A Better Sacrifice
“In this section the apostle does not tell us anything new, which we may find something of a relief. Instead, he spends time underlining and enforcing what he has been saying since 8:1. He says what he has already said, but in a slightly different way. He does not want the Hebrews, or us, to miss his meaning: what the Lord Jesus Christ has done is infinitely superior to the covenant, priesthood, and sacrifices that the original readers were thinking of going back to.” (Stuart Olyott)
“If, as seems to be the case, those to whom this letter is addressed have been swayed by enticements to return to or compromise with a purified type of Judaism, they cannot now, after the full and careful instruction our author has given them, pretend to be ignorant that any reversion to the shadowy forms and sacrifices of the Mosaic law can only mean the negation of the Christian gospel. There follows, appropriately, a prolonged and powerful exhortation to lay firm hold of the blessings of the new covenant which God has made available to them through the mediation of Jesus Christ, our sole Redeemer and Lord.” (Philip Hughes)
DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO GET INTO
· In our passage alone (10:1-18), the writer references the following Old Testament passages: Psalm 40, Psalm 110, and Jeremiah 31. The letter to the Hebrews is filled with explicit and implicit Old Testament quotations that show us that our salvation in Christ alone was not a “Plan B” but rather the entirety of the Old Testament scriptures was pointing to Jesus. From the very beginning, the plan was for Jesus to be our rescuer.
1. Why do you think we need a constant reminder that our sin really is forgiven? Why is this difficult to believe?
2. What are some of your default ways of trying to earn forgiveness for your sin apart from the sacrifice of Jesus? How does this leave you feeling?
3. This passage says God will remember our sins no more (v. 17, quoting Jer. 31). Why do you think this is so difficult for us to do with other people?
4. How does the reality of our forgiveness in Jesus Christ impact the way we can now “draw near” to God? Is being near to God something you long for?