16:31 (ESV) … Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.
Believe He died for your sins. Believe that His death was sufficient. Believe what the Scripture says, that Christ appeared in the Presence of God for us. The Beloved Son of God represents all who believe in Him.
Hebrews 9:26 … but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Jesus Christ died once and for all on that Cross of Calvary for all who believe.
If you have received Him as Lord and Savior then you need not fear death.
When you stand before God at your Divine Appointment Jesus will stand with you.
For you belong to Him – forever.
May God bless your hearts with these words.