Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All
10 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.
3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 That is why, when Christ[a] came into the world, he said to God,
“You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings.
But you have given me a body to offer.
6 You were not pleased with burnt offerings
or other offerings for sin.
7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—
as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”[b]
8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,
17 Then he says,
“I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”[e]
18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
A Call to Persevere
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[f] we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death,[g] Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27 There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. 28 For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. 30 For we know the one who said,
“I will take revenge.
I will pay them back.”[h]
He also said,
“The Lord will judge his own people.”[i]
31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ.[j] Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. 33 Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. 34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.
35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.
The first part of this chapter perfectly explains the purpose of the Old Covenant/law. People would year after year make sacrifices to atone for their sins, but it never completely washed away the sin. Rather it served as a reminder of their sin. It was clear that these blood sacrifices were never going to be enough. Their had to be something better. And of course we know what that was. Jesus shed His blood as the last and ultimate sacrifice. For all our sins, past, present and future. One of my favorite verses is vs. 17 where He says “He will never again remember our sins and lawless deeds” I often think of those living in that time. If they truly understood what this meant, what an incredible relief this must have been. A huge burden must have been lifted, vs 22 says our guilty conscience has been sprinkled with the blood of Christ and made us pure. It must have been hard to grasp at first, but when they did, wow!
Then we are challenged. 23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. This is much different that doing things out of a guilty conscience, feeling like we HAVE TO, trying to gain Gods favor. This is done because we WANT to. One of my early spiritual mentors often said “you don’t work to be a Christian, you work because you are one” That always stuck with me. Faith without works is a dead faith, we read that in James. Works without faith is futile. We as Christians should want to motivate each other to love one another and do good deeds for others, hence fulfilling the command “love your neighbor as yourself”. So how do we do that?
The secret to staying motivated to do love others and do good deeds is right there in the verses. “Motive one another”,” let us not neglect our meeting together”,” encourage one another.” We have said this many times before, we need each other. Now, I know right at this moment, meeting together is very difficult with Covid restrictions, but that doesn’t mean we can do the other things in the mean time. Call one another, message them, leave them a little gift on the doorstep, write them a letter, bring them supper. Let them know somehow that you are thinking about them and praying for them. Encouragement is contagious. Let spur each other on!
Ask God who you need to encourage this week.