The Shadow of True Salvation

The Shadow of True Salvation

August 1, 2021

Series: New Testament

Book: Hebrews

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Bible Passage: Hebrews 10:1-25

The tenth chapter of this letter to the Hebrews highlights and reminds the reader of Christ’s love displayed according to his rich mercy. It was important for the Hebrews to remember the grace Christ has shown to them, that they were not saved by their works or rituals and that rather, the laws given to Moses have been acting as a shadow of the Messiah (Jesus Christ). In fact, if no connection is drawn between the Mosaic law and the new covenant found in Christ, man would simply be subjected to condemnation and eternal death. The law was a means of displaying the sinfulness of man – how all men have “fallen short of the glory of God” – and how it was hopeless for man to succeed in obeying the law or live a sinless life. However, by looking at verse 10, we – in this present day – can take comfort in Christ’s fulfillment of the law as his death on the cross was the perfect sacrifice offered in our place.

Furthermore, we can learn from 1 Timothy 1:8-11, that the law was written to convict the “lawless and disobedient…the ungodly and sinners…the unholy and profane…”(v.9). We also know from the Old Testament that as a solution to man’s depravity, God had appointed priests to offer daily sin sacrifices to remind God’s people of their sinful estate. Unfortunately, this repetition of sin sacrifices did not actually take away the sins of man. We learn from Paul that even with the repetition of these sacrifices, they are not perfect substitutes and thus cannot cover the countless sins of man. So, we see in verse 14 that Christ comes to be the perfect sacrifice and single offering for all those whom He has predestined to be sanctified. In fact, we also learn from Paul that God ‘had taken no pleasure in the burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (v.6) and thus Christ truly fulfilled the will of God upon the cross. He is our Mediator and our Great High Priest who came to represent us and deal with God on our behalf.  Without the representation of man, God can immediately smite and punish mankind yet we learn instead of God’s mercy exemplified through the sacrifice of His begotten Son. Such ideas of a grave sacrifice is however no new concept as it had in fact been written about in the Old Testament, especially in Isaiah 53:10-11. Such sacrifice is a necessary means to fulfill God’s justice and to save a people for Himself. Praise be to God that we are now counted righteous before Him because Christ, who became a lowly human being is also the King of the universe.

In response to this Gospel of Christ, Paul encourages the Church to not delay coming to God because Christ has already given us that access to speak with God directly through prayer. He encourages us also, to genuinely and in our hearts  hold fast to our confession when we come to God in prayer. This means that we should be ready to face trials and persecution of many different kinds and to not consider ourselves as individuals but as a community of brothers and sisters united in Christ. Lastly, in verses 24-25, Paul also encourages God’s people to ‘not neglect the meeting of believers…but to encourage one another.’ For we know that not only have we been justified in Christ, but will also be brought through the process of sanctification – where with the Holy Spirit, God will “put His laws on our hearts, and write them on our minds’ (v.16) so that we will be all the more Christ-like every day of our lives.