And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Christ’s Effective Sacrifice, once for all. Hebrews 10 starts off underlining the fact that the old covenant with its priestly system was ineffective and merely a shadow and a painful reminder (verse 3) of the need to be made right with God. We are reminded that ‘the law is only a shadow’ (verse 1). But if it is a shadow (which is actually nothing at all), then there must be an ‘object’ that creates the shadow. This is what verse 1 refers to as ‘the good things that are coming’ The shadow was not able to ‘make perfect’ (verse 1), nor was it even remotely possible in any way for the shadow to ‘take away sins’ (verse 4).
Verse 5 begins with a glorious ‘Therefore’! For this reason, because of the ineffectiveness of the shadow, the effective reality ‘came into the world’. This is a profoundly encouraging truth. Not only did Christ come, but He gave His body as a pleasing sacrifice for sins (verse 12) – and this He did once for all (verses 10, 12). The effectiveness of this once for all sacrifice cannot be overstated. See the language of verse 10, ‘we have been made holy’ and verse 14, ‘he has made perfect forever’.
Dear friends, the author of Hebrews has been labouring this point over the last few chapters and now he underlines this truth again. In chapter 11 he is going to emphasise faith as believing something to be true even though we can’t see it. This is what he urges us to believe. Christ’s sacrifice is vastly more effective than the shadow of the old sacrificial system. Our sins ‘have been forgiven’ (verse 18), our sins will not be remembered (verse 17), we have been made perfect forever (verse 14), and ‘we have been made holy’ (verse 10).
Because of this, because Jesus accomplished this through His once-for-all sacrifice, because He entered the Most Holy Place for us (yesterday’s devotion, Hebrews 9:24), we can ‘have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus’. This is profoundly exhilarating! We can enter God’s presence with confidence! Oh how my soul leaps with ecstatic rejoicing at this wonderful privilege.
All these magnificently wonderful blessings and realities are only available to us if we believe it to be true. This is what verse 38 means when it says, ‘my righteous one will live by faith’. It is by faith that we will live; it is by faith that we gain these blessings; it is by faith that we are saved (verse 39). This faith brings full assurance (verse 22). ‘Let us hold unswervingly to…[this]…hope’ (verse 23). Remember, hope implies confidence (Monday’s devotion, Hebrews 6:18). And here in verse 23, we are encouraged to hold unswervingly to this hope because ‘he who promised is faithful’.
Do you believe? The author of Hebrews can confidently say of himself and of those he is writing to, ‘we…belong…to those who have faith and are saved’ (verse 39). Let us, like him, confidently say this of ourselves.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, our hearts rejoice, almost bursting at the seams, as we consider the massive privilege and profound blessings that You have lavished on us. We believe to be true what Your Word has told us, and we rejoice. Thank You that Your Son Jesus came into this world, gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, has made us holy and perfect in Your sight, and opened for us the way into Your Most Holy Place. Amen.