Yesterday we saw the author of the Book of Hebrews describing how the sacrificial system was temporary – all these animals killed, sacrifices offered year after year, with no lasting change. Still people would sin, sacrifice and repeat.
The priests were always trying to make things right with God, at least temporarily, as the people’s representatives.
But he says there is a better way. Stop transferring sins onto animals, and transfer them onto one perfect, spotless human being.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews says that this sacrificial system was a foreshadowing of Jesus death—pointing us towards it. Only the death of Jesus, the one perfect life, can be our substitute.
…we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
(Hebrews 10:10b-14 ESV)
As a human, Jesus could take responsibility for sin. But as the perfect God, he was like the perfect spotless lamb sacrificed each year for the whole nation. As God, he had the power to do this, and to make it a one time act for all time and all people.
He took the sins of the entire world, and sacrificed himself as an offering. He destroyed the power of sin, and its ability to lead to inevitable death, by rising again. This was the true power of God at work in him. This is why he sits at God’s right hand, ruling over the universe, with sin and death squished under his feet. He’s done his work, he can sit down and rest.
There is all kinds of incredible imagery around this, particularly in the Book of Hebrews, explaining how Jesus is like a great high priest.
Question: In what ways have you been trying to make things right with God? Has it felt futile? How does this passage give you hope?
Meeting with a Group? Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide[permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink]