God’s Word of Faith
Hebrews 9:23—10:18: From today’s reading we learn that following the sacrificial rituals according to the Law cannot cleanse us from sin but only serves to remind us of our sins. Rather, we are saved because Christ offered himself once for all.
Christ’s Sacrifice Takes Away Sins
23Those things, which are copies of the heavenly originals, had to be purified in that way. But the heavenly things themselves require much better sacrifices. 24For Christ did not go into a Holy Place made by human hands, which was a copy of the real one. He went into heaven itself, where he now appears on our behalf in the presence of God. 25The Jewish high priest goes into the Most Holy Place every year with the blood of an animal. But Christ did not go in to offer himself many times, 26for then he would have had to suffer many times ever since the creation of the world. Instead, now when all ages of time are nearing the end, he has appeared once and for all, to remove sin through the sacrifice of himself. 27Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God. 28 In the same manner Christ also was offered in sacrifice once to take away the sins of many. He will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are waiting for him.
1The Jewish Law is not a full and faithful model of the real things; it is only a faint outline of the good things to come. The same sacrifices are offered forever, year after year. How can the Law, then, by means of these sacrifices make perfect the people who come to God? 2If the people worshiping God had really been purified from their sins, they would not feel guilty of sin any more, and all sacrifices would stop. 3As it is, however, the sacrifices serve year after year to remind people of their sins. 4For the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sins.
5 For this reason, when Christ was about to come into the world, he said to God:
“You do not want sacrifices and offerings,
but you have prepared a body for me.
6You are not pleased with animals burned whole on the altar
or with sacrifices to take away sins.
7Then I said, ‘Here I am,
to do your will, O God,
just as it is written of me in the book of the Law.’”
8First he said, “You neither want nor are you pleased with sacrifices and offerings or with animals burned on the altar and the sacrifices to take away sins.” He said this even though all these sacrifices are offered according to the Law. 9Then he said, “Here I am, O God, to do your will.” So God does away with all the old sacrifices and puts the sacrifice of Christ in their place. 10Because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do, we are all purified from sin by the offering that he made of his own body once and for all.
11 Every Jewish priest performs his services every day and offers the same sacrifices many times; but these sacrifices can never take away sins. 12 Christ, however, offered one sacrifice for sins, an offering that is effective forever, and then he sat down at the right side of God. 13There he now waits until God puts his enemies as a footstool under his feet. 14With one sacrifice, then, he has made perfect forever those who are purified from sin.
15And the Holy Spirit also gives us his witness. First he says,
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
in the days to come, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts
and write them on their minds.”
17 And then he says, “I will not remember their sins and evil deeds any longer.” 18So when these have been forgiven, an offering to take away sins is no longer needed.
Today’s Key Verse: Hebrews 10:10
Because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do, we are all purified from sin by the offering that he made of his own body once and for all.
Today’s reading focuses on the contrast between the animal sacrifices that were offered according to the Law and Christ’s sacrifice of his own body. Verses 5-7 of chapter 10 are quoted from Psalm 40:6-8. In Psalm 51:16-17 we also read, “You do not want sacrifices, or I would offer them; you are not pleased with burnt offerings. My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.” What does offering God a sacrifice of a humble spirit mean to you? Reread 10:5-10. What has occurred because Jesus was obedient to God’s will? In what ways do you demonstrate your obedience to God’s will?
Lord God, I offer you my humble and repentant heart. Teach me to be obedient to your will and to serve you always. Thank you for Jesus’s sacrifice which has cleansed me from sin. Amen.
Hebrews 10:19-39: Jesus’s death gives us freedom to enter the Most Holy Place.