Summary: Looking at the fact that Christ’s work is complete.
The Common vs the Unique
Gladstone Baptist Church – 25/6/04
Have you ever thought about all the things you and I have to do over and over and over again? Laundry, dishes, ironing, taking out the garbage, making lunch, filling up the car with petrol, doing homework, getting a haircut, telling your kids to pick up their dirty socks, telling your husband to pick up His dirty socks, brushing your teeth, listening to the same preacher every Sunday… the list continues on and on and on and on.
There are many things in this world which we need to repeat over and over and over again. But every so often there are some things which we only get one shot at. Some things only happen once in a lifetime. For some people – that is marriage, or the first born baby, or a trip around the world.
The fact that we only get one shot at these things, make them unique. It makes them important and outstanding. They actually are memorable for the fact that they only need to be done once.
This contrast between the common and the unique is how the Hebrew writer compares the sacrifices that the Levitical priests and the sacrifice that Jesus’ offered. The Old Testament priests conducted literally hundreds of sacrifices every day – it was constant. It was repetitious. It was frustrating common. And while this was going on, there was no rest. They were running around with pigeons, lambs and goats. Carrying flesh and blood backwards and forwards to the altar. There were jobs to do, people to minister to, and no rest to be had. I’m sure they all fell into bed exhausted of a night time knowing that tomorrow was going to be just the same.
But in contrast, Jesus came and offered one sacrifice. It was the sacrifice of his own body and after he had offered it once, His job was done. He was able to sit down put his feet up and relax. What a contrast between the priests of the old system and our Priest in the New system. But this was exactly what it was like.
Open your bibles with me to Hebrews 10:11-18
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
Day after Day the priests stood to perform their religious duties. Day after Day the priests offered the same sacrifices.
It was like Bill Murrey in the movie “Ground-hog Day.” Has anyone seen it? 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. But somehow he has been caught in this endless time loop. Every day he gets up out of bed 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 exactly the same thing they did yesterday, because it’s not really yesterday, it’s the same day over and over again. After a while, Bill Murrey gets so tired of living the same day over and over again that he tries to kill himself, and he does! But the next morning, He wakes up again to Ground-hog day again.
The priests were caught in an endless loop of sacrifices. But Jesus was different. In these couple of verses there are 4 points of comparison between the Old Testament priests and Jesus …
1) The Levitical Priest’s sacrifices were numerous. Christ’s was only one.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.
2) The Levitical Priests stood because they had work to do and plenty of it. Christ sat down because his work was finished.