A Systematic Expository Study on the book of Hebrews
STUDY 24: FINALITY OF CHRISTíS SACRIFICE
Hebrews 10: 1 - 18
The Apostle had been talking about covenants - principally about the Old and the New covenants. He speaks of them as the first and second covenants (Hebrews 8: 7). They are referred to as the Old and the New Covenants (Hebrews 8: 13). The New covenant is called ďa better CovenantĒ (Hebrews 8: 6). In the chapters that follow, the apostle gives reasons why the New Covenant is a better Covenant: (1) In the New Covenant God writes His laws in the hearts of His children (Hebrews 8: 10). (2) The service of the Old Covenant was only a type (figure) of the New and was limited. (Hebrews 9: 1-7). (3) The Old Covenant could not perfect those who offered the sacrifices (Hebrews 9: 8, 9). (4) The Old covenant was temporary (Hebrews 9: 10). (5) The New Covenant through Christís Sacrifice brought cleansing, eternal redemption and eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9: 11-15). (6) The New Covenant was dedicated by the Blood of Christ (Hebrews 9: 16-24). (7) The Old Covenant had many sacrifices but the New Covenant has been established through one final, perfect, efficacious sacrifice (Hebrews 9: 25-28).
As we have already learnt, the Epistle speaks of Christ as the fulfilment of the Old Covenant and as the Mediator of the New Covenant. He ďsits down on the right Hand of the Majesty on highĒ (1:3) and He is so much better than the angels (1:4). God has put all things under His feet (2: 8). He is the faithful High Priest (3: 1, 2) , counted worthy of more glory than Moses (3: 3, 4), greater than all the priests of the Old Covenant (4: 14). Christ is revealed as a Priest of a higher order than that of Aaron (5: 4- 6) , a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec (6: 19, 20); he is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, higher than the heavens - surety of a better testament (7: 22, 25, 26). Occupying a position higher than of any other, He is the Mediator of a better Covenant (8: 1, 6). His Blood purges the conscience, puts away sin and obtains eternal redemption for us (9: 14, 22, 26, 12).
Our present study concentrates on Christís final sacrifice and its benefit for all who believe.
SHADOW AND INSUFFICIENCY OF THE OLD COVENANT
Hebrews 10: 1-4; 8: 5; Colossians 2: 1, 17; Hebrews 7: 18, 19; 9: 9; 10: 11; Romans 8: 3; Galatians 2: 16; Acts 13: 38, 39.
The Old Covenant with its sacrifices and ceremonies was given to Israel by God. It was a shadow of the substance which was still to come - a shadow of good things to come. Christ is the fulfilment of the good things to come - full salvation and eternal blessings. As a shadow, it had a purpose but it was not a substitute for reality and substance. The Old Covenant sacrifices were insufficient, ineffective and incomplete. They could not make the people perfect. The sacrifices could not fully take away sins. Only Jesus Christ by His Sacrifice could satisfy God and completely take away our sins. Only His death could be the ultimate sacrifice, the only effective sacrifice.
SUBMISSION AND SACRIFICE OF CHRIST
Hebrews 10: 5-9; Psalm 40: 6-8; Matthew 26: 39; Philippians 2: 5- 8; Hebrews 9: 26; 10: 11, 12; Galatians 1: 4; 1 Peter 2: 24; Hebrews 8: 13.
The Apostle quoted the Old Testament (Psalm 40: 6-8) , to show that even under the Old Covenant, God was not satisfied with mere sacrifice. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire. Bring no more vain oblations... your hands are full of blood (Isaiah 1: 12- 15). Without repentance and sincere willingness to forsake their sins, their sacrifices were unacceptable.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise (Psalm 51: 16, 17).
Jesus Christ came to do the will of God. The ultimate will of God was to offer His perfect Blood, pay the full penalty for our sins and be our perfect Substitute. His supreme mission on earth was to do His Fathers will - to do only the Fathers will. His sacrifice was perfect because it was offered in perfect obedience to God.
SALVATION AND SANCTIFICATION IN THE NEW COVENANT
Hebrews 10; 10-18; John 1: 29; Hebrews 9: 12, 14, 22, 26; Acts 4: 12; 1 John 2: 1, 2; Hebrews 13: 12, 20, 21; 8: 10-12.
Christís Sacrifice dealt with sin in such a way that all the Old Testament sacrifices could not. The Old Testament sacrifices (all put together) could never take away sins but Christís Sacrifice took away all our sins. There is salvation, full salvation provided through the Sacrifice of Christ. When we truly believe in Christ, we are saved, all our sins are forgiven, we are cleansed, our lives are changed we have grace and power to live victoriously. More than this, we can be sanctified (meaning, made holy). For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified (Hebrews 10: 10, 14). Christís Sacrifice is effective and efficacious for our sanctification. The sanctification that true believers receive is not only positional sanctification but practical sanctification.
Sanctification is the will of God (1 Thessalonians 4: 3) , the provision of Christ (Hebrews 13: 12) and the work of the Spirit (Romans 15: 16). It is received by faith (Acts 15: 9). Our hearts must be purified through cleansing by Christís Blood, our lives holy continually if we hope to see God and live with Him eternally (Hebrews 12: 14; Matthew 5: 8).
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