Summary: The one and only High Priest of all made a once for all forever sacrifice that takes eternal care of our sin problem. Hebrews 10:1-18 tells the details.
Have any of you seen the movie “Ground-hog Day.” It is a comedy about an arrogant weatherman played by Bill Murrey, who gets stuck on Ground-hog day in Puksatony, Pennsylvania. He hates it. Every day he gets up and it is the same day, the alarm clock is playing the same Sonny and Cher song, “I got you Babe.” It’s winter outside and everyone does the same thing they did yesterday, because it’s not really yesterday, it’s the same day over and over again. After a while he tries to kill himself, and he does! But still he keeps waking up again to Ground-hog day anyway. Finally, after years of the same day, he gets it right. He learns the lesson of humility and the spell is broken. He is set free from the unending reliving of the same day.
Have you ever thought about all the things you and I have to do over and over and over again? Laundry, dishes, taking out the garbage, getting a haircut, housework, brushing your teeth, and listening to the same preacher every Sunday… the list continues on and on.
I remember hating to mow the grass as a kid. We had a section of yard that was over the leech field and it used to grow grass like crazy. You could practically watch the grass grow. It had to be mowed again every three days it seemed to me. Over and over and over until finally winter came and set me free for a season.
There are many things we do that we must do over and over, but there are some things that we only get one shot at. Some things only happen once in a lifetime. In fact, the very rarity of them makes them uniquely valuable and outstanding. This contrast is how the Hebrew writer depicts the value of Jesus’ sacrifice in comparison with the Old Covenant sacrifices. The endlessly repeated sacrifices of the Old Covenant could never accomplish what the precious once for all, forever sacrifice of Jesus did completely. What the old sacrifices actually did was foreshadow the once for all, forever offering of Christ.
Look at Hebrews 10:1-4
1For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and 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. 2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Jenny’s dad is a big photographer. He takes pictures all the time and Jenny’s folks have several pictures of the kids and grandkids up all over the house. Pictures are great, but the very best picture can never replace the person it depicts, but it’s job is to represent that person and bring that person to mind. Just as the sacrifices of the Old Covenant depicted something beyond themselves that they could never replace. It wasn’t a shadow of God’s grace that saved us, but the very presence of God in Jesus Christ full of grace and truth who came to save us. All the blood of all the animal sacrifices of all the hundreds of years could do nothing to take away a single sin. They were never intended to. They were pointing beyond themselves to the perfect sacrifice with perfect blood.