Chapter 10: Christ (The Messiah) Our sacrafice
The whole purpose of
the Old Covenant was to point to Messiah, who would die for the
sins of the world. By His sacrificial death, the Messiah would usher in
the greater covenant, the New Covenant. The death of Christ was
the permanent and perfect sacrifice.
In Hebrews chapter 10, the contrast between the Old and New
Covenant continues. In chapter 9, the writer to the Hebrews examined the
tabernacle, and its sacrifices. How they were copies of the reality in
Heaven. In 10, we contrast the meaning of the sacrifice; we see the
sacrifice of the Old as only a shadow compared to the picture. Christ is
the reality of sacrifice portrayed in the shadow of the Old Covenant.
Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice
The law was a shadow
1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the
very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which
they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2
For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers,
once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.3 But in
those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not
possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Hebrews
writer of Hebrews is referring to the Law, meaning the Mosaic
system of sacrifice, established in Mt. Sinai.
Having a shadow:
The Greek word,
means an image cast by an object and representing the form of that
object. This is only a form of what is to come. This concept of shadow,
symbol, type and figure is a theme repeated in the book of Hebrews. (See
Hebrews 8:5, 9:9,11,23, Colossians 2:17)
The very image:
contrasted to picture, or the Greek word
meaning image, figure or likeness. An icon, as we are familiar
with the word, is the painted image of Christ, Mary or some saint, the
word is a transliteration of the Greek. The contrast between the Old and
New Covenants is the difference between a picture and a shadow.
The sacrifices of the Law were merely a shadow contrasted to
the picture of Christ. The sacrifices needed to be offered yearly, in
particular Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement required the
High Priest offer sacrifice for himself and the nation.
The sacrifice was
imperfect, evidenced in its yearly repetition.
Not have ceased:
The author of Hebrews uses this logical point to prove the
Law’s imperfection. He asked a rhetorical question in verse 2, if the
Law is able to restore those who approach, then why do they keep making
sacrifices. If the Law is the end, then sacrifice would have stopped
Consciousness of sins:
has to do with man’s innate awareness of wrong in his life
and of his sense of guilt because of it. The same word is used in
and 13;18. The sacrifice of an animal never cleared the guilt of sin,
the awareness of debt, as the New Covenant does for those who
Reminder of sins:
sacrifice served the purpose of illustrating the necessity of blood, for
sin. The penalty of disobeying God required a penalty, the illustration
was imperfect because it is repeated every year. The animal’s death, its
blood goes back to the garden where God sacrificed the first animal, as
a covering for Adam and Eve, after their sin.
for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and
Blood of bulls and
the Day of Atonement the High Priest first offered a young bull
for his own sin, then a goat, chosen by lot, for the sins of the people.
(Leviticus 16:1-13). This was in addition to sacrifices for individual
sins. Sacrifice by an insincere heart invalidated the sacrifice, God
wanted sincere sacrifices, a contrite heart. (See also Psalms 50:8-12;
51:16 Isaiah 1:11-15; 66:3 Jeremiah 6:20; 7:21,22
Hosea 6:6; Amos
5:21,22; Micah 6:6-8;)
"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?" Says the
Lord. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed
cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats. 12
"When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your
hand, To trample My courts? 13 Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense
is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of
assemblies-I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. 14 Your New
Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands, I will
hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not
hear. Your hands are full of blood.
Jesus our perfect
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering
You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.
7 Then I said, 'Behold, I have come-In the volume of the book it is
written of Me-To do Your will, O God.' "
8 Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and
offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which
are offered according to the law),
9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes
away the first that He may establish the second.
10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body
of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:5-10
When he came:
of Messiah being God’s perfect sacrifice is revealed in the Old
Testament. The Holy Spirit through David, spoke of the incarnation a
thousand years before the time. Here the author Hebrews quotes from
Psalm 40:6-8, demonstrating the incarnation would accomplish what
sacrifice and offering of animals cannot. Messiah’s death is pictured in
Isaiah 52:13-53:13 and Psalm 22. The Holy Spirit spoke through David, in
Psalm 22:1 one thousand years before the crucifixion, David proclaimed
Christ’s words, spoken at the cross.
God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping
Me, And from the words of My groaning? Psalm 22;1
said: The “He” is the Holy Spirit speaking through David in Psalm
40. This quote contrasts the “Shadow” from the “Image’. The shadow is
“Sacrifice and offering” while the image is “A body prepared”.
Christ fulfilled what was written about Him before the incarnation. The
“volume of the book” The whole of scripture testifies to Jesus
Christ, either directly through prophecy or indirectly through metaphor,
figure or shadow. Jesus after healing the man at the pool, responds to
those who questioned his identity. He identified Himself as being the
center focus of scripture.
the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these
are they which testify of Me."But you are not willing to come to Me that
you may have life.
takes away the first:
system was removed, “The Shadow” was removed or set aside for the
we have been
The Greek word,
aJgiavzw Hagiazo means to be separated out, to separate from the profane,
dedicated to God. When a person comes to Christ, they are “born again”,
the person is “Sanctified” separated out from the world. The sacrifice
of Christ’s body has separated out those who put their faith in
him. This is in contrast to the daily and yearly sacrifice of the first
system. Christ sacrifice was “once for all”, there was no other
Contrast between Christ and the Law
And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the
same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after
He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right
hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His
footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are
being sanctified. 15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after
He had said before, 16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts,
and in their minds I will write them," 17 then He adds, "Their sins and
their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 18 Now where there is
remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
But this Man:
In verses 11 and 12
the ministry of the priesthood is contrasted to that of Christ (this
man). We see several contrasts in chapter 10, shadow verses image, first
verses second, priest (Aaron) verses this man (Christ). The
priest was required to offer sacrifices daily verses Christ who offered
one sacrifice, Himself.
From that time:
From the time of
Christ death, until his Second Coming is a period of decision,
known as the “Church Age” or time of the Gentiles (Romans 11;25).
During this period, the enemies of Christ are manifested. The
true nature of man is demonstrated, in this present time. One day all
of God’s enemies will acknowledge Him, regardless of their wishes.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which
is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
The common practice of
vanquishing kings was to make the kings and rulers of who opposed
victory bow before the victorious king’s feet in submission, this same
imagery is demonstrated here. (See also Joshua 10:24,I Corinthians
The sacrifice of
Christ is all that God required for payment of sins, nothing can be
added to complete our salvation.
When we are
sanctified, we are separated forever, but our righteousness with God is
not our own but Christ’s righteousness, given to us who believe as a
For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more
those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness
will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as
through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in
condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift
came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
of sanctification, (separation from the world) begins with a call from
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent
Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."It
is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'
Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to
Me. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to
Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"
(that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with
your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised
Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:8-9
Spirit dwells in us.
Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of
your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the
Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until
the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Holy Spirit witnesses:
prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 31;31), God proclaimed a day when a New and
better covenant would come. This New Covenant would involve a
relationship, where the man would have an innate understanding of God’s
law. God’s will would be in hearts and minds of his
The Greek word
from bondage or imprisonment. Jeremiah speaks about the future
covenant, this covenant has the distinct feature of forgiveness from
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the
blood of Jesus,20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us,
through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over
the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full
assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the
confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is
faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love
and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves
together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so
much the more as you see the Day approaching.
understand Hebrews, we need to understand those addressed. The book of
Hebrews has several different audiences. The audience is not just
believing or struggling Hebrews, but also those who are searching.
Brethren, “adelphos” can refer to spiritual as well as ethnic brothers.
The Hebrews’ audience, the “brethren”, were related by a common blood, a
common faith, and a common spiritual heritage. When Christ died, the
way was open for the Jewish nation to have access to Holy of Holies, not
in shadows, but in actuality. Believers have the ability to enter Heaven
and petition God, before his throne.
us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The division between obedient and believing “Brethren” and disobedient
and unbelieving “Brethren” is demonstrated in the 10th
10:39 a distinction is made between these two groups of brethren.
“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves
together, as is the manner of some” 10:25
39 But we are not of those who draw back to
perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
Here the writer makes a
distinction between these two groups. One group forsakes the
“assembling of ourselves together” and “draw back to perdition”. The
other group believes to the saving of the soul. Both groups are
addressed in the 10th chapter.
enter God’s presence is a bold act, The High Priest could only enter the
“Most Holy”, on the Day of Atonement. But with Christ sacrifice, God’s
presence is available to all those who are sanctified by the “Blood of
Christ” who have the gift of Christ’s righteousness.
Enter the Holiest:
In the Law,
the “Most Holy” is the room that 10 by 10 cubits, where the “Arc of the
Covenant” rests, where God’s “Presence” would dwell. This was only
available to the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. This was also a
shadow of the reality to come. The reality was fulfilled by Christ’s
death, now we have direct access to God’s throne. The blood of
Christ has opened the door to God’s presence, contrasted to the blood of
bulls and goats, which could not.
The writer is
addressing the fellow believers and giving instructions on successful
Christian living. We all have power with God in Christ, but to utilize
this power requires we approach his throne in Holiness. The Holy
Spirit, through Hebrews gives us the reality, which was prefigured in
The right to draw near to God’s presence was at a great cost. The death
and humiliation of Jesus Christ, God incarnate, opened our way. We need
to comprehend this privilege. Before we approach God’s Holiness there
are some steps we need to take.
a. True Heart:
We need to
be honest and true. We cannot deceive ourselves.
b. Full assurance
of faith: We
need to believe fully in God’s promises.
We need to confess our own sinfulness, repenting from our evil
d. Body washed:
confess and repent from bodily sins as well as sins from
2. Hold Fast:
We need to
persevere in our faith, not giving up when trials or persecutions come
a. The confession:
Our hope is
Christ, we need to turn to Him.
must train ourselves to not be moved by circumstances.
Many times God allows
circumstances to test our faith, because
through them He is
3. Consider one
another: Our relationship with God, is related to our relationship to those who
are made in His image. (I Corinthians 13) How can we serve God’s kingdom
through his people. There are four ways mentioned here.
a. Stir up love:
instrument, or as the Greek word
Paroxusmos means, be an irritant
for “Agape” or charity. Be proactive in charity.
b. Stir up good
also an instrument to cause the brethren to cause good.
Church, Bible Studies, Fellowship and service with others.
d. Exhorting one
Come along the side of others, help and encourage those
who are struggling.
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the
truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain
fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour
the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without
mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse
punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled
the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he
was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For
we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
And again, "The Lord will judge His people." 31 It is a fearful thing to
fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But recall the former days in
which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with
sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches
and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who
were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and
joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a
better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35 Therefore
do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you
have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you
may receive the promise: 37 "For yet a little while, And He who is
coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by
faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." 39 But
we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe
to the saving of the soul.
The writer of Hebrews is referring to his total audience made up of both
Jewish believers and non-believers. The non-believers have heard the
message of the Gospel, and some have even responded and suffered for
Christ. (Verse 33).
The sin referred to
here is the sin of apostasy, turning from the faith, rejecting Christ
after hearing the message. Judas Iscariot is the best example
of a New Testament apostate, others include Demas (II Cor. 4:10)
and Hymenaeus and Alexander (I Tim.
Many who hear and
respond do not necessarily respond to the biblical “Jesus” but to a
other Jesus. Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and Muslims
all have a Jesus in their respective faiths. Their Jesus
however, is different from the Jesus of the Bible, and each other.
we have received knowledge of the truth:
The Greek word for
knowledge here is
and correct knowledge used in the New Testament, of the knowledge of
things ethical and divine, contrasted to “Gnosis” which means general
knowledge. Judas knew Christ, he lived with Christ, saw the miracles,
ate with him and talked with him. Judas turned from Christ, and betrayed
Him. The Hebrew Christians were experiencing the same, some were
turning back and no longer in fellowship (verse 25, 39).
truth received by Judas and the other apostates is precise, that
Jesus Christ is the Messiah, Son of God, who died for our sins and was
resurrected on the third day.
Christ is rejected, there is no other option available to the apostate.
Christ is the exclusive and only way to God.
to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through Me.John 14:6
Christ, there is certain judgment. There is no way to escape judgment
for sins. Everyone who dies in their sins will pay for their sins.
rejected Moses' law:
required 2 to 3 witnesses to put someone to death for violating the law
of Moses. (Deuteronomy 17:7) Those who turned against the Law of Moses,
faced God’s wrath, those who turn against Christ will also face God’s
wrath. Jesus indicated the judgment on the cities and towns of Judah
would be severe for rejecting his salvation.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works
which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have
repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 "But I say to you, it will
be more tolerable for
Sidon in the day of
judgment than for you. 23 "And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to
heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which
were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until
this day."But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the
Sodom in the day of judgment than for you."Matthew
Of how much worse
The wrath of God is on the cities that rejected Christ. In the same way,
those who “apostate” from the faith will face a greater judgment then
those who never heard, the greater the knowledge the greater the
trampled the Son of
By turning against Christ, they are rejecting his sacrifice, they are
counting it as a common and unworthy event.
he was sanctified:
The blood of
Christ is what sanctifies the believer. The question many ask is was the
apostate ever saved prior to apostasy?
There are several
viewpoints on this issue. Each with its own following, here are three.
Salvation can be lost.
James Burton Coffman
writes the following regarding this verse.
is a return to the warning uttered in Heb. 6 regarding the final and
total apostasy of persons who were once true Christians, concerning whom
it was affirmed that it "is impossible" to renew them. Here, the reason
for that impossibility is stated in the fact that the rejection of
Christ's one sacrifice can only result in the sinner's being left with
none at all, "there remaineth no more a sacrifice"! Of course, it would
be a mistake to construe every stronghearted and presumptuous sin as "an
eternal sin," although the danger that it might become so should never
Apostasy of believers will be judged with temporal judgment.(Earthly)
Walvoord and Zuck,
write regarding this verse;
words “Sanctified him” refer to true Christians. Already the writer to
the Hebrews has described them as “Made Holy through the sacrifice of
the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (10:10) and as “Made perfect
forever” through this sanctifying work (v. 14)….The author’s whole point
lies in the seriousness of the act. To treat “the blood of the
covenant” (which actually sanctifies believers) as though it were an
“unholy” (koinon, “Common” thing and to renounce its efficacy, is to
commit a sin so heinous as to dwarf the fatal infractions of the Old
Covenant. To this, an apostate adds the offense of insulting the Spirit
of grace who originally wooed him to faith in Christ. This kind of
spiritual rebellion clearly calls for a much worse punishment then the
capital penalty that was inflicted under the Mosaic setup.
But again the writer was not thinking of hell.
3. Those referred to
here were not saved, but only seemed so.
Judas, was with Christ
and his disciples, except for Christ they had no idea he was lost. From
the beginning, Christ knew Judas was lost and did not believe even
though he was a witnesses. He heard the Gospel and received the
knowledge of truth. The Gospel never went further then his head, his
heart never received Christ as savior.
Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you
is a devil?" 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was
he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve. John 6:70-71
indicates, those who are truly saved cannot be lost, but those who turn
away were never really saved. Their turning away, “Their Apostasy” is
merely only the manifestation of their true state.
went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us,
they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be
made manifest, that none of them were of us. I John 2:19
The writer of Hebrews is warning both Hebrew believers and
seekers here, what is at stake. There are two distinct groups indicated
in verses 25 and 39. The apostates are not saved, but were view as part
of the Hebrew body of believers. Both are addressed in this chapter.
The writer distinguishes the saved clearly in the last verse by
we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who
believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:39