Summary: The author of Hebrews drives home the reality that you & I can approach God with absolute confidence. God can be approached with absolute confidence. Who can approach God with confidence? 3 measures ensuring your confidence before God are...
CONFIDENCE BEFORE GOD—Hebrews 10:1-18
Jimmy was sent to prison for his crimes but he told the warden he wasn't worried at all about serving his full term. The warden asked him why, since most prisoners immediately start planning how they can get out early.
Jimmy replied, "Well, my wife has never let me finish a sentence the whole time I've been married!"
Jimmy had the utmost CONFIDENCE in his short jail sentence.
The author of Hebrews drives home the reality that you & I can approach God with absolute confidence.
God can be approached with absolute confidence.
Who can approach God with confidence?
3 measures God grants to ensure your absolute confidence before God.
1—A measure ensuring your confidence before God is...
An ENDURINGLY PURE CONSCIENCE(:1-4)
:1—“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, & 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.”
The sacrifices of the Jewish law cannot make its worshipers “perfect.” This is because the law, & thereby its system of “continual” “yearly” “sacrifices” “has” or presents only a “shadow” of the reality they represent. And thus not being the “very image” of the reality, such sacrifices(themselves being mere shadows), obviously cannot perfect “those who approach” by means of them. Thereby they are offered on a yearly basis.
“The contrast here between skia (shadow, shade caused by interruption of light as by trees, Mr 4:32) & eikwn(image or picture) is striking.”—RWP
What or Who do such ‘sacrificers’ “approach?” The Almighty, Holy God(:19-22)! They are approaching God thru animal sacrifice vastly dissimilar from themselves & thus inept to meet their own needs for sin’s remission.
“Shadow”—skia—1) Shadow—1a) Shade caused by the interception of light, 1b) An image cast by an object & representing the form of that object, 1c) A sketch, outline, adumbration. Strong—apparently a primary word; "Shade" or a shadow (literally or figuratively [darkness of error or an adumbration]).
“Good”—agayov—1) of good constitution or nature; 2) Useful, salutary; 3) Good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy; 4) Excellent, distinguished; 5) Upright, honorable. Strong—a primary word; "Good" (in any sense, often as noun).
“Image”—eikwn—1) An image, figure, likeness—1a) An image of the things (the heavenly things)—1a1) Used of The moral likeness of renewed men to God, 1a2) The image of the Son of God, into which true Christians are transformed, is likeness not only to the heavenly body, but also to the most holy & blessed state of mind, which Christ possesses, 1b) The image of one—1b1) One in whom the likeness of any one is seen, 1b2) Applied to man on account of his power of command, 1b3) To Christ on account of his divine nature & absolute moral excellence. Strong—A likeness, i.e. (literally) Statue, profile, or (figuratively) Representation, resemblance.
“Sacrifices”—yusia—1)A sacrifice, victim. Strong—Sacrifice (the act or the victim, literally or figuratively).
“Offer”—prosferw—V.—1) To bring to, lead to; 2) To be borne towards one, to attack, assail. Strong—To bear towards, i.e. Lead to, tender (especially to God), treat.
“Continually”(See :12—“Forever”)— eiv to dihnekhv—1)Continuously, continuous. Strong—neuter of a compound of dia & a derivative of an alternate of ferw; carried through, i.e. (adverbially with eiv & o prefixed) Perpetually. Used 4X.
“Year”—eniautov—1) A year, in a wider sense, for some fixed definite period of time. Denotes a year as viewed as a cycle or period of time.
“Approach”—prosercomai—1) To come to, approach; 2) Draw near to; 3) To assent to. Strong—To approach, i.e. (literally) Come near, visit, or (figuratively) Worship, assent to.
“make...Perfect”(See :14)—teleiow—V.—1) To make perfect, complete; 2) To complete (perfect); 3) To bring to the end (goal) proposed; 4) To accomplish. Strong—To complete, i.e. (literally) Accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character).
:2—“For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.”
If the “very image” were being served, then the sacrifices would have “ceased” from being offered outright having brought about their Divine goal. These sacrificial shadows would have accomplished God’s eternal intent.
The result being that the “worshipers” would have been forever “purified/cleansed” having no “consciousness of sins.” The perfect sacrifice would have removed any awareness of sin because it would have been taken care of to the extent necessary for living an empowered life & for entering God’s presence in heaven.
Not an imbecilic disregard for sins but a ‘God-consciousness’ of sins.
This is not to say that the earthly consequences/ramifications/results of personal sins go away. They do not.
However, if the sacrifice is perfect & is & perfect-ing it brings about a permanent atonement/payment for those same sins! Thus freeing the “conscience” from the burden of guilt associated with them. The guilt is due to my awareness that the sins I have entered into/committed still hold weight against me in a condemning manner. This is why the author uses the plural “sins.”