Hebrews 9:1-10: An Illustration

Devotionals > New Testament > Hebrews > Hebrews 9:1-10: An Illustration

Hebrews 9:1-10: An Illustration

September 15, 2023


Isaiah 40-41Proverbs 25:15-28Luke 23:13-25Hebrews 9:1-10

Hebrews 9:1-10:

Now the author of Hebrews comes to describe what worship was like in the old covenant. 

Sometimes, we can think that such worship – with all its ceremonies – must have been particularly exciting, brilliant and somehow better than the rather plain (by comparison) kind of worship with which we worship God today. But Hebrews is making it clear that that is not actually the case. 

Rather the Old Testament worship was for a particular purpose – namely, to show that it was not the ideal or final kind of worship which God intended or wanted. It was meant to point towards the kind of worship that can only happen through the sacrificial death of Jesus (not the sacrificial death of ceremonial animals).  

“The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. 

In fact, the ceremonies of the Old Testament, though, when we read about them today, still have a purpose. They are an “illustration”: 

This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshipper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings– external regulations applying until the time of the new order. 

This illustration points us to the work of Christ on the cross and his blood that was shed to allow us to enter the most holy place, our relationship with God through faith in Jesus. 

Today, consider how precious is that blood of Jesus that allows you to be in relationship with God. And worship Him! 


Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.


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