Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 10

The worst sins

Hebrews 10:29

An evil deed is especially terrible if a person carries it out against the holy things of God. It is even worse if a person does it on purpose (Hebrews 10:26). Godís punishment against that person will be severe (Hebrews 10:27-28).

The author of Hebrews refers to three crimes that existed under the old covenant (Godís relationship with Israel). And then he shows how each crime can happen now. In fact, it is even worse if people do these things now. Formerly, people carried out such acts against the temple (Godís house in Jerusalem). But that was a copy, and now we have the reality (Hebrews 9:23; Hebrews 10:1). So these crimes are even more terrible now. They are crimes against the most holy things that exist.

        To trample on the Son of God. To Ďtrampleí means to walk in a heavy manner, as if you intend to destroy something under your feet. Under the old covenant, it was a crime to trample in a holy place. In fact, it was a serious crime even to enter Godís temple unless you were a priest. So to trample there was an especially careless and nasty thing to do. A person would only do it on purpose if he hated God. That person would do it because he wanted to offend God. And the only proper punishment was death.

The temple was a copy, but Godís Son is the reality (John 2:21). It is a terrible thing to act in a careless or nasty manner towards Godís Son. It is a terrible thing to hate Christ, who died for you. It is a terrible thing to act as if he is completely without value.

Peter wrote about people who were doing such a thing (2 Peter 2:1-3). They pretended to be Christian teachers. But really, they did not care about Christ. They were using Christ as a means to teach their own ideas, which were false and dangerous. They were jealous men who used the Christians to make profits for themselves. Jude also wrote about them (Jude 8-13).

        To behave as if the blood of the covenant is an unclean substance. The covenant means the agreement that establishes the relationship between God and his people.

The animals that people gave to God were holy. God gave careful instructions about what should happen to those animals (Leviticus chapters 1 to 7). When priests did not obey those rules on purpose, their behaviour was very evil (1 Samuel 2:12-17).

The blood of the sacrifices (the animals that people gave to God) was especially important. It is because of the blood that God can forgive people (Leviticus 17:11). It is the blood that establishes the covenant (Hebrews 9:18). It is by the blood that God makes both people and objects holy (Hebrews 9:19-22).

But, of course, the blood of animals did not really free people from their sins (evil deeds). The reality is what Christ did by his death. Only the death of Christ can really free people from their sins. Only the death of Christ can really make people holy. It is his death that established the new covenant between God and his people (Hebrews 9:14-16). And that is what the author means here by Ďthe blood of the covenantí.

People ought to consider the blood of Christ precious. Peter wrote that it is much more precious than silver or gold (1 Peter 1:18-19). But it is terrible not to be grateful to God for what Christ has done for you. And it is even worse to behave as if Christís death disgusts you.

        Blasphemy against Godís Holy Spirit. Christ said that God never forgives this sin (Mark 3:29). ĎBlasphemyí means evil words, but the personís attitude matters very much too. We can see that from Hebrews 10:26. This is the attitude of someone who hates God with a complete hate. And that is not just an emotion that will change. It is a decision that the person has made on purpose. That person never wants God to forgive him; and God will never forgive him.

Really, the three crimes in Hebrews 10:29 are all the same sin. The author has mentioned this sin before, in Hebrews 6:4-6. This time he describes it in three different ways in order to emphasise how terrible it is.

Next part: God is the judge of Christian leaders, too (Hebrews 10:30)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.