27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Verses 27 and 28 contrast the death of human beings with the death of Christ. God destined the death of Christ; judgment followed. Human beings cannot avoid death because God appointed our death due to our sin issue.
And as [just as] it is appointed for men to die once,
God destined human beings to die “once.” The repeated emphasis on the word “once” (He 9:12, 26, 27; 10:10) stresses the finality of Christ’s sacrificial work in contrast to the old economy. The one death of Christ is consistent with the one death of human beings. Christ’s death was final and nothing more was to be done regarding sin.
After a person’s death, his eternal destiny is eternally fixed. No one can be brought back for a second chance to then die again (Jn 5:24).
but after this the judgment,
Since there is only one death for each person, Jesus can die only once. There is here a comparison between the death of men and the offering of Christ. Men were appointed to die as a punishment; it was both temporal death of the human body and eternal death as separation from God. Death is not the final, necessary end of man; after death, there is either judgment or salvation.
The “so” here completes the “as” in the previous verse—”as” . . . ”so.” As Christ died once, so His sacrifice could be only one time.
Christ was offered once
Jesus appeared once to offer Himself as a sacrifice (He 7:27; 9:12; 10:10). He never had to repeat His sacrifice.
to bear the sins of many.
Christ personally bore or paid the price for sinners the first time He came to earth (Is 53:12; 1 Pe 2:24). God laid our sins in Him. Bearing sins means that Christ freed people from their guilt by meeting the demands of God’s absolute character. Jesus paid for the sin of everyone who ever existed.
To those who eagerly wait for Him [believers]
“Those who eagerly wait” are a limited number (He 3:14). The Greek word for “wait” occurs seven times in the New Testament (Ro 8:19, 23, 25; 1 Co 1:7; Ga 5:5; Php 3:20; and here). There is great anticipation for the time of Christ’s second coming. The Greek word for “eagerly wait” is a compound term, making it intense and emphatic.
He will appear a second time,
Christ will come again, this time on behalf of the saints.
apart from sin,
Jesus will come again separate from sin. He will not pay for sin when He comes; His second coming will have a different purpose. Christians will appear before God without imputed sin.
“Salvation” here is our eternal place with God, our inheritance (He 1:14; 9:15). He will usher in our completed salvation, redeeming the body as well as the soul. This “salvation” is when believers will be finally glorified to exist in the presence of God (Php 3:20, 21). “Salvation” here does not refer to the salvation of the soul but the redemption of our bodies (Ro 8:23).
Christ’s second coming will correct all wrongs.
Everyone’s death is by divine appointment; physical death is necessary because of inherited sin and sin by practice. The only hope for man is a substitute for their sin. Christ was divinely appointed to die once on the cross, where He took the penalty or judgment for our sin. As the death sentence upon men was a penal judgment from God (Ro 5:12), God appointed death upon Christ as a substitute on our behalf (1 Pe 2:24).
The second coming of Jesus will not be to pay for sin but to bring eschatological salvation.