Lesson 33

The Epistle to the Hebrews

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

10:5 Therefore when he comes into the world, he says,

 "Sacrifice and offering you didn't desire,
      But a body did you prepare for me;

 10:6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure.
10:7 Then I said, 'Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of me)
      To do your will, God.'"

10:8 Previously saying, "Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you didn't desire, neither had pleasure in them" (those which are offered according to the law), 10:9 then he has said, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He takes away the first, that he may establish the second, 10:10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Today's Lesson   

Under the Law of Moses, the Levitical priest offered sacrifices for the sins of the people. The same sacrifices were repeated over and over. The priest would offer the blood of bulls and goats but these sacrifices could not clean the conscience of the people. As soon as the sacrifices were over, the people would begin to feel guilty for their sins again. Because of this, the sacrifices under the Old Covenant could not perfect the people in God's eyes.


But even under the Old Covenant, God pointed toward for a better sacrifice in the future. Through the prophets and the psalmist, God promised a time when a new sacrifice would be offered. In Psalm 40, the psalmist wrote that God does not really desire the sacrifices and burnt offerings of animals. Rather, God desires the heart that will do His will. God desires obedience more than sacrifice, mercy more than justice.


While this Psalm might well be applied to any person who really wants to do the will of God, it finds its most complete fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ. "Sacrifice and offering you didn't desire, but a body did you prepare for me." This Scripture describes no person better than Jesus of Nazareth. God prepared a body for Jesus Christ that was worthy of the acceptable sacrifice that was required. Jesus was the Lamb that God provided that would take away the sins of the whole world.


The writer of Hebrews concludes that when Jesus laid down His life in His once-for-all sacrifice, He took away the sacrifices and burnt offerings required by the Law. In doing the will of the Father, Jesus eliminated the need for any further sacrifice for sin. The sacrifice of Christ is able to completely cleanse the sinner because Jesus offered up a perfect sacrifice. The sacrifices of bulls and goats were a shadow that looked toward the complete offering of Christ.


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