Epistle to the Hebrews (10:11-14)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the HebrewsUnder 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. But 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 honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:11-14

Our author has been reiterating many times that Jesus’ sacrifice was the ultimate one (Heb 7:27,9:12,9:26-28,10:10).

Now we see again in verse 10:12 the same argument – Once for all.  The author has definitely set himself to persuade this point to his readers. He will not talk about it again in the next chapters. He took 4 chapters and 5 times he mentioned that “The same sacrifices were done again and again and could never take away sins.”

It is right time for us to ensure that we got this point deep down our heart and mind. A man who still offer sacrifices(food, animals, gifts) for his sins is rebelling against the work of Christ on the cross. Anyone who tries to do good deeds with the hope to purge his sins is rebelling against the work of Christ on the cross. Giving alms, helping the needy and even giving your eyes to the blind will not even purge out a white lie. There is no relation between good deeds and sins. I will repeat it again. If you are a religious person and you have been fined for speed excess, you will never be able to tell to the judge that you have always been helping others, been a good man and that your good deeds should cancel your mistake. The government does not send you a monthly check because you have not violated the law, right? As long as you abide to the law you get nothing in return and you’re a stranger to the police force. But when you violate the law, you cannot point to your good works as defence. Let us get this right in our mind that we cannot bargain with God. Giving bananas, millions or even a member of your body will not make God leniant. Your bananas or millions will not be able to save your soul.

The Jews had to get this right that sacrifices could not remove sins but  realise that lives of animals were lost because of sin’s gravity. They still felt guilty of their sins even after offering sacrifices year after year. Covering with fresh paint a wall which has moisture only hides what is underneath. Similarly, blood of animals only covered sins and did not remove them.

The Good News is that all this system of sacrifice has become archaic. It no longer had it’s raison d’etre because of what Jesus accomplished. Once for everyone and for all time, Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice. This was the Lamb of God. It was the sacrifice God provided to remove sins.

Let me try to portray it. We have all sinned against God and there is nothing we can do to remove God’s wrath on us. No matter how penitent you go through, it will not be enough to make God acknowledge that justice has been made. We are all stuck even if we offer our own body as sacrifice. What we can offer does not have enough value and weight. But there is the Son who knows exactly what should be done. He is the beloved Son of God. He is perfect and is the darling of heaven. He said He would offer Himself for us. A legion of annihilated holy angels would not be enough to purge out a single of your white lies. It required God Himself, deity, to satisfy God’s justice. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the whole world!

You remember what Abraham did? He obeyed and offered what he had most precious because he loved God. Because God so loved the world(John 3:16), He gave what He had most valuable – His Son.

And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”  Mark 1:11

God’s wrath has been removed entirely on us because the Son perfectly met God’s expectation. We read in Isaiah 53:

But he was pierced for our rebellion,crushed for our sins.He was beaten so we could be whole.He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.We have left God’s paths to follow our own.Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all...But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin

There is nothing worst than to be crushed in the hands of the Almighty God. God’s mighty wrath felt on His beloved Son. God’s standard is to high for a man to meet. We all fall short of God’s glorious standard. It is very important that we realise God’s mighty wrath against sinners.

We read in the book of Romans:

For all have sinned;all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing his life for us..” Rom 3:23-25

I will endure whatever is required to save the world, said the Son. God’s wrath on the Son is what saved us. But God’s wrath remains on those who refuse the Son.

For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10

When He was troubled, He did not recant. He said:

Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” John 12:27

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:10

There was darkness across the Land when God’s Son was hanging on that Cross. He cried our “My God, my God why have you forsaken me”. In Psalm 22, the Son was literally abandoned by the Father when the sins of the whole world were laid on Him (see here).

When He died justice was made in the spiritual world and exploded in the physical world, “the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead.” Mat 27:51

When the angels in heaven saw to which extent the Son was ready to go to redeem man, I am sure they stood in awe. This is what they said:

And they sang a new song with these words:“You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.” Rev 5:9

It was the God whom they worshiped since eternity past who came on earth, was beaten and insulted.

The angels could have in an instant removed this disgrace. When the Romans considered Him a criminal and the Pharisees said he was demon possessed, what an offense to the heavenly armies! In just an instant the millions of angels could have come down and put an end to this indescribable shame.

Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?” Mat 26:53

But it was the Lord’s will that:

the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day” Luke 24:7

On the road to Emmaus the disciples talked about the Jesus who did mighty things. Jesus was the past for them, a lost hope. But our Lord mightily reigns!

When Peter wanted to defend Jesus, Jesus said: “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?” John 18:11

He sits on God’s throne : “Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.” Rev 3:21

As we have seen earlier, He ministers as High Priest for us. He intercedes for us and is rightly called the author of our salvation. How then can we dare to say that there is another way to be saved?

When the Son came, He came like a weak baby in a manger. He was inoffensive and had no one to defend Him on His way to the cross. He humbled Himself and said nothing like a silent sheep ready to be slaughtered. He did not protest, did not fight for His rights but gave up everything. Now He reigns and there will be no way of escaping the Son’s wrath for those who reject Him. The Son will now stand as judge and every mouth will be shut.

In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father.” John 5:22

The Son is awaiting to bring into His Kingdom those who have put their trust in Him. But He is also waiting to pour out His wrath on those who trampled on what He accomplished. He will judge without mercy those who abandoned Him, dragged souls in falsehood and persecuted His followers. It will no longer be the inoffensive baby of Bethlehem. It’s the Lion on Judah who will come and crush them!

There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy

The Son is not going take another another flog for anyone. Judgement is coming!

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said,“I will take revenge.I will pay them back.”He also said,“The Lord will judge his own people.”It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:26

God’s wrath is not going to fall on the Son again. The Son is going to consume with His mighty anger His enemies. Unfortunately, the dictionary does not have a stronger word than “hell” to describe what it is going to be.

He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God.The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses.From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress.” Rev 19:13-15

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Posted April 1, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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