An old Dallas Morning News headline reads: “RIDING HERD ON THE COWBOYS: JERRY JONES CREATES DEPARTMENT TO TRAIN PLAYERS TO BEHAVE PROPERLY OFF THE FIELD.” 

The article went on to describe the owner’s desire to transform the badly tarnished image of America’s team by hiring managers in the areas of security, player development, psychology, and religion to reform some of the erring players. At the risk of being labeled a cynic, I would say that the chances of this program’s success are nil. The Bible says that all of our actions flow out of the heart and the heart is sinful and desperately wicked. No amount of self-effort or resolve can change the condition of the human heart.

Most of us would agree that self-effort cannot change behavior. But the writer of Hebrews goes one step further. He says that religious ritual is also incapable of changing the condition of our heart.

Throughout history man has attempted to use religious ritual and external symbols to solve what is an internal problem with zero success. And yet many people still place their faith in religious ritual and symbols rather than in the truth those symbols represent.

As I heard someone once say, going through the Old Testament rituals of cleansing and sacrifice was kind of like taking a shower with your raincoat on. You might get a little wet on the outside, but you are still dirty on the inside (Hebrews 9:10).

Religious ritual just touches up the externals without straightening out the real problem. What was needed was a Superior Priest, who could offer a superior sacrifice to obtain a superior salvation. And that Priest has come.

In verses Hebrews 9:11-14 the writer points out three specific ways in which Christ’s Priesthood was superior to the Old Testament priesthood.

1. In its access (Hebrews 9:11)

Jesus did not perform His priestly duty in a tent made of animal skins and lugged around the desert. No, He offered His sacrifice in the true tabernacle—the very presence of God.

Christ’s work is also superior in its...

2. In its acceptableness (Hebrews 9:12) 

Remember under the old covenant it took two goats to accomplish the purpose, one to be the sacrifice and the other to remove the sins from the people.

But Christ did both. 1 John 1:2 says “He was the propitiation”— the satisfaction—for our sin. And as a result, Psalm 103:12 says “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us.”

The priests work was never done. The blood of animals could never satisfy God’s requirement, and that is why the high priest had to come into the holy of holies year after year. But Christ entered the true Holy of Holies once for all, and obtained eternal, once-for-all salvation.

And unlike the earthly high priest who dared not linger in the presence of God once his work was finished, Jesus Christ remained in the Holy of Holies and sat down at the right hand of God where He ministers on our behalf day and night.

Finally, Jesus priestly work is superior in its...

3. In its accomplishment (Hebrews 9:13-14)

If there is one common denominator of all the world religions it is this: they all teach that it is through some kind of religious ritual that we are made right with God. 

The writer of Hebrews says that ritual cannot change us. Only the blood of Christ can reform us. You will not find lasting change in religious ritual but in the cleansing power of the blood of Christ.

You might have heard the old, worn-out phrase, “saved to serve.” The writer of Hebrews says we have been “cleansed to serve.”

God has a unique purpose in His plan that you and no one else can fulfill. It is a purpose that will require every ounce of your energy and then some. When you discover that purpose, you will find true contentment in life. But before God can use you, He first has to cleanse you. And that cleansing is available through the blood of His Son.

Welcome to First Baptist Dallas! Our mission is to transform the world with God's Word...one life at a time. We are a church with a legacy that is built on the Bible, and we continue that legacy today. With multiple service times and options, as well as age group Sunday School classes, we have something for everyone. Join us on Sundays in person or online beginning at 9:15am.
Address :
1707 San Jacinto,
Dallas,
TX - 75201
United States.
Tel : 214-969-0111