Impressions from God's Word 66
"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship." Hebrews 10:1
Key verses: Hebrews 10:1-18; 11:1-3: 12:1-3
Key personalities: God as the Trinity, The Risen Jesus!
Timeline: The God of Eternity; He enters as a Man, being fully God and fully Man, walks this earth as our Lead, 28-33 A.D. Hebrews passages written before 70 A.D.
Jesus showed His love by taking our place for the just wrath and punishment of our sins. He kindly took our interests over His and paid that ultimate price through His sinless life and His sacrifice on our behalf. The Love of God takes the initiative, as He did with us, and fosters the Fruit of the Spirit and brotherly love that must empower the Christian life and be the beacon for the life of a church! If not, what good was that sacrifice!
Key Happenings: Christ is our Sacrifice and offering.
The sum total of the Law and the Prophets is rooted in the Levitical system instituted by God for redemption and points us to the Christ, our Ultimate Redeemer. This is what the Hebrew priests did as mediators for atonement; now, Christ is our Mediator. The basic point was that the old system did not work well. It could not permanently remove sin; it only provided temporary sacrificial solutions that pointed to our need for the once-and-for-all sacrifice that Jesus Christ gives us (Psalm 110:1-4; Heb. 2:2; 8:8; 12:18-25).
- All that Moses did and set up was merely a shadow to Christ. He pointed to the things to come and the reality of Christ's saving grace that we have now. These sacrifices and offerings had to be repeated again and again, year after year, and still were never able to cleanse or to save. They could not even enable one to worship God effectively; thus, all that was left was unresolved sin and guilt before a most Holy God. Christ came as our offering for sin, which bulls and rituals could not do. He came to do the Father's Will and to take away our sin--for once and for all.
What Jesus did was cancel the old Covenant and gives us the New Covenant is effectual and that we most desperately need.
- Christ's sacrifice is continual and never ever needs to be repeated or have anything added to it. He will never leave us or forsake us! Yet, the Law was not in error; it showed us our need for a Savior and showed us a God who is here, Who cares, and Who is Holy. It shows us Our Father who gives us great comfort. The Holy Spirit also testifies to this and will pour out Himself to us, too, so that Christ does, indeed, dwell within us. God will not even remember our evil deeds; they are covered by His deeds of atonement and love. We will be able to live for Him and obey Him from a willing heart because we have been redeemed and forgiven!
- Sacrifice and offering. A quote from Psalm 40:6-8, a point of a distinction of what God really wanted and what it took to cover our sin because we did not honor His request. It took the ultimate obedience and sinless nature of Christ and His sacrifice to atone for our imperfect humanity. He covers our sin by His sinlessness; this is what atonement is all about.
- Why? The law was frustrated by the sin it was to cover and by the disobedience of its priests and observers. It only worked when the people did what they were supposed to do, and people never do exactly what we are supposed to do in every and all things. Animal sacrifices are merely symbolic to Christ's coming redemptive work that we now have. True repentance must come from our willingness to do so as it can't be forced or coerced; yet, repentance was then and is now necessary for the forgiveness of sins. Thus, animal sacrifices do not fulfill our need to be cleansed of sin and are inadequate for our redemption because an animal cannot substitute for a person made in God's image (1 Sam. 15:22; Psalm 51:16; Prov. 21:3; Isa. 1:10-17; Jer. 11:15; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-27; Micah 6:6-8; Rom. 8:3-4; Heb. 8:8-12).
The Creator of the universe lowered Himself like the created beings He made who were filled will flaws and sin, and who needed redemption.
A journey was made filled with countless sufferings and an eventual death, on behalf of a humanity that neither asked for it nor could do it for themselves. The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was the supreme act of proving who He is and what He can do for us (Acts 2:24; 17:31; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11,20; 54-57)!
A Listing of the Many Sufferings of Our Lord, Borne On Your Behalf!
During these following passages, Jesus exhibits "meekness," which is not weakness or a lack of strength; rather, humbleness. Strength under control, as we yield our personal rights and expectations to God (Psalms 62:5)!
Jesus was rejected on your behalf!
- By His country and culture (John 1:11)
- By His hometown (Luke 4:28-29)
- By His friends (Mark 3:21)
- By His own family (John 7:5)
- By the religious Leaders (John 7:1; 9:22)
Jesus was tempted by Satan on your behalf! (Luke 4: 1- 28)
Jesus was ridiculed on your behalf!
- Because of His hometown (John 1:46; 7:52)
- Because of His background (John 8:41; 9: 24 - 29)
- By the Roman soldiers (Luke 23: 36 - 37; Mark 15:16 - 20)
- By the crowd (Luke.23: 35)
- By the chief priests (Mark 15: 31)
- By the two thieves (Mark 15: 32; Matt. 27: 44)
Jesus was threatened on your behalf!
- By Herod (Matt. 2: 16)
- By his hometown (Luke 4: 29)
- Because of His claims (John 8:58 - 59; 10: 30 - 33)
- Because He healed on the Sabbath (John 5: 16; Luke 6: 10)
- Because of His teachings (John 8: 40; Luke 11: 53 - 54; Mark 12,12; Matt. 26: 1 - 4)
- Because of His miracles (John 11: 53; 12: 10)
- By the Devil (Matt: 26:37- 38; Mark 14: 33--34; Luke 22: 44)
Jesus was homeless on your behalf! (Matthew 8:20)
Jesus was betrayed on your behalf! (John 13:21; 22: 47--53)
Jesus was denied on your behalf! (Matthew 26:58, 69-75; Mark 14: 54; 66-72; Luke 22: 54 - 62; John 18, 15 -18; 25-27)
Jesus was misunderstood on your behalf! (Matthew 15: 16; 16: 6--11; Mark 6: 52; John 10: 6; 12:16)
Jesus was abandoned on your behalf! (Luke 22: 54 -62)
Jesus was misquoted on your behalf! (Matthew 26: 61)
Jesus was indicted on false charges on your behalf! (Luke 23:1 - 2)
Jesus was illegally tried seven times on your behalf!!
- Before Annas (John 18:12-14, 19-24).
- Before Caiaphas (Matt. 26: 57-58; Mark 14: 53 - 65)
- Before the Sanhedrin (Matt. 27: 1-2; Mark 15:1; Luke 22: 66-23:1)
- Before Pilate (John 18: 28-38; Matt. 27: 1-26; Mark 15 1-5; Luke 23 1-6)
- Before Herod (Luke 23: 7-12)
- Before Pilate again (John 18: 39--19:16; Matt. 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13-25)
- Before the Roman soldiers (Matt. 27: 27-31; Mark 15: 16-20)
Jesus was tortured, and died on your behalf!
- Slapped (John 18:22)
- Blindfolded (Luke 22:64)
- Spit upon (Matt. 26:67)
- Beaten (Matt. 26:67)
- Scourged (Matt. 27:26)
- Beaten on His head (Matt. 27:30)
- Pierced with thorns (Matt. 27:29)
- Crucified (Matt. 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19)
Jesus is risen to redeem you! (Matthew 28:10; Mark 16:1-13; Luke 24: 1-12; John 20:24-29)
The ultimate victory has come: Jesus Christ is risen; He is risen indeed! Halleluiah! Christ's agony and death are now turned into victory--our ultimate triumph!
Do you fully realize what Jesus did for you? Christ took this punishment for us; our fears (as in scared to death, not fear as in reverence to Him) have been borne on the cross, while the fear and awe of our Lord and Savior helps us see what He did for us (Prov. 3:5)! Every time we sin, we incur greater guilt, and we deserve punishment (Gen. 3:1-24; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 2:1-11; 3:10-26; 5:12-19; Titus 1:15; James 1:12-15; 1 John 1:8-10).
- Jesus's agony turned into victory and became our triumph! Furthermore, the incredible miracle here is that we are set free by His work on the cross, by His death and resurrection (Rom. 5:10; 6:22). We have salvation by Jesus' sacrificial death (John 19:30). How now will you live your life?
The life, work, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus provided us with life eternal, ultimate hope, great meaning for our lives, AND immediate relief from our complete and every sin by our faith in Him through the grace of God. By the blood and body and new life of Jesus Christ, He has removed the barriers to God Our Father so that we may be in right relationship with Him.
We are chosen by God and by God alone for our Christian journey, because we are not at our final destination. Rather, each of us is in a process in life and faith. As long as we have breath, God is not finished with us yet; He is still at work in you. He deeply loves you, and He wants you to draw ever so nearer to Him. We need to avoid slipping into unbelief and cynicism just because we can't wrap our minds around it or because we are disappointed. Yet, this is where we all can easily live, because life can be so hard and confusing. We can learn from it--no matter what. We can have joy! We praise Him for His guidance from His Word and Holy Spirit. As we walk in Christ, we can always know God was the One who created us to walk and continues to teach us! "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." (Phil. 1:6)
- Through what Christ did, we are justified and can go directly to God without sacrificing or needing the mediation of a priest. We are able to have our prayers heard, our journey of life known, and be assured we have a God who truly loves us and cares for us beyond our comprehension. (John 11:25-26; Romans 4:25, 6; 1 Corinthians 15:17; Ephesians 1:18--2:10; Colossians 2:9-15; 3:1-4)!
- We are given a prize that only one high priest was able to have only once a year for a brief point of time--to be in God's presence. We have Jesus inside of us here and now! We have grace, forgiveness, and a personal relationship with God the Creator and Savior. We have life and purpose, meaning and hope! We are indeed fortunate to have this as this is by no work or effort of our own.
- The question is what we are doing with Christ in us so He is shown outside of us? So go, and be trusting of His wonder, faithful to His plan and percepts, and know Him more, grow in Him more, and make Him known more (2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9-10)!
Christ's sufficiency and the importance of His sacrifice is all that is needed and it is complete.
God now forgives our sins based on the Person and Work of the Son; no more using rituals and sacrifices for atonement when Christ is sufficient and fulfills it all. This is the crux of the argument in the Book of Hebrews to the Jewish Christian audience who wanted to leave Christianity and go back to the old system. That would be foolish because we have so much more now; it is better beyond our situation or thinking (Isa. 53; Ezek. 40:39; 42:13; 43:18-27; 44:29; Heb. 8:6-13).
This new covenant assures us that our sins will be effectively and completely forgiven. The curse of the law has been removed, but we still have responsibility (John 14:15).
When we are in Christ, we are concerned about what concerns Him (Rom. 1:18-32).
Salvation is not by birth or lineage. Salvation does not come by tradition or our good works. Salvation is only by what God has done and by the faith He gives us in Jesus Christ through the grace of God. Christ had to intervene in history and in us personally.
Take this key point to heart and into the streets of your life: God is the God of promises. God made promises, and God keeps His promises! This means for you, too! We all have hope beyond all hope, reason, and purpose! We have faith that is deeper and wider than we could ever imagine, a gift that we did not earn or deserve. Jesus the King, who was also the son of David and the son of Abraham, fulfilled that promise and demonstrated this faith! In addition, when you accepted Him, you became part of the promise and faith fulfilled.
Key Takeaway: Do you realize we have The Living Christ inside of us here and now! We have grace, forgiveness, and a personal relationship with God the Creator and Savior. We have life and purpose, meaning and hope! We are indeed fortunate to have this, and we have this by no work or effort of our own. What are we doing with Christ in us so He is shown outside of us? (2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9-10)!
How is your personal relationship with Christ? How do you show in your life, will, mind, and attitude that Christ is your Priest and Lord, and that you know He is the One we go to? He knows us intimately and asks us to do the same with Him--know Him more. How do you do this now? How can you even more so? This is what will help you grow spiritually and enable you to survive and even thrive, through the hard times of life and loss as well as the jubilations, and still be content. I will be your God; this is an effectual and powerful promise of fact and a call to be His children. Knowing God is a contract, God declaring an agreement, but also a personal call to each person that He is a God that loves and cares; He wants to form and mold us further in Him so we can be our best for His glory. A mature Christian seeks from God: how I can know you more? An immature Christian seeks just what he or she can get from Him.
The Call to the Church? Do the leaders in your church realize the magnitude and wonder, the incredible gift beyond measure that we have by our Lord's work and sacrifice? We are given a prize that only one high priest was able to have only once a year for a brief point of time--to be in God's presence. We have grace, forgiveness, and a personal relationship with God the Creator and Savior. We have life and purpose, meaning and hope! We are indeed fortunate to have this, and by no work or effort of our own. The question is what we are doing with Christ in us so He is shown outside of us? So go, and be trusting of His wonder, faithful to His plan and percepts, and know Him more, grow in Him more, and make Him known more (2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9-10)!
Questions to Ponder
- The Jews had to be continually reminded of God's past redemptive works so they could trust His future plan. How do you need to be reminded?
- What can you do to prevent negative skepticism and cynicism? What happens when we give in to this? Remember, we have faith and reason! What should you do with a Truth from God that you can't "wrap your mind around?"
- Why was the Old Covenant not capable to help one to worship God effectively?
- Do you fully realize deep within you that Jesus will never leave or forsake you so much that your heart, faith, and actions show it?
- How do you feel now about all that Christ went through for you?
- Imagine you are there with Christ and have the opportunity to take His place on any of these listing of the many sufferings. How would you have handled each of them?
- How can you better handle disillusionment and disappointment? Life can be hard and confusing; so, how can you be better at learning from your predicaments-no matter what?
- Law was not in error; God did not make a mistake, so how did it show our need for a Savior?
- How does His Word and these Hebrews passages now show you a God who is here and Who cares and Who is Holy? How do you feel about this? How does or can this give you great comfort?
- How has the reality of Christ's saving grace had an impact on your life? How has this impact affected others around you? How can you be a better impact? What can you do to dig deeper into personal holiness?
- Christianity is also about obedience and submission, and the ability to totally surrender it all upon Him as LORD! So, how can this produce more in your life?
- What do you need to do to make what Christ did more real and impacting in your daily life?
© 2015 R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org