Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Hebrews 10:1-21
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Hebrews 10:1-4
Verses 1-4: The laws concerning the sacrifices of the tabernacle were intended to provide prophetic symbols (shadows) pointing people to the Messiah’s future death. The actual animal sacrifices themselves, including those made on the Day of Atonement, never could provide the “once for all” cleansing people needed, and in their hearts the people of Israel always knew this. Even after presenting their sacrifices they still didn’t feel clean—confident they were forgiven. There was no lasting sense of being at peace with God because the next sin they committed would leave them feeling just as guilty as before. Add to this the fact that no sacrifice was provided for intentional sins (Heb 9:7) and we can understand why they continued to have a “consciousness of sins.” People’s unsettled consciences told them that somewhere in the future God must provide a greater sacrifice than the ones they were making (Ge 22:13, 14). No one was ever convinced animal blood was enough and no one really felt acceptable to God after they offered it. If they had, they would have stopped sacrificing. They would have no longer felt the need to keep sacrificing on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.

Monday: Hebrews 10:5-7
Verses 5-7: On numerous occasions in the Old Testament God made it clear that He didn’t think animal blood was enough either (e.g. Ps 50:8-13; 51:16, 17). An example of this is found in Psalm 40:6-8 where David speaks prophetically concerning the Messiah. In the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible called the Septuagint David quotes the Messiah as saying, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for me, in whole burnt offering and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.” What is particularly notable in this passage is the statement (in the Septuagint) which says “…a body You have prepared for me.” If David were speaking on his own behalf it would be hard to think of a reasonable explanation of why he would say such a thing. But when we read on to verse seven (Heb 10:7) we recognize that David is prophetically speaking on behalf of the Messiah who is voluntarily presenting His body as the ultimate sacrifice which the Father requires.

Tuesday: Hebrews 10:5-9
Verses 5-7 (continued): In effect the Messiah says, “When I read in the Torah I recognize that it is My death which is being prophetically symbolized there by the sacrifice of animals. This is why I, the Son of God, have been incarnated into a human body: so that I might offer it to You Father, in sacrifice. So here I am presenting Myself to fulfill what You desire.” Verses 8, 9: The author of Hebrews draws our attention to the fact that the Messiah’s own mouth declares the insufficiency of the sacrifices and offerings contained in the Law of Moses, and He then presents Himself as the true and complete sacrifice for sin. This can only mean that the old system comes to an end at His death. In case we missed this point, the author says, “He takes away the first (covenant) in order to establish the second (the new covenant).”

Wednesday: Hebrews 10:10-13
Verse 10: The author also wants to leave no uncertainty as to the identity of the person of whom this passage speaks, so in unmistakable terms he tells us that the “body” referred to in Psalm 40:6 is the body of the Messiah Jesus. His cross was the “once for all” sacrifice. Verse 11: Next he rehearses what he has already said about the futility of sacrifices which need to be repeated over and over. The fact that priests stand daily offering the same sacrifices shows that those sacrifices have no lasting effect. They contain within themselves no final answer to the problem of sin, otherwise they would not be endlessly repeated. Verses 12, 13: The Messiah Jesus only needed to offer His sacrifice for sins once, because His life is the one true sacrifice which can permanently remove human sin. His ascension into heaven after His resurrection means He is now sitting “at the right hand of God” waiting for the Father to bring all His enemies into submission to Him, just as David had prophesized He would (Ps 110:1).

Thursday: Hebrews 10:14-18
Verse 14: Jesus’ one offering on the cross has “perfected” (made people able to stand in God’s presence) for all time those who are “sanctified” (God’s law is written upon their hearts). Verse 15-17: In these verses the author shows that the new covenant as described by Jeremiah promises both the “perfection” and “sanctification” mentioned in verse 14. People who have the laws of God written on their heart and mind are people who have been “sanctified.” And people whose sins and lawless deeds God remembers no more are those who have been “perfected.” The author uses the word “sanctification” to describe the internal transformation of the believer’s heart and “perfection” to describe God’s acceptance of that person. Verse 18: Once a person has been “perfected,” sin offerings are no longer necessary because God remembers the sins no more (v 17).

Friday: Hebrews 10:19
Verses 19-24 (introduction): The author now beings in earnest to apply to his readers the truths he has been explaining in such detail. Those who have been drifting (Heb 2:1), falling (Heb 3:12) or throwing away (Heb 10:35) their confession of Christ must recognize how dangerous it would be to try to return to Judaism as they once knew it. To reject Jesus is to reject the One for whom the Law and the prophets were waiting. They would be returning to religious forms which were never meant to be more than signposts pointing to the Messiah. He alone can give the eternal life for which they long. Over the next six verses (19-24) he will summarize two foundational truths about Jesus and then call his readers to three basic responses. Verse 19: The first foundational truth is this: Believers who understand the profound implications of the new covenant are transformed in their attitude toward God. They became fearless to enter His presence and speak to Him. As we’ve seen, everyone but the high priest was forbidden to enter the Holy of holies (“the holy place”), and he only once a year, but new covenant believers are always welcome.

Saturday: Hebrews 10:20, 21
Verse 20: Jesus’ death on the cross (His “blood”) has given believers a new way to approach God—one which was not available earlier. It emboldens them to pass beyond the “veil” of sin which once separated them from Him. At the very moment when Jesus died on the cross (Mt 27:50, 51) God’s invisible hand tore in two the great veil in the Temple. This remarkable act symbolized the removal of the barrier between humans and Himself. Then the author explains the image of the veil even more deeply. He says it is Jesus’ flesh. In other words, the new and living way to God is through the torn body of the Messiah. Verse 21: Here is the author’s second foundational truth: Not only does the new covenant provide believers access to God’s presence (vs 19, 20), but it also allows us to remain there, even though we may continue to sin in one form or another. This is because we have a high priest who constantly intercedes for us (Heb 7:25). Jesus’ “once for all” sacrifice does not need to be repeated, which means our standing with God does not wax and wane depending on how successful we have been at obeying Him lately. Our high priest has entered “within the veil” (Heb 6:19) and He invites us to come in with Him and remain there.

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