(Perfected Forever by One Offering)
Man is separated from God by his sin. God is righteous and holy and he therefore requires that a just penalty be paid for every sin. Any sinner (which includes all of us per Romans 3:23 and 5:12) can pay for his own sin throughout eternity in hell and in the lake of fire but he has no power to pay for anyone else’s sin. Moses offered to take the eternal penalty for the Israelites’ sin upon himself but God did not allow this. So what can be done? Man’s only hope is for a sinless man to take the penalty upon himself. And that is what Jesus Christ did.
1. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
Consider the shadow that precedes a fireman coming around a corner to rescue you in a burning house. The shadow is only a very crude representation of that man. In itself it has no life, no power to save. It does, however, let you know that help is imminent and it also gives you some understanding about the man who can save you before he comes into full view. In the same way, the sacrifices of the law have no power to save man from his sin. They can, however, help people understand something of Jesus Christ who does have this power and they prove that he is near.
The continual sacrifices reminded the people of their sin and their need of a Saviour. A person whose sins have been paid for is no longer conscious of their sins in the sense that they can be confident that their sins have been taken away. This assurance comes from simple faith in God’s promises in his written word.
4. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
It was impossible for the blood of animals to take away sin. Payment for man’s sin could only be made by a man and only a sinless man could pay for the sin of another.
8. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9. Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
There is a clear distinction made in the verses above between the animal sacrifices (which were only shadows of that which was to come) and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ himself. The one replaces the others and makes them obsolete.
10. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was a “once for all” and “once for ever” sacrifice. His single sacrifice was all that was needed for all of eternity. The earthly priests never sat down while performing the sacrifices because their work was never done. Jesus Christ, the great High Priest sat down after his sacrifice because the work that he did to pay for our sins was perfectly complete forever.
13. From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Man can only be reconciled to God by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as complete and eternal payment for his sin. Those who do not accept Christ’s sacrifice will spend all of eternity paying for their sin.
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;
which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord,
and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
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