Hebrews 9 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“And just as it has been appointed for people to die once – and after this, judgment – so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9: 27-28
The concept of reincarnation is attractive to people who are in some measure discontented with this life – which is to say, it is attractive to most people. And understandably so – it satisfies deep romantic needs to suppose that in a past life one might have been something or someone important. Moreover, it builds on the non-Biblical notion that only the soul is pure, the body s unclean, inferior, unworthy of being immortal.
But G_d has so organized the universe that human beings have to die once, not “many times”. The first half of today’s passage refutes the idea of reincarnation, which is found in most Eastern religions and incorporated into a number or recent Western imitations. Reincarnation is based on the notion that, although the body is obviously mortal, the soul is not; so that after one’s body dies, the soul that was in it migrates (perhaps after an interval of time) to another body or organism.
Obviously, if G_d has appointed for mankind to die once, it is impossible to be reincarnated. You may say, “But what about people who were clinically dead, yet were revived by some medical procedure? Didn’t they die twice?” In short, no. What modern medicine calls “impossibly dead” (that is, to be beyond recovery) is in no way limiting to G_d. The only time we are “inches from death” is when we’re actually “inches from death”. All other times we just think we’re “inches from death”. Plus, when those people are revived, they’re never revived to another body, or a butterfly, or whatever.
The second half of today’s passage deals with Yeshua’s first and second comings. His first coming was in relation to Isaiah 53: The suffering servant, Who would atoned for sin. Being fully G_d yet fully man, He too was appointed to die only once. Good for us that He was blameless before the L_rd (as He was the L_rd, Himself), because once was all it took to atone for our sin!
By virtue of His sinless perfection, in that while He knew no sin Himself, He became the sin offering for us…Yeshua rose from the grave, so that He could appear a second time. This “second coming” fulfills prophecies such as Isaiah 2:2-5, and 9:6-7, which say that Messiah will bring peace to the world and deliver His people Israel from oppression.
However, speaking of “Israel”, since “not everyone who is descended from Israel are Israel” Romans 9:6, only those who eagerly await Yeshua’s return can have assurance they will be delivered in His second coming.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Monday, November 18, 2013