Wait Eagerly for Jesus’ Return to Bring You Salvation!

November 7, 2021

Pastor Gunnar Ledermann

Hebrews 9:24-28

Hebrews 9:24-28

24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 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.

It seems like you spend your whole life waiting. You wait for Halloween just to get to Thanksgiving, just to get to Christmas, etc. You wait to grow up, to go to school, to graduate, to move out, to get the dream job, to get married, to have kids, to retire and then the waiting ends. When the waiting ends, we all face judgment. And some wait eagerly for that that Judgment Day, while others do not.

When you do something wrong you have to wait for judgment. For example, if you are told by your mom or your spouse to wait until Halloween to eat candy, until the Thanksgiving meal to eat turkey or until Christmas morning to open a present, and you do not wait, there are consequences. However, there is a waiting period before those consequences. You have some time to enjoy the candy or turkey or gift before you are found out. You also might have to spend some time waiting while a proper punishment is found to fit your crime. In the Old Testament, God told his people Israel how to please him, but repeatedly they did not listen. In the Old Testament book of Malachi, God gave these words to his prophet Malachi to share with Israel to warn them of the consequences for sinning against him from Malachi 4, 1 “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them.” A day was coming and had to be waited for when the evil would no longer be able to selfishly enjoy their disobedience against God, and they would be punished with God’s all-consuming anger.

God does not want you to live in fear of Judgment Day. God did not want there to be a Judgment Day. He did not want there to be a day as Jesus said in John 5, 28 “when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” Instead, God wanted all people to be good and to live with him. God created the world in that way. When he made Adam and Eve, they were good, in fact we read in Genesis 1, 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Then, that goodness was lost when Adam and Even turned away from God to listen to the devil. Their disobedience deserved punishment. And their disobedience has been passed down through the ages to all people. So, you were conceived as a disobedient sinner waiting for Judgment Day to be condemned for the evil you are and the evil you have done. But again, God does not want you to live in fear of Judgment Day, so he made a promise to save you. The New Testament book of Hebrews explains in detail the promise God made to save you.

God revealed his promise to save you in the book of Hebrews using the Old Testament tabernacle. In the Old Testament, God told the Israelites to build a Tabernacle or tent where he would come down making his presence known among the people. The Tabernacle had two sections called the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place separated by a thick curtain. The Most Holy Place is where God made his presence known, and only the High Priest was allowed into that section once a year on the Day of Atonement. God made this rule to teach the people that their sins prevented them from being in his presence. The only way the priest could enter God’s presence that one time per year on the Day of Atonement was with a sacrifice for his sins, and when he came into the Most Holy Place, he brought the blood of the sacrifice for himself and blood of a sacrifice for all the people. This blood was required by God as the payment for sin. It was the giving of a life in place of the people’s lives, so they could live before God. This sacrifice given on the Day of Atonement pointed to Jesus as we hear in Hebrews 9.

Hebrews 9 reveals Jesus as the better sacrifice to save you from Judgment Day. In verse 24, we read, 24 “For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.” The tabernacle was a manmade copy meant to illustrate how to enter heaven and God’s presence. Jesus did not enter a manmade copy, but the real thing. Jesus entered heaven on your behalf tearing down the dividing wall to bring you to God and eternal life. Jesus stands in the presence of God as a permanent reminder of the good and accepted sacrifice for your sins. God looks at Jesus’ goodness, life and worth when determining whether to let you into his presence meaning you will always be found good, worthy, perfect and without sin. You are always judged not guilty because of Jesus. In verses 25 and 26, we read, 25 “Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” The High Priest had to offer a sacrifice every year on the Day of Atonement because that sacrifice was an animal, not a human, and could not fully satisfy God’s anger against sin. Jesus’ sacrifice did not leave God and people unsatisfied. Jesus entered heaven once with his sacrifice; his perfect blood shed for your sins once for all, never to be repeated, to last forever, to arrive, to be satisfied and no longer waiting. God made and kept his promise to free you from fear, sin, and hell on Judgment Day through Jesus’ better, one time, sacrifice, the shedding of his perfect blood, to save you.

Hold on to the life waiting for you in heaven through Jesus. Hebrews 9 makes it clear what you are waiting for through Jesus, 27 “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 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.” You will die and face judgment, but Jesus died for you sins. So, you will die and enter salvation. When Jesus returns, you will receive life, not death as we hear Jesus say in John 5, 24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” Your faith in Jesus means you are ready for his return. You are ready for Judgment Day because it will bring you to full enjoyment of all Jesus has done for you. While you are still in this world, you have the hope and future of heaven, but when Jesus returns, you will enjoy salvation in every way. In Malachi 4, God shares a beautiful picture of the joy you will have on Judgment Day, 2 “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.” The healing and every need met feeling you will experience when you stand in the presence of God on Judgment Day and are welcomed into heaven will cause you unimaginable joy.

It seems like you spend your whole life waiting. When you are waiting, it means you are not completely satisfied because something is missing. Waiting means you need something else in your life. There is only one day, one gift, one rest, one better level of existence, one relationship worth eagerly waiting for. Wait eagerly for Jesus’ return to bring you salvation. Amen.

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