Summary: Short Exposition of Heb 10:1-7 regarding the incarnation of Christ
Text: Hebrews 10:1-7, Title: When He Came Into The World, Date/Place: NRBC 12/19/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: In England there is a place called The Pilgrim Way. It is one of the many footpaths throughout the country, but it is unique in that it was the path that Christians, for hundreds of years, took as a religious pilgrimage. For many it was a way to do penance and earn merit with God. The trail ends in the town of Canterbury at the great cathedral named for it. It is here that Christians over the centuries have knelt at the spot where Thomas Becket was killed by the knights of Henry II. The story behind the death of Becket is that he was a close friend of Henry II who appointed him to his court. When the position of Archbishop of Canterbury came open, Henry placed Thomas Becket in the position thinking he would do his bidding. But something happened to Becket after he was appointed as spiritual leader of England. He stopped being complacent about his faith. He put politics and luxury behind him. He gave up his former wealth and style of life. And to his peril, he began to oppose the king when it came to differences between the church and the government. As a consequence, he paid the ultimate sacrifice. But Becket’s willingness to be a martyr for the faith did not earn him a place in heaven. Neither does a pilgrimage to this site, great sacrifice though it may be for those hoping to incur God’s favor. The whole point of the Christian faith is that we can never earn our salvation, no matter how hard we work, or how great a sacrifice we make. Even if we give our bodies to be burned for the sake of the Gospel, or crawl to Jerusalem on broken glass it would not make us one bit more worthy of heaven. There is only one way that our sins can be taken away — only one sacrifice that is sufficient to atone for them.
B. Background to passage: we are picking up in the middle of an argument that Christ was the supreme eternal high priest and mediator of the New Covenant because the old covenant was insufficient and passing away and because of His sacrifice.
C. Main thought: When a better covenant, priesthood, and sacrifice was needed, Jesus came into the world!
A. Problem (v. 1-4)
1. The problem was with the system. God never designed it to be permanent, but only a shadow. Something that would point to something greater to come, something permanent and effective. See that was one of the problems: it couldn’t make people perfect, spiritually complete, whole. Rules and animal sacrifices had no power against the sinful nature, nor could that offer change, nor righteousness. The penalty was postponed, but they were still enslaved to sin, and they were not viewed as “good” or righteous in the sight of God. The other problem was that it couldn’t offer forgiveness, only postponement. The blood of an animal was not good enough. It was only a reminder for their sin.
2. Illustration: talk about how my system at Chick Fil A the other night wasn’t working as I tried to change the poop up the back diaper,
3. If you have not been born again you are in a similar state: religious, maybe theologically accurate, but trapped in your sin, and viewed as a sinner. And without something to satisfy his wrath, you will bear it. You can do all the rituals, good deeds, charitable gifts, prayers, church attendance, etc, but it will not/cannot change you at the core, nor make you good. You can’t be forgiven by rituals, good works, or other things. You may create your own God, own religion, our set of beliefs that help you justify what you already believe or your actions, but it won’t work.
B. Solution (v. 5-7)
1. Jesus, Himself came into the world. Jesus speaks in this text as says that the bible is written about Him. Each book is a link in a pure flowing chain telling about Christ. The prophets hundreds of years before Christ said He would come in about 300 prophecies: a son would be born of a virgin in Bethlehem that would crush the head of the serpent, bear the wrath for us, upon whose shoulders the government would sit as He reigns as king. According to them this suffering servant would be of the seed of Abraham and tribe of Judah and the household of Jesse/David. According to them, he would be pursued by Herod, visited by kings, and travel to Egypt, and move back to Nazareth in His early years. According to them He would be proceeded by Elijah, do miracles, ride a donkey into Jerusalem, be betrayed by a friend, denied by His disciples, beaten, be crucified, have his garments divided among His captors, buried in a rich man’s tomb, and raised to life in three days. And when He came on His own free will as He submitted His will to the Father as God had made a body for Him to come to earth in. He carried out completely and perfectly the will of God laying down His life as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.