Summary: A GREATER SACRIFICE (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Hebrews chapter 10 verses 1-18:
• The story of Daddy Long Legs is a book by Jean Webster;
• It has now been made into a film.
• It is the story of a little girl in an orphanage.
• She knows that there is a wealthy man who provides for the orphanage.
• But no-one knows who he is, he is never seen.
• One day the little girl sees his shadow cast onto a wall.
• Because of the position of the light;
• The shadow it is elongated and has tremendously long legs.
• She calls the shadow ‘daddy Long Legs’.
• And for years she dreams of this shadow.
• And then one day she meets the owner of the shadow and falls in love with him;
• He too falls in love with her and a relationship develops.
Now here is the point:
• Once she has got him she stops thinking about the shadow altogether.
• Because the substance is far better than the shadow.
• What would you think of her;
• If she went back to the shadow on the wall and tried to kiss it?
• We would say; “She must be crazy”;
• For she now has something far superior in the man himself.
You will have noted in your studies in the book of Hebrews:
• That these Hebrew Christians were being tempted to go back into Judaism;
• But the writer reminds them (and us) that would be like swapping substance for a shadow.
• All through this letter;
• The writer has shown his readers how the Old Testament is full of ‘types’ and ‘shadows’
• The substance of which they speak is Jesus Christ.
• Whose shadow is cast all over the Old Testament.
• But remember a shadow is distorted; depending on the position of the light;
• It never quite gives you the clear picture of what you want.
• It is the same yet very different; and different yet the same.
• And remember, you cannot have a shadow without the substance being real.
The writer of this letter is about to show his readers:
• How the Old Testament sacrifices were really shadows;
• And the death of Jesus Christ is the real substance to take note of!
• In this section the writer presented three benefits
• That explain why the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is superior to the Old Covenant sacrifices.
• The heading in my Bible for this chapter is:
• ‘Christ's sacrifice once and for all’.
• Verse 10 backs up that statement.
• That only in Jesus Christ is their forgiveness of sins.
• Sin, of course, is man's greatest problem.
• The barrier that cuts a person off from God.
• To know God and enjoy his presence;
• We need to be able to deal with the problem of sin.
• World that says it doesn’t matter what ‘religion’ you have;
• They all are basically the same.
• Ill: Spokes of a wheel leading to the centre spindle (God).
• This book and Jesus himself said that idea is wrong!
• Only Jesus Christ has the ability and power to deal with the problem of sin,
• Therefore only Jesus Christ is the way to know God.
• Ill: Not all medicines will cure you of your particular ailment.
• Ill: Not all planes fly to the same destination.
• Ill: So not all religion will make you right with God!
• So the writer starts this section off by reminding his readers;
• Exactly WHAT or rather WHO they need – if they want to get right with God.
(1). THE NEED FOR A BETTER SACRIFICE (vs 1-4):
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.
2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshippers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.
3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins,
4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
• Why were the Old Covenant sacrifices inferior?
• After all, didn’t God himself ordain them?
• And were they not in force for hundreds of years.
• If you think of the Law as a cookbook;
• A cookbook represents something far greater than itself.
• Cookbooks don’t satisfy the taste, fill the stomach, or nourish the body.
• Instead, they point to something beyond themselves – food!
• What the meal is to the cookbook; Jesus Christ is to the law!