The book Waiting for the End of the World by Richard Ross features photographs of fallout shelters. In the introduction, Ross calls these structures “the architecture of the end of the world.” The shelters reflect a spirit of optimism (our hope for survival). But they also show our tendency to live in denial (choosing to ignore the complete devastation that will follow such an incident).
Today many people are living in denial by ignoring the coming of divine judgment. Hebrews 9:27 observes, “People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” Verse 28 speaks of a salvation that is yet to come. That may seem like a contradiction, since we usually think of salvation in the past tense. But it is not. Hebrews 9:23–27 describes a salvation that has already been accomplished on our behalf.
These verses show the difference between the Old Testament sacrifices and the “once for all” offering of Jesus Christ (v. 26). Jesus entered the true tabernacle in heaven, not an earthly copy (vv. 11, 24). Instead of offering the blood of bulls, Jesus offered His own blood which obtained eternal redemption (v. 12). Instead of merely offering ceremonial cleansing, Jesus’ blood cleansed the conscience (vv. 13–14).
Clearly, Jesus offered a “better” sacrifice (v. 23). Jesus did not need to be sacrificed repeatedly (v. 25). The many different sacrifices required by the Law of Moses did not have the power to take away sin. We can be thankful that “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many” (v. 28).
>> You may still be wondering: Why does the writer speak of salvation in the future tense in verse 28? It is because we, who have been saved by Christ’s sacrifice, are still waiting for His return and the final judgment. Jesus will “bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
How we long for the day of sanctification when we will at last be free from evil desires and temptations! We will have new bodies and will never again know suffering. Best of all, Lord, we will be face to face with You!