Christ a Sacrifice for All: Bible Survey for New Christians

March 20th, 2009

Hebrews 10:1-18; 11:1-3: 12:1-3

Summary:
The weakness of the law sacrifices.
The sacrifice of Christ's body once offered,
for ever hath taken away sins.
What faith is.
An exhortation to constant faith, patience, and godliness.

 10:1.  For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
 10:2.  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purged, would have had no more consciousness of sins.
 10:3.  But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
 10:4.  For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
 10:5.  Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.
 10:6.  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure.
 10:7.  Then I said, `Behold, I have come in the volume of the book it is written of Me to do Your will, O God.' ''
 10:8.  Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them'' (which are offered according to the law),
 10:9.  then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.'' He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

 10:10.  By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
 10:11.  And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
 10:12.  But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
 10:13.  from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

 10:14.  For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
 10:15.  And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
 10:16.  "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,''
 10:17.  then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.''
 10:18.  Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

 11:1.  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
 11:2.  For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
 11:3.  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

 12:1.  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and  the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
 12:2.  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
 12:3.  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

Comments:

The law, specifically the requirements for sacrifices, are a shadow of the true sacrifice. The old sacrifices had to be repeated every year, and never removed sins. At best, all the sacrifice could do is to remind each person of their continuous sin. God doesn't really care for the sacrifice, but for obedience. To be more obedient, is to require less sacrifice. Jesus is the only true sacrifice that can totally remove sin.

Consider some differences in sacrifices. Animals, created and imperfect beings themselves, had to be prepared in a special way. They died an honorable and respectable death, and any remains returned to the earth to decay in the usual way. Jesus, a created but perfect being, died in the lowest, most inconsiderate and disrespectful form of death. When his sacrifice was made though, his body came back to life. Not ever seeing decay, or returning to earth. He was seen by men and later was seen to ascend into the clouds. He returned both physically and spiritually to heaven. He is there now, waiting for the day when he can return to earth and set up his kingdom.

In just one sacrifice, Jesus removed all the sins and shortcomings of all humans. More than all the centuries of animal sacrifice that just had no power at all. When the laws of God stay written on our hearts,and in our minds, we are his. Our sin is forgiven and remembered no more. In a single word, faith.

Faith is what it takes to prove those unseen things. Scientists search for what is called a 'God Particle'. Some shred of evidence in our DNA, genes, or some sub atomic piece of material that can point to and say this unknown thing here is what God is. This is where we all came from. I have big news, there is no God particle. God made the particles. Our hope is that the unseen, spirit God exists, and it is faith that puts substantial evidence to that. The old time Bible characters knew and understood this point. Though we weren't there at creation, we can know what happened. An unseen creator made all the seeable, touchable things that we know as our universe.

The Bible documents a list of people of faith whose stories are based on trusting in an invisible God, of his unseen power over our observable world. Just know and accept that God is God, sin is sin, and get busy living the life that God has planned for you. With Jesus as our example, we can endure hardship. Gain strength for your soul in him. Jesus saw past the small picture, and the tragedy of his death, and did it for the joy that awaits for a much longer period of time. He made himself low for a little while, before returning to his throne to reign over all his kingdom.

God is spirit, we are physical. It is human nature to have a need to prove a thing. This yet another reason that a real, physical man, Jesus was sent into our world. A tangible proof of God and his plan. His spiritual laws, put into physical demonstration. A way to get a small glimpse of the kind of spirituality that awaits in his kingdom, and desired place for us. Sometimes we think if we just do something, the result will be good enough. The only to achieve a spiritual result is beyond the ability of any person in our physical world. It takes Jesus, and his payment to make up the difference.

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