The Best News EVER!!
Read Hebrews Chapter 10
Heb 10:1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
The ideas from this passage can blow our minds. Why on earth did the Lord require His OT children to perform numerous ritual sacrifices if they had no bearing on their salvation? The writer of Hebrews repeats something which is found over and over in the NT. “The law is only a shadow of the good things to come.” “It can never make perfect those who draw near to worship.” “It is impossible for the blood sacrifices to take away sins.” Yet, the people of God were required to participate in them.
We can equate the law today with the same message. None of our obedience today can take away our sins. Yet, we are required to obey. We see in His word that homosexual actions and thoughts must be abandoned, even though doing so will not contribute to our salvation. So why bother? Why did the Israelites still have to offer sacrifices? Why do we have to agree with God and attempt to avoid SSA acts?
Well, the first and foremost answer is a simple one; because God said so. We really don’t need any more reason than that. But there are more reasons. The writer of Hebrews stated two others. “Those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins,” and “The law is only a shadow of things to come.”
We need a reminder of sins – Every so often, God does something which reminds me why I should not give in to my SSA. Any time that I slip back into my old ways of thinking (for example, what harm is it?), the Lord sends me a fresh reminder that He has good reason to warn me away from that particular sin. Additionally, I have personally experienced bad results each time I have disobeyed. We can add one more thing; every time I read God’s word, I am reminded of sin, and why it should be avoided. We are a stupid people. We need reminders.
The law is a shadow of things to come – The first idea that comes to mind is that the OT sacrifices pointed to the coming of the Christ, the One who became man’s perfect sacrifice. Christ’s blood and body was the period at the end of the sentence. Once He had been sacrificed, the blood of animals was no longer required by God. The perfect sacrifice was on the altar, taking care of our sins for all time. Okay, so now that we have our permanent sacrifice for our sins, why can’t we do whatever we want to do? We can go back to the “God says so,” if we have to. But we have more.
We still sin. Just as the OT sacrifices did not prevent the Israelites from future sins, neither does our belief in Christ prevent us from sinning. Sin is still against God’s word. He still asks us to avoid sin. Our good fortune – our salvation through the blood and body of Christ, is His greatest gift to us. It was never meant to allow us to continue sinning. It was meant to give us the forgiveness we need to enter into a right relationship with God, and remain in a right relationship with Him. It was meant to provide us with the righteousness which we were unable to obtain any other way.
Heb 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Heb 10:17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” 18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
We are no longer guilty for our sins. Jesus paid the penalty for us. The least we can do to express our undying appreciation is for us to live the rest of our lives attempting to be obedient to Him. Our final thought is this – if we have no willingness to battle our sinfulness, do we really believe in Christ? Is it possible to place no barriers before us in an effort to obey God, and still be one of His followers? The bible tells us that those who are true followers have a desire to be done with their sinfulness. That is what separates us from the rest of the world. The unsaved world sins, and cares not. The saved world sins, and grieves over it.
Prayer: Father, we have no way to properly express our appreciation for our salvation. We have no hope other than the work Christ did on the cross. Our sins are an affront to You, but You have placed them behind Your back, because of Jesus. Thank You!!