I. For Jesus
II. For us
Hebrews 9:24-28 24For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary 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 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of
the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do
away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once,
and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the
sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to
bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
In the name of Jesus Christ, who came once to save and who will come once to
judge, dear Christian friends,
If you were a fan of the 60s band Herman’s Hermits then you already know this,
but for those who are too young to know their music or those who didn’t care for their
music, let me tell you about one of their songs. The title was Henry the Eighth and spoke
of a woman who married eight times with the name of each of her husbands being the
same— Henry. It was a rather shallow, simple song because of its topic, but also because
of its repeating lyrics and the group was not secretive about it. In fact, they sang outright,
“second verse same as the first.”
Some people love repetition like that! It is so easy to memorize. It is so easy to
remember many years later.
Other people get bored with that repetition very quickly! It seems like the
composers were not smart enough to come up with any more words to add variety to their
song. It can become tedious and tiresome to listen to the same words over and over
When it comes to the Scriptures in front of us today, the God-inspired author
makes it clear that with our salvation and with Judgment Day, the SECOND VERSE NOT
SAME AS THE FIRST I. For Jesus or II. For us.
The Book of Hebrews has many Old Testament connections to prophets and
priests, temples and sacrifices as the inspired author wants the readers to know those
things were all a picture of the coming Christ and fulfilled in Jesus. Now, none of those
SECOND VERSE NOT SAME AS THE FIRST
I. For Jesus
II. For us
2 things are necessary— prophets were replaced by the written Word, priests were replaced
by the one who offered the ultimate sacrifice to remove the sins of all people of all time,
and temples with their Holy Place and Most Holy Place were no longer needed as the
God-ordained location for sacrifices because Jesus offered himself on the altar of a
wooden cross on a hill outside Jerusalem.
For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the
true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 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. Then Christ would have
had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared
once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Jesus the Christ came into the world by being conceived of the Holy Spirit and
born of the virgin Mary. He came to live under the law of his heavenly Father in order to
obey as we are instructed, to be tempted as we are, to suffer as we do, but unlike us, to do
it all without sin so we can have a Substitute who attained what we could not—
Jesus came to die in order to remove from us the death penalty of our sin and pay
the price needed to free us from sin, death and the devil. As today’s reading tells us,
Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people. Once was enough!
Once for all!
Contrary to the lyrics of Henry the Eighth, second verse will not be same as the
first! When Jesus returns on Judgment Day, it won’t be as a little defenseless baby;
rather he will come as King of Kings and Judge of all. It won’t be just mother and
stepfather who witness it; rather “every eye will see him” (Rev 1:7). It won’t be just
shepherds in the fields who see and hear angels in the sky; rather the whole world will
see the amazing events of Judgment Day (Mt 24, 25)!
Second verse is not the same as the first for us Christians either. Man is
destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.... The first verse of God’s
“song” announced we were destined to die eternally. Our natural sinfulness and our
actual sins drew God’s anger down on us and hell was our expected punishment.
But God was pleased with what Jesus did on our behalf and changed his tune so
that we are not destroyed. He accepts Jesus’ perfection on our behalf and sends his Holy
Spirit into our hearts to work saving faith in Jesus. Instead of condemnation in hell, we
anticipate salvation in heaven!
The Last Day is called Judgment Day because on that day Jesus will judge all
those who believe in him as worthy of being in heaven with him eternally and all those
who do not believe in him as worthy of being in hell eternally. Today’s reading tells us,
he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are
waiting for him. Jesus’ second coming is to follow up on his first coming when he came
to bear sin in order to bring salvation. When Jesus returns, he will give that eternal
salvation in full to those who know him, who believe in him and who are waiting for
This is great news! Yet, some dread the second coming of Jesus. As unbelievers,
they rightly fear his judgment upon them because they don’t know what is going to
happen. Some might even know and expect they are going to be eternally destroyed in
hell because of their unbelief.
3 So, in their fear and terror, they don’t talk about it and hope it just goes away. Or
they believe that this world will get gradually better over one thousand years and then
Jesus will return. Or they believe that Jesus will come back to live here for one thousand
years and create a Utopia on earth. Any of these are just ways to avoid what is really
going to happen.
We Christians don’t have to dread or fear or try to avoid Jesus’ return. We can
eagerly anticipate his Second Coming and know second verse is not same as the first.
We know him and we know where we are going because of him. God’s Word gives us
the confidence that we will be in heaven when we die or when Judgment Day comes.
Because we know what God’s Scriptures tell us about the Last Judgment, we can
extend the “hope rope” to others, especially to those who are currently unbelievers.
Because of their unbelief, they are dangling on the edge of the cliff, they are on the
precipice of falling into hell and they will, if they die as unbelievers.
But we have the rescue device to save them. The good news of Jesus saves. The
good news of Jesus brings hope. Let’s take every opportunity God gives us to throw the
“hope rope” to them.
In order to help us see these opportunities and to seize them, make sure to sign up
for the Everyone Outreach seminar here at Grace in two weeks. I know I need more
encouragement and more training to better reach out with the good news of Jesus. I’m
sure many of you do, as well.
As members of Grace, we have agreed to, and we work together to implement,
our mission statement of “Praise Jesus, Learn his Word, Share his love with all!” I think
we do an excellent job of “praising Jesus” and providing opportunities for “learning his
Word” through our extensive Christian education program from cradle to grave. I think
we need to do a lot more to “share his love with all”, at least in the area of personal
evangelism. Everyone Outreach is a great way to improve in this area!
We have heard these lyrics over and over and over again: “Jesus loves me, this is
know; for the Bible tells me so” and these gospel summaries: Jesus lived for me, died for
me, rose from the dead for me. And this is the time to hear these things for ourselves and
to share these things with others because second verse is not the same as the first. We
don’t get a second chance and neither does anyone else: man is destined to die once,
and after that to face judgment. Praise Jesus that we know what that judgment will
be— an eternity in heaven with him!