We are looking at the Letter to the Hebrews and in chapter 9 and verses 25-26, we are told that Jesus’ doing away with the sin of many was a once-only event. He cannot be offered again and again like the continual offerings in the earthly tent or even worse, in some ritualistic, religious ceremony using pagan-like church altars by sacerdotal ‘priests’ in a human inspired ‘service’.
But now, ritual has been done away with forever—now we have the real. Instead of an ineffectual sacrifice we have the Real Presence of our great high priest at our gatherings.
God and man at table are sat down!
Hebrews 9 continues …
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (9:27-28)
We will all face death once and once only. And after we die, we will face the Judgment, each one, and only once, no hint of a second chance here or anywhere else in the Scriptures. And why should there be, from God’s point of view? We have been warned. Prepare to meet your God.
But, in contrast, Jesus, in completing his earthly work for us, offered himself and was sacrificed once. He died. God’s Messiah died! And he died once only, as we will. But after his death, no judgment for him, he lives, the sinless one who died for the sinful many. He appeared once as a helpless human being like us. He died once, like us. Judgment for all men is faced once.
But he will appear a second time— the only New Testament occurrence of the phrase “second coming”! The time for sin-bearing is then over–it is then the Day of Salvation.
His salvation, not judgment, comes for those who are waiting for him. Paul in 1 Thes 1:9-10 describes Christian believers as those who
have turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead —Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
What a simple and yet profound definition of a Christian! and totally consistent with this amazing letter. Though judgment awaits all men and women, we who are his, gladly serve God and eagerly wait for Jesus’ return.