Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Finality of The Cross P2 (08-10-21)
Jesus, God in Flesh, Sacrificed Himself Once for The Sins of The Whole World!
The Old Testament, as described in Deuteronomy, the ten commandments, is a list of commands that God commanded man to keep. In addition to those commands, all that is contained in the Law of Moses, the ceremonial laws, grain offerings and dietary laws, were required to be kept. Included in that was the sacrificing of bulls and goats, to cover sin. That was called atonement. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the Israelites were required to come to Jerusalem to get all their sins covered, that they had accumulated that whole year. The high priest had to sacrifice a bull or a goat brought to them by a person wanting their sins covered. Those sins were only covered until the next year, and those sacrifices would have to be performed all over again. In addition to those annual sacrifices there were also those daily sacrifices for sin as well, that would never end, and could not take away sins. They were a constant reminder of sin (Romans 3:20) and could never make anyone perfect (Hebrews 10:1). Reminder, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
22In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
The law is holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:12). So there is nothing wrong with the law. God found fault with the people (Hebrews 8:8). We were at fault through our fallen sinful nature (Romans 5:12). That is why that Old Covenant system had to be replaced if there was any hope for man to get their sins, not covered, but taken away (John 1:29). For man to have any hope of being made perfect in the sight of God, he had to have the very perfection, the righteousness of God, imputed to him (Romans 10:4, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
That Old Covenant system could only be fulfilled in Christ Jesus, who being God in the flesh (John 1:1-4, 14), is perfect love (1 John 4:8). Only perfect love does its neighbor no wrong, and so love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10). Only one man had a life to lay down as a substitute for the sins of all men (John 10:18). The Old Covenant system required the sacrifice of an innocent animal, and the shedding of blood, for sins just to be covered (Hebrews 10:11). But an animal is a created being, not an infinite being. Only an eternal God, God Himself, could lay down His life, and rise again, because sin would have no hold on Him (Hebrews 10:12). But sin has a hold on us who are born in sin. So God had to become like one of us, in all respects, yet without sin, so He could become the perfect mediator between God and man and then always live to intercede for us (Hebrews 5:1-10). That is what God did in sending His Son, so that the sins of the world, and sin is what caused our death, could be taken away in order to give us what He really wanted to give us, eternal life, His life lived in us and through us, the life of God Himself (John 17:3). God ushered in a New Covenant of grace.
So God ushered in a New Covenant after His death (Hebrews 9:16-18). This New Covenant was contrasted with the old one it replaced as described in Hebrews. As you ponder over Hebrews, particularly Hebrews 9:23-28, Hebrews 8:6-13 and Hebrews 10:1-18, this contrast between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant is made clear. The New Covenant was ushered in by God Himself through Jesus Christ, who became a mediator of a better covenant established on better promises (Hebrews 8:6). This New Covenant is God’s stated will for mankind, for what He wanted mankind to receive after his death. All that is required of us to be made a recipient of this will is to put our trust completely in what Jesus alone did for us by his death, burial and resurrection for us (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, John 1:12-13). Knowing that we were incapable of fulfilling the law and never able to meet the demands of the law, He did it all for us, out of complete love for the will of His Father, who Himself is God, the creator of mankind and of all the seen and unseen world, to bring glory to God (Hebrews 1:3).
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
In Hebrews 10:16-18, we read the contents of the New Covenant will.
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[Jeremiah 31:33]
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”[Jeremiah 31:34]
18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.