When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,”
then he adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
Comment: Here I think we must do a bit of reading behind the lines. It is obvious that God gave Moses the instructions for sacrifices. There are plenty of passages (e.g. in Malachi which we looked at recently) which express God’s anger for not treating them seriously. What does ‘neither desired nor took pleasure in them’ mean? Surely it can’t mean that God thought that they were meaningless and that He had made a mistake. They had a purpose in highlighting His holiness and the unacceptability of sin but they didn’t provide an answer for complete forgiveness and God’s justice..
They were a lead up to the Messiah’s perfect sacrifice – ‘the death of the Perfect Man Jesus’, as a cure by perfectly mixing the love of God for mankind and His need for Justice before granting forgiveness. The purpose of the OT sacrifices and their failure to be adequate had been clearly shown. Often, by peoples knowlingly approaching them in the wrong way, many had misunderstood God’s purposes in the sacrifices.
So now we have ….
- A Priest sitting on the right hand of God on our behalf.
- A perfect once for all sacrifice, adequately satisfying the justice of God.
- Potential forgiveness and a restored relationship with God, offered by the Loving god.
- A law written on the hearts of God’s people not on cold unfeeling stone.
Prayer: Am I understanding this correctly, Lord? I think that I am but enlighten me more, please.