Hebrews 9:12,14 – Christ entered once for all into the Holy Place, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of sacrificial goats and bulls…provided ceremonial cleansing for the defiled, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to worship the living God.
Where was Jesus on Holy Saturday? His body was in the tomb, but His Spirit was in the Holy of Holies in heaven. What was He doing there? Presenting His own sacrificial blood to the Father, as had the Jewish high priests presented the blood of bulls and goats, for the atonement of sin. Their offerings were but symbols pointing forward to the sacrifice of Christ, and “could never take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). But Jesus “offered one sacrifice for sins for all time and…by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:12,14). The Old Testament saints, just as the New Testament saints, received salvation through faith in Christ–the Old Testament believers by trusting in the prophesied and foreshadowed Christ, and New Testament believers in the now-historical Christ.
The Holy of Holies was the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle/temple of God. It represented the earthly throne room of God. Jesus experienced hell on the cross as the Father, having laid upon Him the sin guilt of all who would trust in Christ, poured out upon Him the full curse of divine judgment for that sin. “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”, Jesus screamed in unfathomable agony at that moment. His physical death, shortly thereafter, was an anticlimax, for when His already hell-punished Spirit left His tortured body, it ascended to the Father in the true Holy of Holies–the throne room of heaven. “Father, here is the shed blood of a sinless, infinite human sacrifice–My blood, which I present to satisfy the requirements of holy justice against all the sin of all My people of all time. Is this acceptable, Father?”
Not only was the Son’s offering acceptable to secure the forgiveness of all of our sins, who trust in Him, but His sacrificial love was so well-pleasing to the Father that He “exalted Him to the highest place and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). Christ not only paid our full sin debt, but won for us the full favor and blessing of the Father!
“Now, Son, go back and get Your body, and let’s get started preparing the house for all those we’ll be bringing into the family” (John 1:12; 14:2-3).
2Corinthians 10:17 exhorts, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord!” To whom will you boast today about what the Lord has done for you?