Sun, Nov 11, 2018
Removing the Animals, Establishing the Cross
Hebrews 10:5-10 by Vincent Bradshaw
Series: The Book of Hebrews

The author boldly assesses the Old Testament sacrifices.  The writer of Hebrews has asserted that the Old Testament sacrifices could not remove sin at all (10:4).  If they could, they would have ceased instead of requiring constant repetition (10:2).  In and of themselves, the Old Testament sacrifices were valueless for removing sin (10:4).  They were only shadows of Christ’s genuine atonement (10:1).  Their true value consisted in pointing to Christ’s sacrifice.  They were constant reminders of sin (10:3), and constantly pointed to the greater, more perfect sacrifice, the offering of the Body of Christ (10:10), that would replace the Old Testament sacrifices for good (10:9) and remove sin in one shot, once for all (10:10).

The author clinches his argument with an appeal to Scripture.  Up until this point, the author has argued forcefully from observation and logic:  

Major Premise:  The Old Testament sacrifices never ceased (10:1);

Minor Premise:  If they could remove sin, they would have ceased (10:2); 

Conclusion:  The Old Testament sacrifices could not remove sin (10:4).

However, truth ultimately rests not upon man’s observation and knowledge but on God’s revealed Word.  Science and philosophy often argue from their observations and so-called firm conclusions.  However, man in his limitedness, cannot always observe everything correctly, and in his sin, cannot always reason infallibly.  Thus, especially when it comes to spiritual things, what is required to clinch the argument is a clear statement from Scripture.  In 10:5 – 7, the writer provides a clear statement from the Old Testament that it was God’s will all along to replace the Old Testament animal sacrifices with the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ (10:10).

The Author cites Psalm 40:6 – 8.  Psalm 40 is a psalm of David.  The writer does four things with this Psalm to prove his point.  First, he places the psalm’s words in the mouth of Christ.  He writes: “When He comes into the world, He says” (10:5).  In the writer’s interpretation, the Greater Son of David is speaking verses from the Psalm of David so that the citation becomes a dialogue between the Eternal Father and the Eternal Son.  It is similar to Psalm 110:1: “The LORD says to my Lord . . .” 


The sacrifice of Christ replaces the Old Testament sacrifices.  The second thing the writer does is pinpoint four things that are displeasing to God. They are: sacrifices, offerings, whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin (10:8).  All of these are animal sacrifices from the Law (10:8).  Third, the writer identifies two things that God likes instead, which are a prepared Body (10:5) and the doing of God’s will (10:9).  The final thing the writer does with Psalm 40, and his conclusion, is that since God does not take pleasure in animal sacrifices but does take pleasure in the sacrifice of the Body of Christ, the expressed will of God for sin removal is that Jesus’ sacrifice should replace the Old Testament animal sacrifices forever (10:9). 


It was always God’s will for Christ to be Preeminent Sin Bearer and Savior!