Hebrews 10: 1- 39
V 1-4, 1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
The temple sacrificial system of the old covenant was only a foreshadow of the better new covenant of Christ. The temple sacrifice had to be repeated year after year, to remind the Jews that they were still sinners. Jesus’ substitutionary atonement took care of sin permanently.
VV 5-10, 5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come, In the volume of the book it is written of Me, To do Your will, O God.’ ” 8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
The author quoted Psalm 40:6, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require”. This was a conversation between the Father and Jesus before His incarnation. Jesus came to do God’s Will by becoming the Lamb of God. He replaced the old covenant based on the law and temple sacrifice with the new covenant based on grace and faith in Christ.
He took away the first covenant to established the second covenant.
VV 11-18, 11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds, I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
The priest sacrificed bulls and goats that could not take away sins permanently. Jesus offered Himself on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for sins forever and sat at the right hand of God. The author quoted Jeremiah 31:33, “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people”.
VV 19-25, 19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
We can now enter boldly into the Holy of Holies with boldness and confidence because the veil had been ripped apart. Let us draw near to God with a true heart. Let us hold fast to our hope of salvation and God’s promise. Let us serve one another by love, encouragement, and fellowship while waiting for the day of the Lord’s second coming.
VV 26-29, 26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of Grace?
Temple sacrifice will not atone for intentional sins. King David realized this. Psalm 51:16-17, “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart, These, O God, You will not despise’’.
If we sin, we must claim the promise of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. Do not trample on the grace of God by rejecting Christ’s sacrifice for sins on the cross.
VV 30- 34, 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
The author quoted, Deuteronomy 32:35-36, “Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand. And the things to come hasten upon them. The Lord will judge his people”. The author implored his audience not to drift back to the old covenant, even though they were going through tribulations, sufferings, persecutions, and afflictions. They must endure and keep their hope in heaven.
VV 35-39, 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
The author quoted Habakkuk 2:3-4, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith’’.
The author implored his audience and us not to worry about being rejected. We must endure to the end, the promise of heaven and Christ’s second coming is sure. Let us be patient and live by faith.