The Final Sacrifice
Part 13, Maintaining Your Faith Series, Hebrews 10:1-31
The final sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross ended the Old Testament sacrificial offerings. Jesus on the cross was the culmination of the practices from the old. The Law on sacrificial offerings were not meant to be perpetuated but to end in Jesus. The practices were mere shadows of Jesus and a prediction of what the Lord would accomplish for them.
1. His sacrifice for sins does not need to be repeated.
“5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; 6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God.’” Hebrews 10:5-7
· The Old Testament sacrifices were not meant to forever forgive them, but as a temporary covering for God’s people’s sins.
· The Old Testament practices were meant to teach God’s people about the consequences of sins and the need for a Savior.
· When Jesus came, and emptied Himself on the cross, He took the sins of His believers and paid the consequences of their sins.
· His sacrifice was also meant to end the Old Testament sacrificial system. God’s people were not required to offer their sin sacrifices anymore as Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law already.
· The Old Testament sacrificial system were mere shadows outlining the real thing. The system points to Jesus and His final sacrifice on the cross.
2. His sacrifice opened God’s community to us.
“19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.” Hebrews 10:19-20
· Although this verse was referring to heaven, that is the Most Holy place, and thus spiritually we have entered it through the sacrifice of Jesus, but nevertheless, a new community was formed in Christ.
· Brothers and sisters: Not by race or nationality but by common faith in the Lord. Jews and Gentiles have now formed the new community.
· Believers are also called sanctified people, marked out people by the Holy Spirit as Ephesians 1:13 tells us.
· Believers have been marked out by the Holy Spirit to show they belong to God.
· The reality of belongingness requires a new behavioral standard – the Spirit’s code for living. See Galatians 5:22-23.
· A community by which the Spirit brings closeness and genuine affection. “Love, joy, and peace” are three important Christian virtues that best describe a believer’s attitude.
3. His sacrifice enables us to encourage others.
“24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
· The early Hebrew Christians were being encouraged to meet regularly in the midst of a growing hostile world.
· History tells us that many Hebrew Christians in the 1st century A.D. were killed for their faith in the Lord.
· And the only comfort and strength they have had where coming from the regular gathering of the church.
· At their gatherings, the practice of the Spirit’s code, (love, joy, and peace) should strengthen their faith and help them to remain faithful to the Lord.
4. His sacrifice encourages us to persevere in faith.
“28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
· A reminder to believers: We have been saved from God’s wrath through the Lord’s sacrifice.
· Jesus took all our sins, and paid the price, so we don’t have to fall into the hands of the living God in judgement.
· The unconverted Jews in this book were still being encouraged to end the Old Testament sin sacrificial offerings, and to believe and accept that Jesus made the final sacrifice so there’s no need to make sacrifices again.