Jesus Is . . . !
August 27, 2017
Has anyone ever had to repeat themselves to you? Have you heard the same thing over and over until you know what’s coming? It’s kind of frustrating, isn’t it? You think and maybe even say, “I know, I know! Don’t worry!” Especially when it’s a parent seemingly harping on you to do what you know to do.
Well, we’re going to look at Hebrews 10 this morning. We are moving towards the end of Hebrews, only a few more weeks in our study through this great book of the Bible. We’ve been looking at who Jesus Is. And for the past 4 weeks we’ve been looking at Jesus as greater than the Jewish High Priests. Jesus was THE great High Priest. He was the One who came and abolished the old law, the old covenant and led us into the New Covenant through His life and sacrificial death.
In some ways for the past 4 weeks we’ve talked about the same thing. . . . Today is no different. The writer of Hebrews is finishing his writing about the old covenant and old sacrificial system. He’s said close to the same things in very different ways and today we’ll look take a final look at this old system juxtaposed against the New Covenant of Jesus.
There’s an old hymn many of us have sung many times . . .
Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow.
This is what we’ve seen in recent chapters. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ — His death on the cross, His blood shed for our sinfulness. He paid the price for our sins
Sin does leave a crimson stain in our lives. It spoils things. It causes us to do things which hurt others, hurts ourselves, and alienates us from God. Sin, by its messes up our lives.
Sin separates us from God. So often we don’t realize it, we don’t realize it because we think we’re in control. But there comes a point in time when we realize we’ve moved further and further away from God. The writer has much to say about our sinfulness and the consequences.
We sin because we’re imperfect. We fall again and again; we need forgiveness, we need salvation, we need restoration. The message of the book of Hebrews proclaims in no uncertain terms that these are available to us in Christ, only in and through Christ.
Jesus Christ came into the world to forgive our sins and heal our brokenness. The book of John says ~
12 But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, – John 1:12
That’s what we’ve seen in the book of Hebrews: this connection, this relationship with God begins when we proclaim He is Lord and Savior in our lives.
Now as we move into chapter 10, the writer starts by telling us again, the Old Testament system of sacrifice, wasn’t a perfect system, but it was designed to point the way to God’s true plan of salvation for us. The writer of Hebrews wrote ~
1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities,
it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.
2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?
3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
He’s telling us that all of these animal sacrifices had to be offered year after year after year, and they could never make the people perfect. The people were never fully cleansed. They could never be made white as snow. If they could, there would have been no need to make further sacrifices. So, they were repeated again and again and again, year after year after year. That’s because – – animal sacrifices didn’t fully work. It was kind of like putting a bandage on a gaping wound. It’s a stop gap measure. It doesn’t do the full job.
Only God can forgive sins. The good news is that God is willing to forgive our sins and He does this through His Son, Jesus. Hebrews 10 tells us – that even though the Old Testament sacrifices had to be performed again and again, year after year, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is a once and for all event.
Once and for all – the problem with sin has been settled. Our need for forgiveness has been settled. Our guilt, our shame and our regret has been settled.
We have – – – ONCE and FOR ALL been forgiven.
Under the old system, we would make sacrifices for our sins. Then we’d sin again, and we’d be back at the temple seeking forgiveness. It was never ending.
Jesus died on the cross one time for all sins. His sacrifice paid the price for all of our sins. . . even the B.C. sins, that is Before Christ was in our life. And for all of the sins we have committed A.C. After Christ came into our lives. The writer adds~
12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God,
The writer wants us to know that Jesus offered a single sacrifice. No need to go back again and again. He did it, and He was done! His ascension to sit with God represented the fact that Jesus did all He was called to do in this world, and now He sits with God, and if you remember from a few weeks ago . . . .
25 Jesus always lives to intercede for us! – Hebrews 7:25
Jesus didn’t just come into the world, do His thing, then take a break and lounge in His lazyboy – sitting next to the Father in heaven. Remember there’s satan. The name satan literally means accuser and he is constantly accusing us of doing wrong. He’s pointing out to God every sin we commit. And he’s trying to throw them in God’s face. You died for this guy? Look at him – – he’s a slug, she’s worthless, this guys a loser, she won’t serve you. Lots of bad stuff flying around.
But then Jesus steps in . . . and I can just picture Jesus sitting next to God, and satan says something and He pops off His throne and intercedes for you. Saying “No way! I know my child. I know them. I know their heart. I died for them and they are my child. Get out of here you liar!” Can’t you picture that?! What a great scene that is in heaven! Jesus standing up for you! Defending you before the Father and putting satan in his place.
The sacrifice of Jesus is a once and for all sacrifice. When He died on the cross, He paid the price for all your sins — past, present and future. When we all commit some kind of sin later on today — and I’ll venture to say that all of us will — that sin is already covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. The same goes for the sins we’ll commit tomorrow and next week and next year. His once and for all sacrifice paid the price for all our sins.
The writer of Hebrews continues by telling us ~
9 He (Jesus) does away with the first in order to establish the second.
10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
14 For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Folks, we should be dancing in our seats. Your hearts should be doing flips, you should have goose pumps. Jesus offers you once and for all forgiveness. The guilt that you struggle with, the shame, the pain, the regret — He says, “I’ll cover all of it. I’ve got you covered. You don’t have to carry that weight anymore. The high priest couldn’t do it, but I can and did!! I paid the price once and for all.”
You’ve been forgiven once and for all. No need for more sacrifices. That’s all you needed and it’s everything you needed.
Notice that the writer says Jesus has perfected us. Let me first state, you now not perfect! OK! Don’t be walking around and say, “hey I’m perfect.” So, let me ask you this – – it’s not a trick question . . who perfected us? JESUS! WHO? Jesus.
Next time you get all full of yourself . . . remember Jesus is the one who’s perfecting you.
Now, let me tell you what it means to perfect. Because it’s not what you think. It doesn’t mean you’re sinless. It really means you’ve completed the race. You’ve worked through the entire process. You’ve completed everything you had to do. You are now complete – – not because of any human. But only because of Jesus.
And to be sanctified means you’ve been set apart and made holy.
Go back to one of my favorite verses from Paul. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, he wrote ~ 21 For our sake God made Jesus to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
What a powerful verse! It ties right into what we’re talking about. Jesus was the sinless sacrifice. He died for you and I so we could now be viewed by God as righteous. It’s not because we are righteous, it’s because God views us as righteous because of what Jesus did for us. That’s how God looks at us.
Because of this we can boldly approach God’s throne of mercy and grace. The people in the old covenant couldn’t do that. They always had to go through the priest. But now, with the sacrifice of Jesus we have unlimited access to God — unlimited access — through Jesus. The writer tells ~
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,
20 by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh,
21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. – Hebrews 10:19-22
Jesus has opened the door to the throne room of God, and you can enter at any time, not because of who you are, but because of who He is, and because of what He’s done for us.
Because of that we can approach God, we don’t have to be afraid and approach God stumbling over our words. We’re to have reverence for God, to approach Him with humility, yet with boldness, power and courage. Think about it . . . what parent wants their child to approach them when they have a real need and ask with lots of fear because they’re afraid of mom and dad? NO! We want our kids to ask us with courage, yet with respect and humility. God wants the same.
And we now have access to the presence of God because Jesus’ death tore that curtain in two which separated the people from entering into the Holy of Holies … God’s throne room. But now it’s open and available to us because of Jesus. So, our hearts and spirits have been sprinkled clean and our bodies have been washed with the blood of Jesus! So – – we are now viewed by God as whiter than snow.
Sometimes we feel unworthy to approach God – – you don’t have a right to ask God for help, or even to be forgiven.
But God says, “The door is open.” Come, come to me, and I’ll give you rest and peace. You see, it’s easy to approach God when we feel good about ourself, but that’s often when we approach Him the wrong way — on the basis of our goodness, rather than His grace and mercy.
Remember this — and hang on to this — the door to the throne room of God is always open to you. No matter how badly you’ve messed things up, no matter how far you’ve slipped and fallen, His door is always open.
Finally, we are called to make a once and for all commitment.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
This is a command folks. Hold fast. Don’t let go! Don’t let go of what? Don’t let go of the faith we profess in Jesus. He is our hope and without that hope we are in a world of hurt. Not only hold onto that confession of faith, don’t waver. Don’t let the world pull you in directions you shouldn’t go, don’t accept a compromise. Hold onto Christ. He is faithful to you and will not fail you, He will not abandon you! He died for you! No matter how bad it gets, Jesus is with you!
He adds ~
24 And let us consider how to STIR UP one another to love and good works,
We’re to think of ways to stir up one another to do good. Not to do good because we think that will earn us brownie points with God, but do good works because of our salvation. Because you can’t help but to do good.
And that phrase stir up, it literally means “a provocation which literally jabs and cuts someone so they “must” respond. This is a provoking and inciting done in love. It’s getting someone to recognize their need for Christ, yet doing it with gentleness and respect.
The writer continues because there’s a problem, because some aren’t meeting. He says ~
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:23-25
It’s a reminder of our need to worship together – – To come together as one body to worship the King of kings and Lord of lords. It’s not worrying about the message, the air temperature, did we sing the right songs. It’s about coming together to worship Christ. It’s about our heart, spirit and mind as we enter this building.
Some people would say, “Oh, I don’t need the church, all they want is my money and time.” Or they think the church is filled with a bunch of hypocrites. And yes it is and we’d love to add another to the mix. And the call is not to beat one another up, it’s not to complain about all that we don’t like, because no place is perfect, but it’s to find ways to encourage one another, it’s to find ways to be part of the great solution to the problems within the church and within the world. We are the solution. Because we have Christ!! The world doesn’t know Him, and doesn’t believe they need Him, but they desperately do and we are Jesus with skin on to the world.
Sometimes we have to repeat ourselves and say it over and over again. I feel like I’ve given the same message for 4 weeks in a row, just in a different way each week. God wants to be in a relationship with you. Jesus calls it friendship.
Jesus offers absolute forgiveness. Through Jesus Christ we are offered absolute and unlimited access into His presence and all the help you need whenever you need it.
And through Jesus Christ we are called to hold onto Him, to never let go, to hold fast, to stir up one another so we meet together and celebrate the hope we have in Christ.
That’s the offer God has for you today, tomorrow and everyday. It’s your opportunity to embrace Christ as Lord and Savior. He calls you to Him, not in some phoney way, but He calls you JUST AS YOU ARE. Have you said yes to Jesus!? If not, why not today!
Do you need prayer. Is there a need to call out, to cry out to throne of grace and mercy!? Then come, come to the One who lives to intercede for you!
Come all you who are weary and burdened. Come to the Christ! He is the One who offers you all you need in life!