Sun, Nov 04, 2018
Nothing But A Shadow
Hebrews 10:1-4 by Vincent Bradshaw
Series: The Book of Hebrews

There are Four Major Facets to the Great Transition.  The transition from the Old to the New Covenant, the major transition in all of history and the Gospel, has four major components:  a Perfect High Priest, a better [New] Covenant, a heavenly place of a ministry and an all-powerful, once-for-all sacrifice.  The writer covers each in a devoted chapter.  The writer focused on Jesus, the Perfect High Priest, in Chapter 7; the better Covenant, the New Covenant, in Chapter 8 and Jesus’ heavenly place of ministry as opposed to an earthly tent in Chapter 9.  Now in Chapter 10, the writer focuses on Jesus’ blood as the ultimate and final sacrifice (10:14).


Doctrinally, Jesus’ blood solves the sinner’s dilemma of approaching God.  The sinner’s problem has always been one of “drawing near” to God (10:1).  God’s holiness in proximity with man’s depravity has always been a deadly and impossible proposition.  Jesus’ blood has solved all that.  Jesus’ completed sacrifice has “consummated the ages” or brought salvation history to a high point (9:26) and solved the sinner’s dilemma of drawing near to God.  The redeemed sinner can now approach God with boldness and confidence in Jesus’ sacrifice (10:19). In the light of Jesus’ perfect, once-for-all sacrifice, any attempt or method that a sinner may utilize to draw near to God is at best a mere shadow (10:1).

Exegetically, the writer focuses on the repeated nature of all other sacrifices.  The writer harps on the fact that the Old Testament sacrifices never stopped.  They were “year by year” (10:1), ‘continual,’ (10:1), “daily” and “time after time” (10:11).  The never stopped because they were weak, and unable to complete the job of removing sin.  If they were strong, then one could apply them once and end the matter.  This is the writer’s point in verse 2: “If it were not so, would they [the animal sacrifices] not have ceased to be offered?”  The answer is “Yes.”  If they were strong and not weak, they would have stopped, but their stubborn continuance indicates that they cannot complete the job.  The writer concludes that the animal sacrifices were ‘reminders’ of repentance (10:3).  They aided the worshipper in his faith, but could never in and of themselves remove sin and guilt.  The writer concludes, “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (10:4).

Applicationally, Jesus’s sacrifice assists in evangelism and sanctification.  If Jesus’ sacrifice is the only divinely sanctioned method of sin removal, all other Gospel-less religions are false.  They deceive people and give false comfort in the Name of God but send people to hell.  If Jesus’s sacrifice is the only sin remover, then in sanctification, the believer need only come to Jesus in repentance and faith to restore his nearness with God.  Good works and spiritual transformation are essential evidences of genuine faith and repentance, but Jesus and His sacrifice are the only Person and Ministry that can bring a sinner to God and keep him there.

Do you daily draw near to God?  Come now, with boldness and assurance!