The Supreme Sacrifice

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As Christians, we can rejoice in the Supreme Sacrifice which Jesus made for our salvation.

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“A teenage boy, whose mother was away on a visit, found himself with time on his hands. He decided to read a book from the family library. His mother was a devout Christian, so the boy knew there would be a sermon at the beginning and an application at the end of the book, but there would also be some interesting stories in between.
While reading the book, he came across the phrase “the finished work of Christ.” It struck him with unusual power.
“The finished work of Christ.” “Why does the author use this expression?” he asked himself. “Why not say the atoning or the propitiatory work of Christ?” (You see, he knew all the biblical terms. He just did not know the Savior!) Then the words “It is finished” flashed into his mind, and he realized afresh that the work of salvation was accomplished.
“If the whole work was finished and the whole debt paid, what is there left for me to do?” He knew the answer and fell to his knees to receive the Savior and full forgiveness of sins. That is how J. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission (now OMF [Overseas Missionary Fellowship] International), was saved.”
All that we have discussed so far in this series has been to show the superiority of Christ. You’ve probably noticed our marquee in the front which also states: Jesus is greater than . . . It all comes back to the superiority of Christ’s supreme sacrifice that was made on the cross. Today, we’ll be looking at what makes the sacrifice which Jesus made superior to the old ways, causing everything about the New Covenant to be superior to the Old.
As Christians, we can rejoice in the Supreme Sacrifice which Jesus made for our salvation.

The Sordid Sin - 10.1-4

When Jannita and I were new into the parenting gig, we were given a lesson about the sinful nature that is within all of us by our oldest son, Joel. We were sitting on the floor, probably rolling a ball back and forth, when he got a little bored, or more accurately, interested in the electrical outlet. He tentatively reached a hand out to the outlet with a finger sticking out, only to draw it back quickly when I sternly stated, NO. I then explained, in very logical terms, the dangers of putting body parts or toys into electrical outlets. I even explained how his mother had a revolting experience as a young girl, looking for a hidden penny in an open light bulb socket.
For some reason, this had no impact on Joel. So he reached over again, only to quickly draw his hand back when I even more firmly and sternly said NO. He and I then had a staring contest to see who would blink first, as only a toddler can do, utilizing the cuteness weapon. Then he began to look at the outlet intently staring at it. I cleared my throat, hoping that would encourage him to focus on something else. I rolled the ball to him, only to see that he let it run into his leg without paying it a second thought.
Then the sin nature revealed itself ever so clearly. I warned him that if he reached for that outlet again, I would have to slap his hand. There was stillness for about 5 seconds. Then he began to reach, stopped, looked at me to see if I was looking, then proceeded to go for that forbidden outlet. Well, you can guess what happened next. He was shocked—not by electricity, but by how swift my hand found his hand. Yes, all of us have inherited that sordid sin nature gene.
It has been stated, We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners.
Hebrews 10:1–4 (NASB95)
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Scholars suggest that during a typical Passover, there would be 300,000 lambs killed during the week. In fact, there were actually channels dug out that would allow the blood to leave the Temple ground and into the Kidron Brook, which was normally dry. But all of those sacrifices were useless in removing sin.
There is a mistaken idea that God made a mistake when the Old Covenant was put into place with all of its sacrifices. This is not accurate, as all of that was a shadow, a vague form of what was to come in the reality of Christ. Yes, for many people, these sacrifices were just rituals and activities to go through. For other people, they were quite sincere and loved the Lord genuinely and were fulfilling what was required with the hope of spending eternity with God.
The whole sacrificial system was a shadow of what Jesus would do on our behalf on the cross. And as a shadow of what was yet to be, it was temporary. Since it was only temporary and foretold what the reality would be, the actual sacrifices in the old system could do nothing to deal with the sin nature. This was seen in the fact that there was continual repetition. I like how one writer said that it’s like taking all the different numbers and multiplying by zero; the result doesn’t improve, nor does it change.
Yet, we read that God had promised forgiveness to those who genuinely worshipped Him and believed in Him, doing what the Old Covenant required. But what we recognize is that the forgiveness was like a legal forgiveness, doing nothing for the heart. The guilt of their sin was still there, as seen by the necessity of constant sacrifices. In other words, every year there was a reminder of that sordid sin nature. One writer states: The nation’s sins were covered, but they were not cleansed.
We recognize then that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Thus there was a great need for Christ to come and offer Himself as the perfect once-for-all sacrifice so that we could be free from the guilt of sin. Without Jesus, people live in constant self-awareness that something is not right, always carrying anxiety and guilt. For those of us in Christ, we still recognize the sin that so easily besets us, but we know we have forgiveness in Christ and will not have that guilt haunting us the remainder of our life.

The Supreme Sacrifice - 10.5-9

Humanity could not come up with a solution to our sin problem. There was no sacrifice we could come up with that would properly and completely deal with our sin. The solution was all of God.
Hebrews 10:5–9 (NASB95)
Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, But a body You have prepared for Me; In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of Me) To do Your will, O God.’ ” After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second.
Try as humanity might try, we could never come up with a solution that would be acceptable to God. This New Covenant is all of God. The quote in our Bibles actually comes from Psalm 40.6-8 and is directly related to the Son of God. It was Jesus who was to be the completion and fulfilment of the sacrifices that were a shadow in the Old Covenant. He was to be the Supreme Sacrifice.
The word Sacrifices covered any of the animal sacrifices, whether it be a burnt offering, a sin offering, or a trespass offering. The word for offering would cover the meal offering, along with the drink offering; no animal was part of this. So each of the sacrifices relate to some part of the work which Christ did on the cross. What took place on the cross was all willingly done by our Lord Jesus. And the body, which Jesus took on, made it so that He could be that perfect sacrifice; fully God and fully man.
It’s interesting that the writer of Hebrews and the Psalm spoke in relation to all the sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. John MacArthur comments: When sacrifices were not offered in the right spirit, they could not even cover sin temporarily. They even lost their symbolic value. They were mere form without content and were absolutely worthless. Instead of pleasing God, they became an abomination that He hated. It wasn’t the actual sacrifices that were pleasing to the Lord. Rather, His desire was that those who were participating would have obedient hearts and would truly worship Him. It is much like is spoken of today in some churches; No amount of penance can take place of a truly repentant heart that wants to obey and worship the Lord.
So, what is the will which Jesus came to do? Simply to replace the old covenant with the new covenant. He takes away the first in order to establish the second.

The Supreme Solution - 10.10-18

Don’t you hate it when you fix something, only to find that something else needs fixed, or that you have to repair what you just did. That is like the old system. We want things done right and done permanently. That’s what was done on the cross by Jesus Christ, with His perfect, supreme sacrifice. It was the Supreme Solution.
Hebrews 10:10–18 (NASB95)
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
The word sanctified simply means to set apart. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, done once-for-all, is what has set us apart. Notice the phrase, we have been sanctified, showing a one-time event with continued results. Just the use of this verbal participle shows the permanence of our salvation that will see no interruption or change. We are set apart by God for God. Look—no constant repetition. Because of what Jesus did, our being set apart for God is completely finished, with no further requirements. This is all positional, legal language. Our personal experience may fluctuate based on our continued obedience to God. But positionally, our salvation is secure in Christ.
Again, we see that Jesus sat down at the right hand of God, showing further that what Jesus did is complete and finished. Nobody could ever say that about what the priests under the old covenant did. Daily they offered sacrifices for the people. Annually the high priest offered a sacrifice for the nation. One person commented that this shadow was practically a blood bath and did nothing for the eternal soul. However, what Jesus did on the cross that one time was all it took to cleanse believing humanity from the guilt of our sins.
We also are given a glimpse into the end when Jesus returns and all those who oppose Him and reject Him, shall bow the knee to him, as His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. But for those of us who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. According to Colossians 2.10, we are complete in Him. This is not speaking of the believer having attained spiritual perfection. The focus is that of the eternality of our salvation.
Yet, there are times when we don’t always feel like we are perfect in God’s eyes. We may even have questions wondering if we are still saved. Just remember verses 15-18, as we recognize that the Holy Spirit uses His Word to remind us of the actual facts. Our feelings are not the basis for the reality of our salvation. The Holy Spirit will use the Bible to help us to know that what Jesus did was sufficient for our salvation and that we are His and nothing can separate us from God’s love.
I am so thrilled by the reality that God chooses not to recall my sins and bring them before me as an accusation or a charge. He then says, “and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Conclusion

A Christian psychiatrist once commented on this topic. He stated: The trouble with psychiatry is that it can only deal with symptoms. A psychiatrist can remove a patient’s feelings of guilt, but he cannot remove the guilt. It’s like a trucker loosening a fender on his truck so he won’t hear the motor knock. A patient can end up feeling better, but have two problems instead of one!
As Christians, we can rejoice in the Supreme Sacrifice which Jesus made for our salvation.
We entered into this world with a sordid sin nature, desperately needing to be set free from that which had us heading for hell.
Praise God for the fact that since before the beginning of time, it was God’s plan to provide the supreme sacrifice in His Son, Jesus Christ.
No longer is humanity destined to struggle with the guilt of sin. Jesus Christ provided the supreme solution through His once-for-all sacrifice of Himself to take away our sin and the guilt which was part of it.
All that’s left is for those of you who don’t know Jesus personally as your Lord and Savior, is to confess your sin, agreeing with God about all that you’ve said, done, or thought that was contrary to His desire. Then surrender your life to Jesus, knowing and accepting the fact that Jesus, the Son of God, has not only died to take away your sin, but has risen again, allowing you the opportunity to lead a victorious life in Him and to live with Him eternally. It’s that simple.
You see, Jesus did all that needed to be done so that we could experience salvation in Him.
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