Sunday, October 9, 2011
Hebrews Chapter 10 (part 1)
Hebrews Chapter 10:1-18
- “The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves.”
- The Mosaic law demanded a sacrifice every year. Never did the sacrifices provide a real cleansing or purification... it was only good for a year... then they had to come and do it all over again. “If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
- The main idea I want to point out here is about our guilt.
- There was a time in my life when I hit rock bottom in my faith. I had walked away from God... and He let me go... and life got miserable real fast...
- But when I finally broke down and cried out to God... He came running... and the great thing was grace...
- Now I know me. I sit and think about all my mistakes and go over them and over them time and again trying to figure out how I could have fixed them. It's just how my brain works. In my teaching, it comes in handy when I'm trying to find a better way to teach a lesson or something. In my music, it comes in handy when I have a short time to practice something.
- However, in general life... it can make life miserable. And I try my hardest not to sit and pick my life apart... it doesn't do any good... and usually just makes me more miserable.
- So... knowing that about myself... when I broke down and cried out to God... I was feeling the guilt. And even in the middle of turning to God... I was walking into this place of self-condemnation. “Oh God... You could never want me... there's no reason for me to turn to You because I've done all these things against You. I walked away and pushed You away and did all these things... I don't deserve to be able to come back. I don't deserve to be held like this...”
- And in the middle of all that... Grace took over... and you know... all those things that I would normally beat myself up about? I don't remember them. Not really. I remember that they happened. I remember that I did them. I remember walking away and telling God I didn't want Him in my life... but I don't remember it like I lived it. It's like watching a movie about somebody else's life. I have no REAL connection to the story. It's like I never lived it. Just know about it.
- So... the sacrifices. Yearly offerings to stave off God's anger... but they didn't relieve guilt. Man! I don't think I could have lived with that!
- It's like a murderer who feels guilty for what he has done and so he sends money or something to the family anonymously every year... hoping that giving something up will make him feel better. However... he's still as guilty as ever. He's still responsible for taking a life. He's not any less guilty. He might feel a little better for a little while... but I guarantee that there are times when it feels almost stifling because he can't escape the guilt.
- Sacrifices were a band-aid on a gashing, gaping wound. It may have covered up the problem... it may have even looked like it fixed it... but underneath... the same problem sat and bled...
- So what is the cure? What fixes the problem? Is there a solution?
- II Corinthians 3:4-18
- Luke 22:14-20
- Colossians 2:6-3:17
- Galatians 3; 4; 5
- vs 5-7 are quoted from Psalm 40.
- “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer. You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin. Then I said, 'Look, I have come to do Your will, O God—as is written about me in the Scriptures.'”
- Christ came to be the ultimate sacrifice. He came to end our suffering. To end our guilt.
- “First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were You pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). Then He said, “Look, I have come to do You will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. For God's will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.”
- Now why would God set up a sacrificial system and then say that He wasn't pleased with it. Why do something like that and then decide it's not good enough?
- Throughout the Old Testament... there can be found a theme. “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” The sacrificial system was a shadow of what was to come. It was a pattern. It was to get the people used to the fact that something else had to die for their sins in order for there to be forgiveness. It was so they would learn that in all things... even down to the small things, they were to be obedient. And it was to definitely learn... that people are not perfect. They can't do anything perfect. And they are most definitely not holy. They have no right (outside of Christ) to enter into the Most Holy Place or speak before God. They have no right to ask anything from God.
- God set up the system so that when Christ came... they would look back through history and go “OH! It all makes sense now! I understand! Yes! The Messiah has come to set us free from our sins! He has come to be the ultimate sacrifice! He has come not for our earthly freedom, but for our SPIRITUAL freedom! Hallelujah!”
- But that's... not what they did. There were a few. Sure. But the majority had let the religion, get in the way of faith.
- I Samuel 15:22-23
- Psalm 40; 51
- Jeremiah 7:21-29
- Hosea 6:4-11
- Amos 5:18-27
- Micah 6:3-8
- Matthew 9:9-13
- The Hosea reference above said something about Israel betraying God's trust just as Adam did. God wanted the people to know Him. To understand Him. But instead... they turned back to their own idols... again... and again... and again... They broke the covenant so many times... and God would renew the covenant... and they would break it. A never-ending cycle.
- In Leviticus 20:26, God said “You must be holy because I, the Lord, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.”
- A couple places in Leviticus when He's talking about things that were ceremonially unclean and things that they needed to stay away from, God made that statement.
- Now... as many times as God renewed the covenant and the temple was in good working order and there was a priest there who loved God and longed to serve God... the people were never holy. They always turned back to their sin... and many times... they tried to appease God, while still worshiping their idols. Not the way of a holy life...
- The people could never reach that goal. As humans... we are not holy creatures. We are born into sin... there's no way out of it...
- Except... through Christ. Through the blood of Christ... we can be made holy.
- “Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then He sat down in the place of honor at God's right hand. There He waits until His enemies are humbled and made a footstool under His feet. For by that one offering He forever made perfect those who are being made holy.”
- Who's being made holy? Us. Through Christ living and dwelling and working in us.
- Last night we had a youth meeting at our house, and dad's lesson was on the clay and the potter. And my brother brought up a different point...
- My brother is an art major... so he's had to do a little bit of everything... pottery being one thing... He's not good at it. Lol He has a horrible time getting the shapes that he wants...
- But one thing that he learned while doing that class, was that you could keep both hands on the outside of the clay. If you keep both hands outside... then the vessel you're trying to make, just makes a round ball... and when you put something like that in the kiln to fire it... as soon as it gets hot... it explodes...
- So a potter... in order to get the vessel to shape the way they want it to... has to keep one hand on the outside working... and one hand on the inside working...
- God is making a holy people... but the old covenant... dealt mostly with the outward man... The new covenant, changes us from the inside out. Making us holy... starting with our hearts and spirits... not our bodies...
- “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, Says the Lord: I will put my laws int their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.... I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.”
- “And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.”
- Okay think about that last statement for a second... the old covenant didn't forgive sins completely. It just held off judgment. The new covenant however... FORGIVES. Completely.
- Wow... what a thought.
- footnote- “The costly sacrifice of an animal's life impressed upon the sinner the seriousness of his or her own sin before God. Because Jesus shed His own blood for us, His sacrifice is infinitely greater than any Old Testament offering. Considering the immeasurable gift He gave us, we should respond by giving Him our devotion and service.”
- Romans 2:12-11:36
- Jeremiah 31:31-34
- Ephesians 4:17-5:20