Once And For All

While the Jewish Priests’ sacrifices were temporary, Jesus’ sacrifice was once and for all.

Hebrews 10:11-18

11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,

16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws upon their heart,
And on their mind I will write them,”

He then says,

17 “And their sins and their lawless deeds
I will remember no more.”

18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

There is no longer a need for constant sacrifice!  The ultimate sacrifice has been given and the debt has been paid.  We no longer have to worry about or burden ourselves about the cost of sin in our lives.  Does this mean that we can continue sinning and not worry about anything?  As the Apostle Paul says in Romans 6:

2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

This is what I was talking about yesterday about having the power of the Holy Spirit.  If we live in and by the Spirit, we will be continually sanctified and while we may war against our old habits, we will have the strength to resist going back to the days we lived in slavery.  If and when we do sin again, there is no longer a requirement to go to the temple with an unblemished animal to be offered.  The sacrifice has already been offered; Jesus paid the penalty not only for what you have done but for what you’re going to do.  So what do we do about this?  We wait.

Jesus’ timeframe is much different from ours.  For one, He isn’t subject to time.  Imagine our humanistic references of time: before, now, and later and bunch them all up into one moment.  That’s how Jesus experiences time.  Our capacity to understand and live with that perspective of time is impossible.  So, we wait out the moments, hours, days, and years until He is ready.  Until that time, however, we get to live in freedom with anticipation of what is to come.  Our waiting becomes an act of worship.  This is the point of the Advent season, to harness an attitude of waiting.  To be ready for the return of our King and to continually work to prepare ourselves and bring others to the party.  This is Jesus’ point in His parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

One last thing I would like to note before we finish today.  I continue to keep an eye out for signs of the Holy Trinity throughout the scriptures.  Today we find a piece of scripture that reveals God the Father and the Holy Spirit are one.  The quoted text in verses 16 and 17 are from Jeremiah in the Old Testament.  They were prophecied through Jeremiah from God but here the author points out that they are from the Holy Spirit.  The point of the Holy Spirit testifying to the audience is almost an ironic application of the message because it is through the Holy Spirit that the laws are written upon our hearts and minds and how we are sanctified and purified.  The Holy Spirit resides in us and cleans us from the inside out.  The Holy Spirit is our detox system from the world.

How are you taking advantage of this opportunity?  How have you taken it for granted?

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