Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 10

The perfect sacrifice was the death of Jesus

Hebrews 10:18

For many chapters, the author of Hebrews has written about Israel’s priests and their temple. (That is, the house of God in Jerusalem, where the priests served God.) It is clear that he had studied these subjects carefully. And this is his last sentence about these things.

The first Christians loved the temple (Mark 13:1). Even after Jesus’ death, they considered it part of their own religion. They continued to go there to pray (Acts 3:1). About 30 years after Jesus’ death, Christians were still offering animals as sacrifices (gifts to God). (Compare Acts 21:23-24 and Numbers 6:13-18.)

So it was not clear to those first Christians how much everything had changed because of Jesus’ death. But the author of Hebrews taught that Christians must constantly grow and develop in their relationship with God (Hebrews 5:11 to 6:3).

God teaches his people by means of his word, the Bible (Hebrews 5:12). So the author of Hebrews had studied the Old Testament (the first 39 books in the Bible). And those books had taught him about the importance of Jesus and his death.

Jesus is more important than the angels (God’s special servants who came from heaven to help his people) – Hebrews 1:4-14. Moses was God’s principal servant; but Jesus is God’s Son – Hebrews 3:2-6. Jesus is our chief priest. And he belongs to a better and more ancient order (group) of priests than Israel’s priests did – Hebrews chapter 7.

As the perfect priest, Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice for sin (evil deeds). That sacrifice was his own death - Hebrews 9:11-28. It is because of Jesus’ death that God can forgive our sin. And because of his death, God has established a new kind of relationship with his people – Hebrews 8:6-13.

Israel’s priests had carried out their sacrifices for about 1500 years. And they were still offering sacrifices at the time when the author wrote his book. But the author had learned from the Old Testament that the sacrifices of animals were not still necessary. They were important in the past. They were God’s way to teach people that Christ would die for their sins. Because of those sacrifices, people knew that they needed God to forgive them. So the sacrifices allowed people to have a relationship with God.

But those sacrifices – and even the temple itself – were only a copy of the reality. The reality was the death of Christ. He offered his own blood to God the Father in heaven. Because of it, God could forgive his people’s sins. The new kind of relationship between God and his people had begun.

And because God had forgiven them, no other sacrifices were necessary.

Next part: The closest relationship with God (Hebrews 10:19)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.