A Shadow Of Good Things

Bible Reading: Hebrews 10:1-18

Memory Verse:"And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebrews 10:10).

In this remarkable passage of Scripture:

1. The Father stated the purpose of the law and the reason for its replacement by a new way (covenant). The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the realities themselves. (10:1)

2. Jesus Christ stated His purpose in coming into the world: "Then I said, 'Here I am - it is written about Me in the scroll - I have come to do Your will, O God.'" (10:7; Psalm 40:6-8; Matthew 25:39; John 15:10).

3. The Holy Spirit testified to the Father's will. First He says, "This is the (New) Covenant I will make with them.' (10:15-16). Then He adds (words of the Father given to the prophet Jeremiah): "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." (10:17; Jer 31:34).

The law in these verses refers to the offerings and sacrifices made by the priest on behalf of himself and the people of Israel. And to the sacrifices made by the High Priest of Israel on the Day of Atonement which atoned for the sins of the nation. (Leviticus 16).

God said He found no pleasure in the sacrifices commanded under the law. King Saul disobeyed God's command that only the Priest could offer the blood of sacrifice. Samuel spoke the words of God to the King: "Does the Lord God delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hear is better than the fat of rams..." (1 Samuel 15:22). God wanted His people to obey Him.

Every sacrifice made on the altars of Israel pointed forward to the obedient Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus obeyed the Father and came to earth as the one final and complete sacrifice for man's sin.

By the will of the Father, and the obedience of the Son, we (believers) have been made holy. How? "By the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (10:10). We have no other claim on the grace of God. We have no other means of becoming holy and acceptable in His sight, but by the broken body and shed blood o f the Son, Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit testifies that God writes this "law of the spirit of life" on the heart of every true believer, setting him or her free from "the law of sin and death." (10:16; Romans 8:2). Then the Holy Spirit assures that believer of the promise the Father spoke to all who receive the New Covenant in Christ: "Their sin and lawless acts I will remember no more." (10:17; Jeremiah 31:34).

If God forgives and forgets your sins, why let them trouble you any longer? "And where these (sins) have been forgiven (by God the Father), there is no longer any sacrifice for sin." (10:18). How misguided are those who continue to make blood sacrifices to appease the spirit or to absolve their sins.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He cried out, "It is finished." (John 19:30). Nothing more needed to be done to provide for your salvation and mine. Nothing more could be added to what Christ had done. His sacrifice was once and for all time. Jesus had completed the commission and the work which His Father had sent Him into the world to do.

In the Greek language, one word takes the place of the three English words, "It is finished." It is the Greek word "tetelestai." Bankers used the same Greek word. When a debtor made the final payment on a debt they owed, the banker stamped the bill with the word "Finished" or "Paid in full."

The same word was used for the lamb chosen for the Passover sacrifice. When used for the Passover lamb, the word had the meaning of "perfect." The lamb had to be carefully watched for fourteen days. If the lamb was declared "perfect" it was offered as a sacrifice to God. Jesus Christ was the "perfect Lamb of God" who took away the sins of the world (John 1:29; Hebrews 4:15).

The word has a third meaning for those who speak English. Its more common meaning refers to Jesus Christ who finished or satisfied the Old Covenant's demands and put a New Covenant in its place (Heb 8:13).

The law said, "the soul that sins shall die." (Rom 6:23). Christ's death filled up the law's demands. He signed a New Covenant with His own blood (Luke 22:19-22).. The New Covenant offers life forever as the free gift of God.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank You for dying for my sins. Thank You that there is nothing more that I can do, or add to what you have already done. When You said, "It is finished," all my debt of sin was paid and I can go free! I praise Your wonderful name and give my life to serve You. Amen.