Many believers are familiar with Hebrew 11. It has been dubbed the “Hall of Faith,” recording the heroes of Christianity for their faithfulness. Hebrews 11:1 is a common memory verse for Sunday school classes,
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see
But like many of the books in the New Testament, Hebrews is a letter. Reading that letter in full rather than split into later instated chapters, we find a wonderful cohesiveness and little nuggets of revelation. Hebrews 10 is full of so much information that I don’t feel qualified to provide much of an exegesis. However, I would like to highlight some points that struck my interest.
Chapter 10 begins by telling the short comings of the Law, in and of itself. It clearly reveals that it is simply “a shadow of the good things that are coming” (v.1). We find the Gospel in verses 5-7.
“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll– I have come to do your will, O God.’ “
This is a direct quote from Psalm 40:6-8 (I recommend reading the entire chapter…it’s a great cry to God and His faithfulness). I think my favorite word in this quote is, “then.” Everything before that word is pointing toward our hopeless state. My husband owns a shirt that reads, “Religion is mans attempt to get to God. Christianity is God coming to us.” These verses state the sad situation of the world; we cannot do enough to get into heaven and to get to God. But “then”…see why it is such a sweet word? Then Jesus came to do the will of God and to become the eternal sacrifice for our sins.
In Jewish tradition, the work of the priests is never done. In verse 11 you see this in the author’s description,
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins
They can’t rest because there is always atonement to be made, but (another wonderful word in this passage) just wait for the next three verses (emphasis added below).
But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect