By Susan Nero
In Hebrews 10 we see the Perfect and Once for all Sacrifice for sin that God provided for us all – and for humanities greatest problem, which is Sin. This morning in our devotion from this great chapter of Hebrews we will be focusing on:
1. First, THE NEW COVENANT: JESUS
2. Second, THE NEW COVENANT: A MINISTRATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In Galatians 4:6-7 We read of Jesus: “God sent forth His Son, that He might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons (and daughters); God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Here we have the 2 parts of God’s work in the New Covenant and in salvation. JESUS, God’s Son and THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The plan from the foundation of the world was for God to provide redemption for His people. The Bible tells us that Jesus was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world.
“God chose Him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days He has been revealed for your sake.” 1Peter 1:20 The redemption of mankind was never “plan B”, it was intentional and thought out long before the world even existed. And Christ’s Sacrifice was Once for All.
Hebrews 10 :1-4 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. 3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
(THE LAW WAS A “SHADOW OF CHRIST”)
Heb 10:1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. There are “shadows” and “types” in the Old Testament, whose meaning becomes much clearer to us in the New Testament revelations. As we read The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.
The OT sacrifices brought a reminder of sin, not a remission of sin. The sacrificial system was merely a type and shadow looking forward to the time when Christ would present His body as a perfect and holy offering. In Hebrews 10:5-10 we are told that JESUS’ BODY WAS PREPARED TO BE OUR SACRIFICE
5 That is why, when Christ[
came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal
sacrifices or sin offerings.
But you have given me a body to offer.
6 You were not pleased with burnt offerings
or other offerings for sin.
7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—
as is written about me in the Scriptures.’” 8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
Verse 7 and 9: quotes the words of Psalm 40:6-8 (from the Septuagint) ”Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book”. Hebrews validates that psalm as an Old Testament prophecy promising that Christ, in His incarnation, would come to accomplish what the Old Testament sacrifices could not - the full forgiveness of sin for believers in Him. Through the Book of Hebrews, then, Christ directly affirms that He is the core of salvation history. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
God completely and permanently dealt with sin once for all through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. The important phrase “once for all” is stressed (Hebrews 9:28, 10:10,12,14,18)
Remember how this letter began – Heb 1:1-2 “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways. But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He made the universe.”
From this passage in Hebrews 1, we realize that the overarching theme of the entire Bible from first to last, is Jesus Christ. From Genesis to Malachi the Old Testament is all about Jesus. But its in the New Testament that Jesus actually comes to save His people. Whereas the Old Testament gives us Jesus’ background, the New Testament presents His biography. The gospels then give us the good news of salvation through His crucifixion and resurrection.
JESUS THE ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS
On the day Jesus rises from the dead He appears before two disciples headed to the village of Emmaus. They are unaware of Jesus’ identity and are talking about His crucifixion, death, and empty tomb while expressing disappointment that He had not redeemed Israel. Jesus proceeds to illuminate the Scriptures (OT) for them. “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (LUKE 24:27).
Once this sinks in, their understanding is complete. Now at last, they grasp the dominant theme of the Scriptures they had been reading for years: Jesus Christ. “They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?”(Old Testament Scriptures) (LUKE 24:32).
The Lord brought to my attention a book that I had in my library for a long time (and had never read it,!) “ THE EMMAUS CODE: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament.” by David Limbaugh. In it he writes; “While the Bible comprises many diverse books with different stories, it is ultimately one story of God’s redemptive plan for man, whom He created purposely in His image, for His glory, and for a personal relationship with Himself. The 39 books of the Old Testament are united and centered on God’s promise to redeem mankind, and this thread continues through the New Testament, where that promise is fulfilled, and questions are answered.”
In fact, salvation is exactly what Paul says is the purpose of the Bible. In writing the last letter of his life before his execution, Paul reminds Timothy “how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15)
I’d like to share one Old Testament Prophecy of Jesus that is fulfilled in the New Testament, from THE BOOK OF MALACHI which is the final book of the Old Testament. Following this book there is about a 400-year time of silence from God. The name “Malachi” means “My Messenger,” and that is exactly what he was. We know nothing else about the author, except that he was giving a message from God.
At the time of its writing, the people were getting complacent. Life was good and so much better than it had been under the Babylonians. They were back home now and feeling comfortable. The temple was built and, the city and their homes were repaired, and they were starting their businesses. But in the middle of their comfort and complacency, God sent the prophet Malachi to call them to spiritual renewal. He addressed the heart of worship. They were going through the motions of religion, but their hearts were not after God. And God wanted more than religion; He wanted a real relationship with His people. He was looking for sincerity, not just outward obedience. God’s message addressed: Israel’s complaints against God, however; in the process of this warning/exhortation, our loving God gave Malachi an additional Message: the foretelling of another messenger, John the Baptist, who would call the people to repentance four hundred years later and, in turn, would introduce the ultimate messenger, the Lord Himself, “the Messenger of the Covenant,” Jesus Christ the Messiah.
“Behold, I send My messenger(John the Baptist) and he will prepare the way before Me (Jesus). And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, Even the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming.” (Jesus) Says the Lord of hosts.(Mal.3:1)
As we know, this prophesy was fulfilled in THE BOOK OF MATTHEW where the revelation of the words of God begins again, following the four hundred years of silence. The purpose of the Book of Matthew was to present Jesus Christ as Messiah and King and as the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies. And It was the clear intention of Matthew that the Jewish people would recognize Jesus as their King and Messiah. But they did not.
In John 5:39 Jesus Himself said to the blind religious leaders of his day, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have life.” Although they diligently studied the Old Testament to find the key to eternal life, they missed what was right in front of them: Jesus is the Key Who unlocks the treasures of the Old Testament, the Person to Whom the Old Testament points . He is Life and life eternal.
Back to Hebrews, look please at vs. 15-18 and we will look at how
THE HOLY SPIRIT TESTIFIES TO THE NEW COVENANT
Heb 10:15-18 “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, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”
(When planning this Fall schedule and I read these verses – I had to call Susan and ask her to teach – she has taught us all so much about the Holy Spirit and God’s presence through her inspiring summer studies, it is her life message which we all are blessed to learn from.)
The Holy Spirit does so many things in our lives, but one of His most important roles is to testify and confirm the New Covenant to us. It is His job to reassure and remind us of what was promised. The Covenant we enjoy is vastly superior to the old one and was extremely costly for God to bring it to pass. Therefore He has made it the job of the Holy Spirit to constantly remind believers of the amazing things that are included.
The Covenant enjoyed through Jesus was prophesied through the prophet Jeremiah hundreds of years before Christ (Jeremiah 31:31-34). It includes many things and in these verses we are reminded of that to which the Holy Spirit is set to testify.
1. First, God writes His laws in our minds and in our hearts. God’s laws are now a part of us, not something external to accuse us, but they are written by the Spirit of God on the inside of us so fulfillment comes naturally by walking after the Spirit.
2. Secondly, God will not only forgive our sins but He will not remember them. God completely and permanently dealt with sin once for all through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. (Hebrews 9:28, 10:10, 10:14, 10:18) Because of this, by faith, we have been made holy and acceptable to God which is why God sends the Holy Spirit to confirm this to us. What amazing truths the Book of Hebrews promises us!
3. God thought that it was imperative that we be constantly reminded of our (New) Covenant because the reason Jesus died was to bring it to pass. This is “good news” for us because it means we can find peace and rest through Jesus by confirmation of the Holy Spirit speaking these things to us.
I believe this is why I found so many biblical scholars refer to the Book of Hebrews as “the 5th Gospel.” The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John teach us about Jesus our Savior’s ministry to us on earth; the “Gospel” of Hebrews teach us about His ministry to us from heaven, by the Holy Spirit.
THE INDWELLING OF THE FATHER AND THE SON (JOHN 14)
Jesus answered and said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”(23-26)
THE NEW COVENANT A MINISTRATION OF THE SPIRIT
Andrew Murray from his commentary in 2 Corinthians 3:3,6-10 writes:
“The Holy Spirit is the great gift of the New Covenant. His coming from heaven was the proof that the Mediator of the Covenant was on the throne in glory, and could now make us partakers of the heavenly life.”
The New Covenant has no power to save and to bless except as it is a ministration of the Spirit. That Spirit works in lesser or greater degree, as He is neglected and grieved, or yielded to and trusted. Let us honor Him, and give Him His place as the Spirit of the Covenant, by expecting and accepting all He waits to do for us.”
“He is the Spirit of faith, who enables us to believe the otherwise incomprehensible blessing and power in which the New Covenant works, and to claim it as our own.”
“He is the Spirit of grace and power, by whom the obedience of the Covenant and the fellowship with God can be maintained without interruption.”
“He Himself is the Possessor and the Bearer and the Communicator of all the Covenant promises, the Revealer and the Glorifier of Jesus.”
“Begin at once, child of God, to give the Holy Spirit the place in your life He has in God’s plan. Be still before God, and believe that He is within you, and ask the Father to work in you through Him. Regard yourself, your spirit as well as your body, with holy reverence as His temple. Let the consciousness of His holy presence and working fill you with holy calm and fear (reverence). And be sure that all that God calls you to be, Christ through His Spirit will work in you.”
Please look down at our closing verses: (Hebrews 10:37-39)
MY RIGHTEOUS ONES WILL LIVE BY FAITH
Hebrews 10:37-39 “For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But My righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but those who believe and are saved.”
Faith pleases God: we first come to God by faith. We receive Christ by faith, so it makes sense that all our lives we are to continue in faith believing God in all things. The righteous will live by faith and we will learn more about this next week when Diane C. will teach from Hebrews chapter 11.
We have a promise in these last verses of Chapter 10. in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come, so as we wait for that glorious day, we are to live by faith knowing without a doubt that this day is quickly approaching. And this is how we can please God:
By trusting Him in all things.
By waiting patiently knowing that what He has said will come to pass.
By continually standing in faith.
Because; “we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but those who believe and are saved.” HEBREWS 10:39