Summary: Christ Jesus the the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sin of sinners once for all.
A. Introduction and Background
• The Book Hebrews is regarded by many scholars as the most difficult in the NT.
• It is a very Jewish sermon that describes sacrifices, altars and priestly matters.
• I in fact say Sermon because some theologians have suggested that the literary form of this Book is not that of an epistle as is customarily in the case with the apostle Paul’s epistles.
• Some theologians argue that we have here an ancient homily; a sermon, whose central focus is the majesty of Christ.
• The Book of Hebrews brings the whole counsel of God’s Word together.
• In order to get a proper understanding of the Book of Hebrews one requires familiarity with the OT Scriptures, especially the Book of Leviticus.
• The Book of Hebrews deals with the question of how the OT and the NT relate.
• The OT is in the NT and the NT is in the OT.
• It shows us how we should treat the Law of Moses in the OT as compared to now in the new era of what Christ has done in the NT.
• A favourite word of the writer of Hebrews is ‘better’.
• The Book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is ‘better’ than the angels, better than the prophets, better than the judges, better than the kings and all the other intermediaries.
• The Book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ is the Apostle and High Priest (Heb 3:1).
• In Hebrews chapter 3 verses 5-6, the author tells us that, “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”
• One scholar called the Book of Hebrews ‘the riddle of the NT’, for it is the only NT book whose authorship is unknown.
• Some scholars claim that Apostle Paul wrote this Sermon, others have suggested Barnabas, some suggested Stephen, others Silas or Apollos, and others suggested Priscilla.
• But as a maturing theologian myself, I have to say that God alone knows who wrote this Book of Hebrews.
C. Why was the book written?
• This sermon was written to encourage saints in the midst of persecution - to keep the faith – to endure to the end – and to follow after this Christ who was and is worthy of all things.
The author wrote in Hebrews chapter 1 verses 1-4: “1In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”
• God has spoken to by His Son Jesus Christ (Heb 1:2a)
• God has appointed His Son Jesus Christ heir of all things (Heb 1:2b)
• The Son Jesus Christ is what makes the brightness bright in the glory of God (Heb 1:3a)
• The Son Jesus Christ is the exact image of God’s being (Person) (Heb 1:3b)
C. Ask someone to open in prayer
Our text in Hebrews chapter 10 verses 1 – 18 falls into four sections:
• In chapter verses 1-4, the author shows how the sacrificial system of the OT failed to completely remove the guilt of sin.
• In chapter 10 verses 5-10, the author shows how Christ’s obedience to God’s will at the Cross of Calvary set aside the OT sacrifices and provided for us the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
• In chapter 10 verses 11-14, the author shows the totality of our forgiveness, by contrasting the unfinished, repetitive sacrificial system of the OT priests, with the finished, all-sufficient, perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus.
• And then, in chapter 10 verses 15-18, the author shows again the OT prophecy of the New Testament (Jer 31:31-34) that the total forgiveness it promises means that the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ is sufficient, perfect and final.
1. The imperfection and ineffectiveness of the OT Sacrifices to deal with guilt and sin (10:1-4):
“1The 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. 2Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”