Summary: Are we still allowing our old life which stunts our spiritual growth to be more like Jesus Christ?
Let’s continue our worship of God by learning from His Word in Hebrews 10…. page…
Again, the letter to the Hebrews was written to Christians who had a religion handed down from Moses and likely practiced their faith in the Temple (show picture) in Jerusalem about 2000 years ago. The Temple likely was still there when the Letter to the Hebrews was written. the Temple was built for worship and the annual blood sacrifices for sins were made in a Room called Holy of Holies; that room was separated by a special curtain from the rest of the rooms in the Temple! Let us remember that when Jesus died for all of people’s sin that curtain miraculously ripped which signifies God allowing all now to be able to enter heaven!
We noted a few in the past and we will note more in our reading today; but let’s think about the situation of those Hebrew Christians for a moment…. Because they left a religion that God did establish and was so part of their daily lives, what problems do you think they had as they are now following a different faith as Christians rather than Jewish??
We can have the same problems as we try to change our lives towards following Jesus and leave our past beliefs behind! Read along with me Hebrews 10:1-25 and grasp some truths to follow as we become more like Jesus Christ rather than just on our own….
v1-4: The Hebrew Christians still had a problem with going back to the “Law” and the annual sacrifices for sins! but what do we note specifically from this passage?
The “Law” (Old Testament Rules and rituals) is only a shadow of realities now available through Jesus Christ!
The annual sacrifices in the Temple were only reminders that people are sinners!
Blood of animals for sacrifices does not take away sins!!
- the prophecies about Savior/Messiah in the Old Testament was fulfilled with Jesus!
- Jesus was totally obedient to God the Father to death!
- Jesus set aside the Old Covenant (annual sacrifices) with the New Covenant to make people holy once for all with His death and resurrection!
v11: The sacrifices offered by Priests in the Temple does not take away sins!
Let me briefly comment here: The Old Covenant revealed the Holiness of God and all people sin! The New Covenant with Jesus Christ reveals the Holiness of God and how people can be Holy in spite of being sinners!
v12-14: The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was offered once and for all:
- Jesus didn’t have to die over and over again; He went back to heaven after His sacrifice!
We noted last week that it is a lie to proclaim Jesus Christ dieing every year on Good Friday!
- All unbelievers of Jesus Christ will eventually be judged!
- Believers of Christ are deemed perfect in God’s sight but still have to pursue holiness!
v15-18: God the Holy Spirit also testifies that since Jesus already died for all sins, there is no need for sacrifices made by priests. There is a Triune God; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit!
It seems like God is saying the same thing over and over again for the Hebrews wasn’t He? The Hebrews, and all people including us, can be stubborn prideful people, and God repeats Himself because He wants people to be fully clear of the truth. And so….
v19-25: Lists the Christian’s response to truths about Jesus’ sacrifice; It is clear in this passage….
In summary, because of the Cross and the Resurrection, Christians are to focus on Faith, Loving one another, and Worship! How are we doing with these things and are we lovingly encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same? If we are honest with ourselves, we still all need to work on these same areas right?
Let me add one more thing to consider based on our passage. We noted from the beginning that the Old Covenant Rules and Rituals are only shadows of reality. And so, a question came to mind as we live our lives today… Besides maturing in our faith, love, and worship, are we doing things which contradicts our spiritual growth?
Are there doings in our lives that are only shadows of the reality with God?
How do we watch ourselves with this? The question to ask ourselves I think is simple: Would Jesus Christ approve of what I am doing? If not, then we are living in the shadows, not reality as a Christian and our efforts to grow spiritually will be stunted!
Do we even think about this question as we go about our daily lives?
Prayer is the key to doing the right thing; this is why God tells us to pray without ceasing! If we don’t pray regularly (talk to God as often as we can), we will only just depend on ourselves and miss asking Almighty God for His perfect leading!