Reading for Wednesday, Aug 1: Hebrews 10
Notice the all-sufficient nature of the sacrifice of Christ:
v4: “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
But this only highlights the sufficiency of the Christ-sacrifice:
v10: “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
v12: “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God…”
v14: “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
It’s as if the Hebrew writer is totally deconstructing the necessity of sacrifice in light of the ultimate sacrifice: Jesus.
All of this leads us to draw near to God in full assurance of faith (v22), knowing that our hearts have been cleansed and our bodies washed with pure water. We are able to place our hope on the one who makes promises and is able to deliver on them (v23). And we now stir up our brothers and sisters to good works, encouraging them as we see the Great Day approaching quickly (v25).
However, there is also a word of warning in this chapter. We’re warned about the danger of deliberate sin, of the judgment rendered to those who would seek to abuse this sacrifice for sins (v26), “a fury of fire that will consumed the adversaries” (v27). To do so is to profane the blood of the covenant (v29). This is surely a fearful thing, to fall into the hands of the living God in such a manner (v31).
Yet, the writer reminds us that we’re called to endure suffering, understanding that we have a better, more abiding possession than any earthly treasure (v34). We should place our confidence here, in the Lord, in the future, for we are not the ones who shrink back and are destroyed; instead, we are the ones who endure in faith, preserving our souls (v39). This leads to the great chapter on faith in Hebrews 11.