Redemption through far Better Blood and Sacrifice
1The 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. 2If 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. 3But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5That is why, when Christ 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. 6YOU WERE NOT PLEASED WITH BURNT OFFERINGS OR OTHER OFFERINGS FOR SIN. 7THEN I SAID, ‘LOOK, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD—AS IS WRITTEN ABOUT ME IN THE SCRIPTURES.’”
8First, 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). 9Then he said, “LOOK, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. 11Under 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. 12But 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 HONOUR AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND. 13There he waits UNTIL HIS ENEMIES ARE HUMBLED AND MADE A FOOTSTOOL UNDER HIS FEET. 14FOR BY THAT ONE OFFERING HE FOREVER MADE PERFECT THOSE WHO ARE BEING MADE HOLY. 15AND THE HOLY SPIRIT ALSO TESTIFIES THAT THIS IS SO. For he says, 16“THIS IS THE NEW COVENANT I WILL MAKE WITH MY PEOPLE ON THAT DAY, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS IN THEIR HEARTS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR MINDS.” 17Then he says, “I WILL NEVER AGAIN REMEMBER THEIR SINS AND LAWLESS DEEDS.” 18And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.Hebrews 10:1-18
Here are the remaining questions you have given me. I have called them “loose ends” but they are pretty monumental loose ends. Loose ends suggests a few little things which need addressing before we close this section. Actually these loose ends are huge. The three people who asked these questions made me smile. They hit the nail on the head. What great questions!
- Is there a connection between the shadow and the dim view? 10:1
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.
There is a distinction drawn between the outline [skia] and the finished portrait [eikon] the shadow and the icon, both of which are a representation of the real thing. The first one is a shadowy representation while the second is a replica, an icon of the real thing. It is still not the real thing in reality. The real thing being the good things that are to come. Do you remember what they are? Can you list them without help from me? The writer of Hebrews has given them to us before. This time I won’t make it easy for you and give you the link. I will leave you to find out what I am talking about if you don’t recall them. Either go back to where the author has mentioned them before or search for them on the this website. It’s easy. The author reminds us of what I have written above concerning the difference between the shadow and the icon. While both the shadow and the image or icon, the shadow or the portrait, are a representation, they are not the real thing. In the same way a line drawing or outline and a portrait are not the real thing; they are not the person they represent in real life. So too do these good things talked about go only so far in representing the truth of what’s in store for us.
2. Ian, I just don’t get the beginning verses in chapter 10 with all the blood sacrifice stuff and then the writer of Hebrew says God didn’t want it? Can you explain all that? 10:1-10
3. How can the writer say twice God didn’t want animal sacrifices and offerings when that is how the Old System was set up? 10:5, 8
The simple answer to this is that the whole process of animal sacrifice was a stop-gap-measure. It fascinates me that cultures around the world for centuries have embraced the practice of human sacrifice; sacrificing the blood of an innocent victim to cover others. God always intended to provide the sacrifice. The story of Abraham being willing to sacrifice Issac demonstrates that – YHWH Yireh means ‘YHWH will see to it.’ i.e. “I will provide the sacrifice.” So this writer “quotes Jesus” as saying ““YOU DID NOT WANT ANIMAL SACRIFICES OR SIN OFFERINGS OR BURNT OFFERINGS OR OTHER OFFERINGS FOR SIN, NOR WERE YOU PLEASED WITH THEM”. He emphasizes this statement twice word for word in verses 5 and 8. Notice that the writer adds “though they are required by the law of Moses.” This was all according to the requirements of the Law of Moses.
Hold on, was Moses responsible for introducing something God didn’t want? No, of course not! The whole Mosiac Law was put in place to COVER the people until the time for Christ to appear; for Jesus Christ to come in flesh. The writer has Christ saying, “You have given me a body to offer”, which comes back to Jesus being the sacrifice. Jesus is both Great High Priest and the Sacrifice. That is monumental. God takes care of all angles and levels of this matter; His is a vertically integrated business.
Animal sacrifice was only set in place until the time for putting an end to the guilt of sin once and for all. Animal sacrifice was never going to accomplish it because God was wanting obedience rather than sacrifice. Animals can’t obey in the way humans can.
Then Samuel said: Does the LORD take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.1 Samuel 15:22
As long as animal sacrifice only COVERED sin, the guilt would remain. Christ came to REMOVE sin and the guilt of sin. Hence Jesus blood provided a much better sacrifice. That is why the author writes Jesus said to God “You have given me a body to offer.”
I could say more of course but I think that will suffice. If you have more questions simply ask them. Now let’s move on to the next big question.
4. Why does the writer say Christ said the Old Testament quote in 10:5 when he didn’t?
This person’s question is a beauty but I was asked not to let on who asked it. So I chose to keep all questioners anonymous. The person is right to ask this question. It is not a quote from Jesus words anywhere in reality. The quotes all come from Psalm 40:6-8. So why does the writer take the liberty to put these words in Jesus mouth? Simply poetic license. You were right to ask this question. It is true that the quote is not from Jesus, so why put the quote as though Jesus said it? There is much discussion over this matter on the part of the commentators.
I think after reading what the commentators have to say, which is often confusing, there is a simple way to explain this. It is the close proximity of the words “I have come to do your will oh God, as it is written about me in Scriptures.” Notice again that this element is repeated twice in the quotes given to us by the author. He is taking the time to make sure we pick up on his main points.
Then I said, “See, I have come; in the scroll it is written about me. I delight to do your will, my God, and your instruction is deep within me.”Psalm 40:7-8
This is from a Psalm of David; the writer must have known that. He has proved already he knows his TANAKH [Law, Prophets and Writings] well. But you have to admit it fits Jesus perfectly. Christ’s submission to the Father’s will was not just an action at one point in time but it was a process extending throughout eternity. It sums up the essence of Jesus’ life. How appropriate to quote Psalm 40 as though Christ were saying it, because it is true; He did but in another place. The writer of Hebrews is simply taking poetic license for good effect.
I am going to pause the Gems at this point. I will write the next Gem when order is restored. We are about to pack up my study and library and the house in preparation for re-carpeting the house. God has provided us with a new carpet. Our carpet has been down for just short of 20 years and we have wondered about the need to do something about it. But reneged because of the cost of doing so. Tania prayed one night recently and asked the Lord what were we going to do about this carpet. The next day good friends and supporters rang up and said, “Do you guys need a new carpet?” Talk about an instant answer to prayer.
These friends had a disaster when their upstairs water pipe broke when they were away and the water flooded through the whole house. The carpets had to be replaced. But when the carpet was replaced under insurance the carpet they chose was not the one put it, it was a different shade of colour. In the end the insurance covered the replacement carpet as well and so these dear friends were offering this newly installed carpet to us free of charge. The problem was this new carpet had already been cut and installed and then taken up again. So would it work in our place without being patchy?
Well true to form when God is in the mix, their rooms were slightly larger than each of our rooms meaning the fit was perfect. Not only was the fit perfect but the colour match is also perfect for both the tiles in our kitchen and the curtains hanging in the lounge and dining room. God, you are amazing. You not only prepared a body for Jesus to sacrifice for us all; you also prepared a body of new carpet which is perfect for our house at the cost of instalment.
We now have to spend labour weekend packing up the furniture and books and everything else and moving it from room to room so the carpet layer who is coming on Tuesday and Wednesday can lay the new carpet. I figure the easiest thing to do is to take a Gems and Nuggets holiday for the time. I figure that will give you some more time to digest some pretty heavy Gems I have written for you in the last week. Ponder them again and take the time to take in what God has done for us in Jesus.
Nothing is ordinary. Life is an endless series of little miracles. The difference between living and existing is noticing.Louie Giglio
Expectation is the atmosphere for miracles.Edwin Louis Cole
If we would remember the miracles God has done in our past, we would not so easily worry and fear when we face new challenges.Joyce Meyer
The moment you pray God sets miracles into motion. Learn to spot or discern the miracles in the little things of life. Miracles are all around you, you just need the eyes to see them.Ian