November 12 – Hebrews 10:15-18. No More Sacrifice.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 12 – Hebrews 10:15-18. No More Sacrifice.

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 
     “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”  

Then he adds: 
     “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”  

And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

When God made the first covenant with Abraham, he promised to make Abraham’s descendants as many as stars that fill the sky.  When He renewed the covenant under Moses, He set the Law down for the entirety of the people of Israel.  The priests who came from the tribe of Levi were responsible for helping the people to remember the Law, for accepting the sacrifices and for bringing the atonement sacrifice before God once a year.  For the most part, the people of Israel were part of the community and had little personal responsibility to God.  They had a responsibility to the community, but not a relationship with God Himself.

As you read the history of Israel, you find that the kings had a lot to do with the fortunes or misfortunes of the people.  The king was the one who led the people – whether it was worshiping other idols or living righteous lives.  Individuals stepped out, but it seems as if Israel was a single entity.

The new covenant, spoken of in Jeremiah, would change all that.  God intended to write His laws on the minds of the individual and place it in a person’s heart.  No longer could a person claim that they were part of a singular entity such as the people of Israel, a person was responsible for his or her own relationship with God.

But with this new covenant, the sacrificial system needed to be radically transformed.  Each individual couldn’t approach the Holy of Holies.  Too many people, too little space and besides, the Law required there be specific purification rituals so as to not offend God.

We needed Jesus.  With one sacrifice, He set the old system aside.  We no longer need to offer sacrifices for our sins.  We simply need to accept Him as our Lord and Savior … the perfect sacrifice.