Friday, January 30, 2015

Hebrews 10:1-18 He is Sitting Down!

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. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:11-14 NIV)

In the first half of this chapter of Hebrews, the author is repeating and summing up his argument to the Hebrew believers who were so tempted to return to their old ways under the Law. He reminds them that the sacrifices made by the priests annually under the Old Covenant were a reminder that in spite of all of that continual flow of the blood of the lambs offered on the altar in the Holy of Holies, the people were still sinners! Nothing had changed about their condition before God. The priest had to come back year after year.

But the sacrifice of the Lamb of God settled the issue once and for all. The price for our sins, past, present, and future, was paid in full. So much so, that Jesus is now sitting down at the right hand of God. As Jon Courson notes in his Application Commentary: New Testament, Jesus isn’t wringing His hands or worrying or pacing or running in all directions trying to figure out how to save us. He already completed the work of salvation. So, He SAT DOWN!

Courson points out that in Luke 22:19, when handing out the bread to His disciples at the last supper, Jesus told them, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” We weren’t to do it in remembrance of our sin - we aren’t to dwell on our sin, because He has taken it away. We are to remember the Savior and His finished work. Communion is not a sacrifice that takes away our sin. It is a celebration of the Savior who already took that sin on Himself and paid the price for our salvation.

The writer completes his argument with a reference to how the Holy Spirit pointed to this in the Old Testament:

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 

“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.”  

Then he adds: 

“Their sins and lawless acts

    I will remember no more.” 

 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. (vs.15-18)

Oh my goodness! How I love that last verse! Jesus is our superior Sacrifice, our superior High Priest, and our superior Savior! The Old Covenant showed us our need for Him, but the New Covenant settles the issue of sin once and for all. And this is the end of the author’s arguments, as well. As we move into the final chapters of Hebrews, we will see the turn in the book to the “So what?” Okay - if our sins have been paid for -what does that mean to you and me practically in our everyday living out? What does that look like? That will be the focus as we move forward into what I think is the best part of this book. Cannot even wait!!!  

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