Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reflections on Hebrews 10

Hebrews 10
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” 18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. 19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

There is so much in this small section of Scripture. If we were preaching on this Sunday we would have to spend more than one day here!

As I read through this quickly I think there are several things that merit our immediate attention.

  • Notice the repetitive nature of the temple sacrifice vs. the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus. Think about the burden of having to do the same thing over and over again just to try and maintain a relationship with God, and what his grace accomplished
  • Note that Jesus says that God will "remember our sins no more" it is the one thing I have noticed in Scripture that God says at some point he cannot do. Once God forgives, he cannot remember our sins anymore
  • Notice why the author mentions Jesus' sacrifice. He wants us to draw close to God and to one another
  • Notice that the invitation to continue worshiping is couched in appeal to remember that Christ is coming soon,. Almost any time the end times is mentioned in the New Testament it is an invitation to live differently in the here and now

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