We are studying Hebrews in Sunday School. It has been a challenging book but the Holy Ghost has been faithful to guide our teacher week by week. This week we were looking at chapter 10. I like to study along before and after the lessons. I usually write out my notes in journals but I am working to put them on the blog to preserve them for later use and study. So these are just some notes from my study time….and one of my favorite worship/prayer songs at the end.
Hebrews 10 – Notes on the Perfect and Better Sacrifice of Jesus Christ
(in contrast with the imperfect sacrifices offered under the old covenant).
Why was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ better?
1.Christ’s sacrifice takes sin away
Man had need of a better sacrifice. While at times the Jewish people permitted their sacrifices to become empty rituals, many people were sincere in their offerings to God and were blessed. But the very nature of the old covenant sacrifice still made them inferior.
Animal sacrifices could never completely deal with human guilt. God forgave but the guilt was not removed from the hearts of the people. The nations sins were covered but they were not cleansed.
The blood of bulls and goats could not take sin away, but God provided a better sacrifice. It was God who provided the sacrifice, not man. The sacrifice provided was Jesus, His only Son! Jesus came to do the Father’s will. This will is the new covenant that has replaced the old covenant.
The better and perfect sacrifice was effective. Believers have been set apart or sanctified by the offering of Jesus body ONCE for ALL. No old covenant sacrifice could do that. An old covenant worshipper had to be purified repeatedly but a new covenant Saint is set apart, finally and completely!
2.Jesus’ sacrifice does not need to be repeated.
The ministry of the priests in tabernacles and temples was never done and never different. The fact that Jesus sat down after He ascended to the Father is proof that His work was completed.
Sat down – Psalms 110:1
“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
Believers are complete in him – Colossians 2:10
“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”
An old covenant worshiper could not say that he had no more conscience of his sin. New covenant believers can say that their sins and iniquities are remembered no more.
In the new covenant there are no more offerings for sin and no more remembrance of sin. When a sinner trusts Jesus Christ, his sins are all forgiven. The guilt is gone and the matter is completely settled.
3.Christ’s sacrifice opened the way (for us) into the very presence of God!
No old covenant worshipper could enter the Holy of Holies but the death of Jesus Christ tore open the veil and opened the way into the heavenly sanctuary where God dwells.
Holy of Holies – The inner sanctuary of the tabernacle where God dwelt.
In Verses 19 – 25 we are given an invitation to enter the Holy of Holies. The invitation was:
- Let us draw near
- Let us hold fast
- Let us consider one another
The priests went in only once per year but we are invited to dwell in the presence of God always.
Dwell – to live or stay as a permanent resident; reside
Let us draw near
- Come with a clean heart
- Fellowship with God demands purity
Let us hold fast
- Hold fast the profession of hope.
- When a believer has hope fixed on Jesus and relies on the faithfulness of God, then he will not waver.
Let us consider one another
- Fellowship with God must not be selfish. Fellowship with God must also include fellowship with others in the local assembly.
- Emphasis is not on what believers can get out of the assembly, but what he can contribute.
Sobering Words of Exhortation
Hebrews 10 ends with some sobering words of exhortation.
It tells us that one who drifts from the Word will soon start to doubt the Word. He will become dull toward the Word and lazy in his spiritual life. This will result in despising the Word. The evidence of despising is willful sin.
Under the old covenant there were no sacrifices for deliberate or willful sin. The people were generally executed. God does not always take the life of willful sinners, but He will always deal with them.
Are you sending willfully and deliberately? If your answer is yes, He will deal with you. Have you grown dull toward the Word? Turn to God for mercy and forgiveness!
One of the themes of Hebrews is this – God has spoken, how are you responding to His Word?