4-7: As Part of the Doctrine of Christ in Hebrews, we must note the often times that the death of Christ on the cross for our sins is mentioned.
We know that there are many ways and words used to describe the death of Christ on the cross for our sins: propitiation, redemption, the blood of the cross, atonement, justification, and so on. What we want to do as part of the Doctrine of Christ is to look at the ways this great act of salvation on the part of God is portrayed in the book of Hebrews.
1. Hebrews 1:3.
Paul has a lofty beginning and very eloquent, but gets right into the cross in the third verse.
“…when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high…” (Hebrews 1:3)
(1). The word for the atonement here is “purged our sins”.
(2). Jesus did it by HImself.
(3) Then He sat down on the right hand of God where He assists in our uttermost salvation.
(4). God the Father has the lofty title of “Majesty on high”.
2. Hebrews 2:9.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Hebrews 2:9)
(1). Here the phrase for the cross is that what Jesus did was “taste death for every man”.
(2). Angels, above and below, are the point of reference: Jesus who was in heaven above the angels was temporarily made below the angels in order to live and die on earth.
3. Hebrews 2:17.
Here, the word for the cross is “reconciliation”.
“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17)
As an introduction to Leon Morris’ THE APOSTOLIC PREACHING OF THE CROSS, W. C. Robinson writes a few comments.
“Many of the great theological terms used by the apostles in their interpretation of the significance of the death of Christ are used today in a way which suggests that they have come to mean different things to different people. If we could discovr what the exact significance of these characteristic Christian expressions for the early Church much uncertainty and ambiguity at present attaching to the use of these terms would be removed.”
The great words for the cross that Morris covers in separate chapters are (1) redemption; (2) covenant; (3) the blood; (4) propitiation; (5) reconciliation; and (6) justification. We have just encounter “reconciliation” with some light on what it meant; previously we have loooked at the blood and covenant; and we will see what more we can find about this aspect of the Doctrine of Christ in the book of Hebrews.
NOTE: The many things that Paul still had to say that were hard to utter since they were hard of hearning (Hebrews 5:11) and to go onward to were about the Doctrine of Christ related to His Priesthood after the order of Melchisedec.
“Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are full of hearing….Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on (move forward on the same foundation) unto perfection (regneration, sanctification, and glorification); not laying againg the foundation (that is, don’t lay a new foundation, and at the beginning of chapter 7 we will get into the perfection) of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.” (Hebrews 5:10,11;6:1-3)
That time permit has connotations that it may take more than the book of Hebrews to get into perfection! But on with the CROSS!
4. Hebrews 6:6.
“…seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open death.” (Hebrews 6:6)
The operative word here is “crucify” or “crucifixion” for the cross; and we find the ridiculous aspect of a second salvation given by an individual having their own re-crucifixion of Christ.
5. Hebrews 7:26,27.
“For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Hebrews 7:26,27)
THIS JESUS DID ONCE: when Jesus offered voluntarily Himself to die on the cross He did more than the equivalent of the other high priests that had to offer sacrifices daily, for themselves and the people. Recall that Jesus could call legions of angels if He desired, but He voluntarily went to the death on the cross.
6. Hebrews 8:6.
It is here at the beginning of Hebrews 8 that we have the sum total up that point of what our High Priest Jesus after the order of Melchisedec has accomplished for us!
“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6)
Wow, there are some words here:
(1). Jesus with a More Excellent Ministry.
(2). Mediator of a better covenant.
(3). A better Covenant.
(4). Established on Better Promises.
B. H. Carroll in AN INTERPRETATION OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE and on Hebrews list seven promises of the new covenant: (1) Promise of the Holy Spirit to renew and sanctify their souls; (2) Promise of a Surety that will stand for them until the work is completed; (3) Promise of one Expiatory Sacrifice–this is pertinent to what we are discussing now as terms for the cross; (4) Priesthood of every subject of the covenant; (5) Second Advent of Christ; (6) The rest of heaven; and (7) A Better Party, “festival”.
But once again these are subjects for Advanced Doctrines beyond the fundamental Doctrine of Christ.
Morris concludes on mediator and covenant in his chapter on “Covenant” in THE APOSTOLIC PREACHING OF THE CROSS.
“The idea of mediation then, brings us the two thoughts that the new covenant is one expressly guaranteed by Christ Himself, and that it is His axtivity which establishes the covenant. Both thoughts drive us back to the characteristic biblical position that our salvation is all of God, for it is all of Christ.
‘For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all’ (I Tim. ii.5f)’”
7. Hebrews 8:12 and Jeremiah 31:34.
Surely we see the connection between the forgiveness of sins and the cross, the cross being the means wherefy God could forgive the sins of the world. And that is discussed as part of the new covenant from Jeremiah 31. Once again, this is more a subject for advanced doctrine.
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and therir lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:12 and Jeremiah 31:34)
8. Hebrews 9:11,12.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:11,12)
Wow, this is full of refernces to the cross!
(1). By the blood of Jesus, His own blood.
(2). Christ entered into the holy place of reconciliation to God.
(3). Eternal redemption, another phrase for the cross.
9. Hebrews 9:13,14.
“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:13,14)
Lots of references here to the cross as part of the Doctrine of Christ!
(1). Again it is “the blood of Christ”.
(2) In the cross, Christ offered Himself to God, the sinless sacrifice.
(3). Once again we see the purging of sins as a description of redemption; and it is related to repentance from dead works and faith toward God.
10. Hebrews 9:15.
“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Hebrews 9:15)
(1). Mediator of the new testatment, both as mediator and the new testament are terms for the cross.
(2). The means of death, of course, was the voluntary crucifixion on the Cross.
(3). Redemption of the transgressions, again we see redemption as a description of the Cross.
(4). Notice the addition of redemption for the transgressions that were committed in the Old Testament times and right up to the death of Christ, “that were under the first testament”.
11. Hebrews 9:16.
“For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.” (Hebrews 9:16)
The death, on the cross, of the testator, Christ refers of course to the atonment or crucifixion of Christ.
12. Hebrews 9:22.
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)
The purging again as a reference to the cross, the shedding of blood also, and remission of sins is added.
13. Hebrews 9:25-28.
We have much of the cross as part of the Doctrine of Christ and much of the underlying doctrines of judgment do we have in this passage.
“Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 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. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; 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.” (Hebrews 9:25-28)
The last of this about the Second Coming of Christ with the full salvation in glorification we will have to cover under advanced doctrine. Many references here do we find to the blood and the cross.
(1). Jesus did not offer Himself on the cross many times like the priests did often for sins.
(2). Jesus appeared near the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
(3). Just as there is one death and one judgment for men, so also Jesus died once for the sins of many.
14. Hebrews 10:4-10.
This tremendous passage can be summarized by the last verse, Hebrews 4:10.
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
The argument of Hebrews 10:4-10 develops like this:
(1). The blood of animals can never and have never taken away sin.
(2). Jesus said when He came into the world: these animal sacrifices won’t do it, so He offered them the body God had prepared.
(3). God had no pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices.
(4). Jesus said it was written of Him in the Old Testament that He came to do the will of God, Psalm 40:6-8.
(5). It is by this “will” that we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ. Here sanctified includes redemption.
15. Hebrews 10:12.
“But this man (the Lord Jesus Christ), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God…” (Hebrews 10:12)
Offered one sacrifice for sins for ever is the equivalent of the cross.
16. Hebrews 10:18.
“Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:18)
Remission of sins, another for cross.
17. Hebrews 10:19,20.
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh…” (Hebrews 10:19,20)
We have several phrases for the cross as part of the Doctrine of Christ:  the blood of Jesus;  a new and living way; and  through the veil of His own flesh.
NOTE: We will have to call Hebrews 10 the chapter of the blood of the cross.
18. Hebrews 10:28,29.
“He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:28,29)
We’ve seen the “blood” for the cross and the “covenant” and here we have the blood of the covenant.
19. Hebrews 12:2.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Again it is the cross that Jesus endured, and the despised shame of the cross!
20. Hebrews 12:24.
“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24)
Once again the “mediator of the new covenant” and “the blood of sprinkling” for the cross. Bruce in the NEW INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARY writes of this sprinkling.
“To ‘draw near unto God through him’ means ‘to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus’ (Heb 10:19); accordingly, believers are further said to have come to ‘the blood of sprinkling’. This may remind us of ‘the sprinkling of the blood’ at the time of the first passover (Heb 11:28); but more probably our author is thinking of the covenant-blood of Christ as the antitype of the blood sprinkled a the inauguration of the old covenant. By the blood of the new covenant, symbolically applied, believers’ hearts are ‘sprinkled from an evil conscience’ (Heb 10:11). The removal of an evil conscience does away with the barrier between them and God; the sacrifice of Christ thus ‘has better things to tell than the blood of Abel’ (NEB). Abel’s blood cried out to God from the ground, protesting against his murder and appealing for vindication; but the blood of Christ brings a message of cleasing, forgiveness and peace with God to all who place their faith in Him.”
21. Hebrews 13:12.
“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” (Hebrews 13:12)
Having started on the cross and blood as part of the Doctrine of Christ, Paul can hardly stop.
22. Hebrews 13:20.
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will…” (Hebrews 13:20)
Once again the last part on perfection is a subject for an Advanced Doctrine chapter, but we see “the blood of the everlasting covenant” as the last mention of the cross in the Doctrine of Christ.
4-8: Summarizing Scriptural Tables for This Chapter.
1. First a Table on the Cross in the Doctrine of Christ.
⦁ The Cross in Hebrews
Hebrews Phrase Hebrews Phrase
(1) 1:3 purged our sins by Himself (12) 9:22 shedding of blood for remission
(2) 2:9 suffering of death, taste death for every man (13) 9:25-28 offered once in the end, sacrifice of Himself, offered to bear the sins of many
(3) 2:17 reconciliation for the sins of the people (14) 10:4-10 a prepared body, the will
(4) 6:6 crucify the Son of God afresh (15) 10:12 remember no more
(5) 7:26,27 offered Himself up once for all (16) 10:18 remission of sins, no more offering
(6) 8:6 more excellent ministry, mediator of a better covenant, better promises 17. Heb. 10:19,20 holiest by the blood of Jesus, a new and living way, through the veil of his flesh
(7) 8:12 sins remember no more 18. Heb 10:28,29 sanctifying blood of the covenant
(8) 9:11,12 by His own blood, entered in once into holy place, eternal redemption 19. Heb 12:2 endured the cross, despised the shame
(9) 9:13,14 blood of Christ, offered Himself without spot, purge your conscience 20. Heb 12:24 mediator of the new covenant, the blood of sprinkling
(10) 9:15 mediator of new testament, mean of death, redemption 21. Heb. 13:12 sanctify the people with His own blood
(11) 9:16 a testament, death of testator 22. Heb 13:22 the blood of the everlasting covenant.
2. A Table on “Introduction to the Doctrine of Christ in Hebrews”.
⦁ Doctrine of Christ Introduction
Hebrews Subject of Chapter (Chapters)
1. Hebrews 1:1-14
1. The Son of God Himself purged our sins and sat down on the right hand of God.
a. the final spokesman for God
b. the heir of God
c. the co-creator of the universe
d. the manifestation of the glory of God
e. the image of the Father
f. and the sustainer of the universe
2. Hebrews 2:9-18
2. Jesus, temporarily made a little lower than the angels, that by the grace of God He should taste death for everyone (Hebrews 2:9-18).
3. Hebrews 3:1-4:15 3. Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our Calling, in all points tempted as we are yet without sin.
4. Hebrews 5:1-10 4. Jesus, the high priest, Son of God and priest like Melchisedec, the author of eternal salvation
5. Hebrews 7:1-28 5. Hebrews 7:1- 28: Jesus, a forever priest like Melchisedec, is able to save to the uttermost that come to God by Him.
6. Hebrews 8:1-5 6. Hebrews 8:1-5
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Hebrews 8:1,2)
7. Hebrews 8:6-9:10 7. The More Excellent Ministry of the Doctrine of Christ is the Mediator of a Better Covenant.
8. Hebrews 9:11-28 8. Christ, the high priest of things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle and by the way of His own blood obtained eternal redemption for us.
9. Hebrews 10:1-18 9. A fundamental doctrine of Christ: don’t put sacrifice, a shadow, in the place of the real body of Christ given for the sins of the world.
3. A Table on the Underlying Doctrines of the Doctrine of Christ.