1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.
2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have hadconsciousness of sins?
3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.
4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,“Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,But a body You have prepared for Me;
6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.
7 “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come(In the scroll of the book it is written of Me) To do Your will, O God.’”
8 After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law),
9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second.
10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;
12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,
13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.
14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart,
And on their mind I will write them,”He then says,
17 “And their sins and their lawless deedsI will remember no more.”
18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin."
Life is full of sacrifice.
We make many for others, and others make many for us. The question is not if sacrifices are made, but whether we acknowledge them, understand them, and express our gratitude for them.
Jesus’ sacrifice is no different in this respect. This passage gives us the theological and historical context to better understand exactly what Jesus accomplished in coming to earth and offering Himself as a sacrifice for sin.
Think of the sacrifices in the Old Testament as a shadow.
A shadow is a suggestion of the shape of an object standing in front of a light. It is an impression or a pointer to the real thing. The Law and the Old Covenant are shadows of Christ because they give an impression of what is to come, but we see their better and fulfilled purpose in Christ.
The Law and the sacrifices are unable to perfect or truly change the heart and conscience of the worshiper, and God delights in changed hearts—not changed behavior.
God requires sacrifices so His people feel the weight of their sin, but He is more interested in their hearts than in the sacrifices themselves. Our faith is the key.
The sacrifices and burnt offerings described in Leviticus had to be repeated because they were insufficient to deal with the root of sin. Yet Jesus Christ stands as a perpetual, once and for all sacrifice for sin that has done what the blood of bulls and goats could never do.
The covenant He has provided is true and better because it is lasting. There is no need to provide it again because He has decisively dealt with our sin and shame and repaired our relationship with God.
● What feelings arise when you reflect on the magnitude o
f the price Jesus paid to free you from sin’s death grip?
● As a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are forgiven when we trust Christ. How does God’s forgetting your sins (v. 17) when you repent help you deal with guilt? How does it help you deal with sins committed against you?
● Thank God for giving us eternal hope through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ask Him to help our church
grow in our love for Him and gratitude for His sacrificial work on our behalf.