Jesus ushered in a new and living way for us to approach God when he suffered outside the city gate. We are to go to him outside the camp because although his own did not receive him, all who do receive Jesus are given the right to become children of God.
9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.
11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
We have an altar.
Jesus ushered in a new and living way for us to approach the throne of grace. This does not happen through the tabernacle and the sacrificial system. Our sacrifice was on the cross and it was completed by Jesus himself for us.
In the tabernacle, the sin offering is made, yet the bodies of the animals are burned outside the camp in a place of disgrace and defilement. We see here that Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make us holy.
Jesus bore our disgrace outside the camp. We were defiled in our sin, yet he was the one who suffered outside the city gates. We receive and experience his grace while he bears our guilt.
Therefore, we are to go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. We need to be willing to follow him even if we are considered to be defiled and unacceptable to the institutions of religion. Jesus was spit upon and beaten and mocked, all for us.
The city from which we come to find Jesus outside the camp is not our city. We do not belong here. Our city is the enduring and eternal city to come – heaven.
And so, we worship Jesus outside the camp. We worship Jesus as our living Lord who gave himself for us. We follow our Lord who is unacceptable to those within the city gates of this world. His own did not receive him, yet to all who do receive Jesus he gives the right to become children of God (John 1:11-12).