The Supreme Sacrifice
Jesus’ sacrifice for sins ended the need for all other sacrifices.
Golden Text- Hebrews 10:14 By one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.
The Old Testament law established a sacrificial system whereby the Israelites could obtain from God forgiveness of their sins. When, as commanded by God, the Israelites offered animal sacrifices to atone for their sins, God honored their faith and obedience by forgiving their sins. These sacrifices could not actually take away sins, but God, by grace, forgave their sins in anticipation of the sacrifice Christ would make for the sins of the whole world. This lesson highlights the inadequacy of Israel’s sacrificial system and the remedy God provided through the sending of His Son to serve as the one ultimate sacrifice for all sins for all time.
FORMER SACRIFICES FELL SHORT
A. THE EARTHLY SANCTUARY
Hebrews 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
B. THE EARTHLY SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS
6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
**We see here that in the Old Covenant only the priest, which were the descendants of Aaron, were allowed to move from the outer court of the tabernacle into the first room of the tabernacle, which was “The Holy Place”. It was here that was symbolic of our worship today.
7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
**Even the High Priest had a specific day of each year that he was able to enter into the “Holies of Holies”. Even then was not for his enjoyment, but he was responsible for the atonement of his own sins and everybody else. This was a time of sacrifice that did not even accomplish an eternal work.
8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
**This exclusion of everyone but the High Priest was the Holy Ghost’s way of showing that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet revealed. Our High Priest had not yet came.
9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
**These sacrifice once a year were not our eternal answer. While God showed mercy because of their obedience to the law, these sacrifices did not wash their sins away, but it only served as a covering to their sins.
10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
**At this time this was the best that they had to offer. They were not slack concerning the sacrifices that they made, but, as this verse states, they were only carnal ordinances. We must realize that anything we do for God, I believe, is pleasing to him, it does not make us any more “holy”. To say that the “sacrifices” I make for God makes me more Holy, is to discount the sacrifice that was made for us on the cross.
THE POWERFUL BLOOD OF JESUS
A. SUPERIOR TO THE BLOOD OF GOATS AND BULLS
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
**Here we begin see the significance of the heavenly sacrifice. Christ was not a structure formed by human hands and he did not come to minister in a tabernacle formed by man, but instead, at His ascension went to minister in a “greater and more perfect tabernacle”. He came and was in the world, but he was not of this world.
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
**While the blood of the goats and calves sustained the people and covered their sins for one year at a time, Christ came to offer us and eternal redemption, not as a covering of our sins, but to wash them away and cast them into the sea of forgetfulness.
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
**The sacrifices in the old covenant purged the flesh, but left the spiritual man dead, while the work of Christ on the cross allowed our spiritual man a chance to live. Not only did Christ’s sacrifice make it possible for our sins to be washed away, but it also made it possible for us to “serve the living God”.
THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR ALL
Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
**The la of Moses and its sacrifices were merely “a shadow of good things to come”. Who wants to live “in the shadows” of “good things to come”? These sacrifices could would never be the solution to men’s sin problem as it was only a covering of their sins.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
**Notice this verse says they would often make the same sacrifices which can never take away sins, that could never take away sins. I believe that we sometimes get caught up in this same mentality. We feel like that if I do this or don’t do that then it will cover my shortcomings and slackness, but our ideals of “sacrifices” will not make us Holy.
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
**What these High Priests tried to accomplish year after year, Christ came and gave the Supreme Sacrifice one time and it was enough to overcome sin forever.
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.