Friday, May 17, 2013

Blood In Heaven?

Farrell Till points out a discrepancy between the 9th chapter of Hebrews and I Cor 15:50. From the Errancy Discussion list, June 23, 1997:

In a posting that I will send simultaneously with this one, I showed how
that the Hebrew writer argued in the 9th chapter of his epistle that the
Holy Place and the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle were figures of things
to come. The priest entering the Holy of Holies once per year with blood to
offer for the sins of the people prefigured the entry of Jesus into heaven
with his own blood to offer a final atonement for the sins of all people.
This analogy is obvious from the following verses:

6 Such preparations having been made, the priests go continually into the
first tent to carry out their ritual duties;
7 but only the high priest goes into the second, and he but once a year,
and not without taking the blood that he offers for himself and for the sins
committed unintentionally by the people.

11 But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have
come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands,
that is, not of this creation),
12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of
goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal

In the Hebrew writer's analogy, the items in the tabernacle and the
ceremonies performed there were figures of things to come under the
new covenant, and the Holy Place that the high priest entered once per
year with blood to offer prefigured the entry of Christ into heaven as a
high priest to offer his own blood for the sins of mankind. This is evident
from the following verse:

23 Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be
purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better
sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere
copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear
in the presence of God on our behalf.
25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters
the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own;
26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the
foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the
end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.

There can be no doubt at all that the Hebrew writer was arguing that
just as the items in the tabernacle had to be dedicated with blood, the
"heavenly things" that they had prefigured also had to be dedicated
with blood. He claimed, however, that the "sketches" or "copies" in
heaven had to be purified with a better sacrifice than those used to
purify the original types. Hence, to accomplish this purification
of the heavenly "sketches" or "copies," Jesus entered into HEAVEN
ITSELF with that "better sacrifice" (his own blood) to purify the
heavenly copies.

Now here is the problem. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:50 that
"flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven," but the Hebrew
writer claimed that Christ entered into heaven with his own blood to make
a "better sacrifice" than those that were used under the law to purify the
tabernacle. Isn't there a problem here?

Farrell Till

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