“He Hath Perfected the Sanctified”

“The Law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the corners thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the Law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” —Hebrews 10:1-14

IN THIS SCRIPTURE, the Apostle Paul seeks to show the Hebrews that the sacrifices of bulls and goats enjoined for a time have come to an end; and that the Jewish priesthood has been supplanted by a higher one—Christ and his members—a “royal priesthood.” (I Pet. 2:9) He pictures our Lord as addressing the Father in respect to the matter, saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering [of bulls and goats] thou wouldest not [these do not satisfy the demands of the Law as the redemption price for sinners], but a body hast thou prepared me. … Lo, I come … to do thy will, O God’. (Heb. 10:5,7) There, says the apostle, he takes away (or pushes aside) the first, or typical, sacrifices of the Law Covenant—bulls and goats—that he may establish, or bring into place, the second, the antitypes of those sacrifices.

As the Father prepared a special body for our Lord Jesus, one that was holy, harmless, and undefiled, and suitable as our sin-offering, so he has also provided a body of Christ in the flesh on a larger scale, and this for sacrifice, by providing for our justification through his blood. As the apostle says, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And then he adds, “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”—Rom. 5:1,2

We receive this grace by sharing in the glory of Christ and his kingdom, by reason of the opportunity which our justification gives us of becoming members of the High Priest, sharers in his sacrifice. Paul refers to this elsewhere, saying to the justified ones: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom. 12:1) Here we have the declaration that we are participants in this sacrifice, and that our sacrifice is acceptable to God and counted by him holy because of our faith in, and relationship to, the great High Priest who has adopted us as his members and is sacrificing us. In harmony with this we read our text: “By the which will we are sanctified [set apart as holy and consecrated joint-sacrificers with our Lord] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.”—Heb. 10:10

The apostle’s argument is that by one offering Christ has perfected forever them that are sanctified or set apart for a holy purpose. Through his merit there is naught against us now, and nothing to hinder us from accepting the gracious invitation to suffer with him as his members, yielding our bodies as living sacrifices through the merit of his sacrifice.

Under the New Covenant, God will remove the sins of Israel and Judah, and all that come into relationship with him under that covenant. And when that remission of sins is complete it will be an evidence that the sin-offerings of the Atonement Day are at an end, as the apostle stated in verse 18. The remission of sins has not yet come for Israel and the world, because the offering for sins is not completed. Christ, the High Priest, is still offering up himself. The great Day of Atonement is not yet closed, though nearly so.

In this connection let us note the apostle’s words, that, having confidence in the merit of Christ’s sacrifice for us, we may have boldness—courage—to enter into the Holiest. Who have entered the Most Holy in the type? The High Priest alone, once every year on the Day of Atonement. Who in the antitype will enter the Most Holy in the end of the antitypical Day of Atonement? The antitypical High Priest—Jesus, the Head, and the church, his body. It is because of our faith and obedience that we are accepted as members of the High Priest’s body, whom he is now sacrificing. We have hope to enter soon into heaven itself, the Most Holy, as his members; and there we are already entered by faith.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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