"THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS" The Superior Sacrifice (10:1-18) INTRODUCTION 1. In showing the superiority of the New Covenant, we have seen the author discuss... a. The better promises - He 8:7-13 b. The better sanctuary - He 9:1-28 2. The author now reaches a climax in his discussion with a look at "the better sacrifice"... a. Not that he hasn't already made mention of it - He 7:26-27; 9:11-14,24-26 b. But now there is a contrast to the Old Covenant sacrifices in the clearest of terms 3. In this section, we will find the author... a. Bring together the main ideas he has alluded to earlier b. Add a further thought not stressed before [In the first four verses of chapter ten, then, we find...] I. THE SUPERIOR SACRIFICE: ITS NEED (1-4) A. ANIMAL SACRIFICES DID NOT PROVIDE TRUE REMISSION OF SIN... 1. The Law was only "a shadow of the good things to come" - He 10:1a a. Its gifts and sacrifices were a "copy and shadow" of the heavenly things - He 8:4-5 b. They symbolized what Jesus would actually do - He 9:11-12, 24 c. The "good things" included such things as: 1) His better sacrifice 2) The better hope 3) The eternal redemption and the eternal inheritance 2. The sacrifices did not make the worshippers "perfect" - He 10:1b-2 a. Perfect in regard to the conscience - He 9:9 b. The repetitive nature of the sacrifices prevented this B. ANIMAL SACRIFICES PROVIDED A REMINDER OF SIN... 1. Every year there was the constant reminder of sins - He 10:3 a. In addition to the daily and monthly sacrifices, there were the annual sacrifices on the Day of Atonement b. The constant sacrifices reminded them of their sin and need for cleansing 2. It was not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins - He 10:4 a. The blood of animals could not really take away sin b. Their purpose was to impress upon the people their need, and to foreshadow what would one day be accomplished in Christ [The sacrifices of the Old Covenant accomplished their purpose; they served as "a shadow of the good things to come". Those "good things" involved the sacrifice found in the New Covenant, of which we now read...] II. THE SUPERIOR SACRIFICE: ITS PROVISION (5-9) A. IT WAS PROVIDED BY GOD... 1. From Ps 40:6-8, we see the attitude of Christ when He came into the world 2. Burnt offerings and sacrifices did not meet His Father's ultimate desire - He 10:5-6 3. But what did meet God's desire, God provided Himself: a body - He 10:5 -- This reminds us that propitiation for sin was provided by God, not man - 1Jn 4:10 B. IT WAS OFFERED FREELY BY CHRIST... 1. Christ came as prophesied to do the will of God - He 10:7-9a 2. Here is a striking difference between Christ's sacrifice and the animal sacrifices... a. Animal sacrifices were offered against their will b. Jesus freely offered Himself in accordance with His Father's will! - cf. Jn 6:38 C. IT ESTABLISHED A NEW COVENANT... 1. In doing the will of His Father, Jesus has taken away the first covenant - He 9:9b; cf. Col 2:14-17 2. Making it possible to establish the second covenant, of which He is the mediator - cf. He 9:15 [So what animal sacrifices could not accomplish, God did by the sending of His Son who freely accepted the task of offering Himself for sin. But was His sacrifice adequate? Read on...] III. THE SUPERIOR SACRIFICE: ITS ALL-SUFFICIENCY (10-18) A. IT PROVIDES TRUE SANCTIFICATION... 1. We have been sanctified through the offering of His body - He 10:10 2. Its sufficiency is seen in that He only had to offer it "once" a. The repetition of the daily sacrifices illustrated their inadequacy - He 10:11 b. But with Jesus, it was "one sacrifice for sins forever" - He 10:12-13 1) Illustrated by His sitting down at God' right Hand - cf. He 1:3; 8:1 2) Where He waits (and reigns - 1Co 15:25-26; Ps 110:1-2) till all His enemies are made His footstool 3. Thus "by one offering" He has provided true sanctification - He 10:14 a. "He has perfected forever" (doing what animal sacrifices could not - He 10:1) b. "those who are being sanctified" 1) Note the present tense - sanctification is an on-going process - He 2:11 a) In one sense we have been sanctified - 1Co 1:2; 6:11; He 10:10,29 b) In another sense we will be sanctified - 1Th 5:23 2) Made possible by the one-time sacrifice of Christ - 1Jn 1:7-9 B. IT PROVIDES TRUE REMISSION OF SINS... 1. As the Holy Spirit bore witness through Jeremiah in
Jer 31:31-34 (quoted earlier in He 8:8-12) - He 10:15-17 2. With true remission of sins, there is no need for repeated sacrifices for sin - He 10:18 CONCLUSION 1. By providing complete sanctification and remission of sins, the sacrifice of Jesus is truly "The Superior Sacrifice"! a. Why would anyone want to return to sacrifices... 1) That did not make the worshiper "perfect"? 2) Were there is the constant reminder of sin that weighs heavy upon the conscience of man? b. With the sacrifice of Himself, offered freely keeping with the will of God, Jesus provides what the Law could not! 2. With verse eighteen, we come to the end of the two main arguments in this epistle... a. That Christ is superior, for He is: 1) Better than the prophets, as a much better Spokesman - He 1:1-3 2) Better than the angels, by virtue of His Deity and humanity - He 1:4-2:18 3) Better than Moses, for He is the Son who provides a heavenly rest - He 3:1-4:13 4) Better than Aaron, as His priesthood is a superior one - He 4:16-8:6 b. That the New Covenant is superior, for it is: 1) Based upon better promises - He 8:7-13 2) Based upon a better sanctuary - He 9:1-28 3) Based upon a better sacrifice - He 10:1-18 The purpose of the author has been to encourage his Hebrew brethren to remain true to Jesus Christ. Though one may not be a Hebrew by race, the same arguments should encourage all Christians to remain true to Jesus and abide by the conditions of the New Covenant of which He is the Mediator!