Verse 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.
Verse 2 – For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purged, would have had no more consciousness of sins.
Verse 3 – But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
When the people gathered to offer sacrifices on the Day of Atonement, they were reminded of their sins, and undoubtedly felt guilty all over again. This practice was only a shadow of the good things to come.
If these sacrifices had removed their sins and freed their consciousness of all guilt, then they wouldn’t have had to continue with them. The very fact that they did this year after year showed that their conscience had no peace.
Verse 4 – For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
So why did they do it? First of all because, God commanded it; second, it was a shadow and pointed to the coming Messiah, which pointed to the once and for all perfect sacrifice made by Him.
Verse 5 – Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.
Verse 6 – In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.
Verse 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.’ ”
(Verse 5) Since it was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin, Christs’ coming into the world was a better sacrifice. The Messiah came to render obedience of the highest order, even to such an extent that He was willing to lay down His own life. (Verse 6) The idea is that God had no pleasure in the sacrifices compared to obedience. (Verse 7) “In the volume of the book,” is the five books of Moses in a scroll. Referring to the time would come through the Messiah to take the place of those sacrifices, and by His obedience unto death would accomplish what they could not do.
Verse 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),
Verse 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.
Verse 10 – By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Setting aside the first system in order to establish a far better, meant doing away with the sacrifices contained in the ceremonial law. It did not mean doing away with God’s moral law, the Ten Commandments. As we, as Christians, can fulfill the ceremonial law by receiving Christ living in us.
Verse 11 – And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
Verse 12 – But this Man after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
Verse 13 – from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.
Christs’ work is contrasted with the work of the priest. The priests’ work was never finished. Christs’ work and sacrifice (dying in our place) is finished, therefore He is seated! Christs’ sacrifice effectively cleansed us from all unrighteousness.
Verse 14 – For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
Verse 15 – And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
Verse 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: (Jeremiah 31:33, 34)
verse 17 – Then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds, I will remember no more.”
Verse 18 – Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
Our sin cannot be paid for by us. This is where many Christians disagree. Christ paid the penalty in full for the world’s sin, past present and future. However, one has to believe in Him, and receive Him, as our Redeemer and Savior, in order for our sins to be forgiven. There is no more offering, no more sacrifice, and certainly, no more penalty for sin to the Christian, Jesus paid this penalty with His death, in full!
Some don’t realize that even their future sin is forgiven and paid for. We better hope it is, because all of our sin was future when He died. We weren’t even born yet when He died for us, so all of our sin was future!”
Are we perfect? Only in our spirits, not our conduct and behavior, as of yet. This attitude of forgiveness does not mean that we live anyway we choose because we are forgiven . If a person is truly born-again, they don’t have a desire to sin anymore. When we do mess-up though, we can admit it to ourselves and another if you hurt them, and then try, through the power that lives in us, not to do it again.
Hold Fast he Confession of Faith
Verse 19 – Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Verse 20 – by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
Verse 21 – and having a High Priest over the house of God,
Verse 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 wash with pure water.
When Jesus died on that cross, the veil that divided the Holiest of Holies was torn, done away with, because Jesus became our High Priest, making it possible, through His blood that was shed, to walk in the presence of God. Christians now, can go boldly before the throne of grace, without fear. Christ’s blood gave us access to our heavenly Father.
“Full assurance of faith” – unwavering confidence, such a fullness of faith in God which leaves no room for doubt.
“Sprinkled from an evil conscience” – by the blood of Jesus and His sacrifice, gives every believer a clean conscience of guilt, it gives us peace. Being baptized with water is the symbol of holiness – pure water.
Verse 23 – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
The apostle encourages Christians to hold fast to their faith, even in trials, or by the arguments of others. Because God is faithful, we in turn are faithful to Christ.
Verse 24 – And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
Verse 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.
Fourth Warning: Danger of Drawing Back
Verse 26 – For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin,
Verse 27 – but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
The point is that there is no other acceptable sacrifice for sin than the death of Christ on the cross. If someone deliberately rejects the sacrifice of Christ after clearly understanding the gospel teaching about it, then there is no way for that person to be saved, because God has not provided any other Name under heaven by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).
Verse 28 – Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
This does not mean in all cases the offender against the Law of Moses died without mercy, but only those offenses that were punishable by death.
Verse 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?
He who renounces Christianity ought to be regarded as deserving a much more severe punishment than the person who apostatized from the Jewish religion. There are some who have denounced Christianity for another religion and their punishment will be severe. That is trampling the Son of God underfoot by despising the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Are we Christians narrow-minded about what is acceptable to God? Yes! The gospel, the true gospel, is the only way to Jesus Christ. Not by works; not by ceremonies; not by rituals; and certainly not by any other Name! All other religions are false. Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Verse 30 – For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. and again, “The LORD will judge His people.”
This is quoted from Deuteronomy 32:35 and Romans 12:19. It is quoted to show we do not avenge ourselves. It is God who will give punishment to whom it is due.
Then from Deuteronomy 32:36, He will judge them when they deserve it and correct His own children when they need it. This truth was abundantly clear in the history of the Israelites; and the same great principle would be applied should any sincere Christian apostatize from their faith.
Verse 31 – It is a fearful things to fall into the hands of the living God.
For the purpose of punishment – which is the idea here – fear. God is strictly just, and will inflict the punishment which ought to be inflicted.
Verse 32 – But recall the former days in which after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings;
Verse 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;
Verse 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.
For the scholars not to know who wrote this book, it sure sounds like it was the Apostle Paul. He says because “You had compassion on me in my chains,: that was Paul.
These Christians, had went through many trials and persecutions, as some do today. The apostle reminds us, those trials are not our focus, Christ is. There are rewards for those who endure to the end.
Verse 35 – Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
Verse 36 – For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
Verse 37 – “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
Verse 38 – Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”
Verse 39 – But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
The apostle encourages us all not to disregard our confidence in God, even when trials seem to become unbearable. We have to look to our eternal future when hardships come, because our trials are but a little while. Jesus is coming for us.