Sabbath, May 3, 2008
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4.
1. What could the ceremonial sacrifices not accomplish for those who continually offered them?
Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
“God’s people, whom He calls His peculiar treasure, were privileged with a two-fold system of law; the moral and the ceremonial. The one, pointing back to creation to keep in remembrance the living God who made the world, whose claims are binding upon all men in every dispensation, and which will exist through all time and eternity. The other, given because of man’s transgression of the moral law, the obedience to which consisted in sacrifices and offerings pointing to the future redemption. Each is clear and distinct from the other.
“From the creation the moral law was an essential part of God’s divine plan, and was as unchangeable as Himself. The ceremonial law was to answer a particular purpose in Christ’s plan for the salvation of the race. The typical system of sacrifices and offerings was established that through these services the sinner might discern the great offering, Christ. But the Jews were so blinded by pride and sin that but few of them could see farther than the death of beasts as an atonement for sin; and when Christ, whom these offerings prefigured, came, they could not discern Him. The ceremonial law was glorious; it was the provision made by Jesus Christ in counsel with His Father, to aid in the salvation of the race. The whole arrangement of the typical system was founded on Christ. Adam saw Christ prefigured in the innocent beast suffering the penalty of his transgression of Jehovah’s law (RH May 6, 1875).” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, pp. 1094, 1095.
2. If the sins of the people could be purged by the animal sacrifices, why did they need to continue making them day after day?
Hebrews 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3. What purpose did animal sacrifices serve?
Hebrews 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4. What can never be removed by the blood of animals?
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5. What did the Son of God declare when He was ready to come to this world?
Hebrews 10:5-7 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Psalms 40:6-8 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
“Nearly two thousand years ago, a voice of mysterious import was heard in heaven, from the throne of God, ‘Lo, I come.’ ‘Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me. . . . Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.’ Heb. 10:5-7. In these words is announced the fulfillment of the purpose that had been hidden from eternal ages. Christ was about to visit our world, and to become incarnate. He says, ‘A body hast Thou prepared Me.’ Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence. That we might behold it and not be destroyed, the manifestation of His glory was shrouded. His divinity was veiled with humanity,–the invisible glory in the visible human form.” – Desire of Ages, p. 23.
6. What sacrifices was the Son of God ready to make on this earth?
Hebrews 10:8, 9 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
“This great purpose had been shadowed forth in types and symbols. The burning bush, in which Christ appeared to Moses, revealed God. The symbol chosen for the representation of the Deity was a lowly shrub, that seemingly had no attractions. This enshrined the Infinite. The all-merciful God shrouded His glory in a most humble type, that Moses could look upon it and live. So in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, God communicated with Israel, revealing to men His will, and imparting to them His grace. God’s glory was subdued, and His majesty veiled, that the weak vision of finite men might behold it. So Christ was to come in ‘the body of our humiliation’ (Phil. 3:21, R. V.), ‘in the likeness of men.’ In the eyes of the world He possessed no beauty that they should desire Him; yet He was the incarnate God, the light of heaven and earth. His glory was veiled, His greatness and majesty were hidden, that He might draw near to sorrowful, tempted men.”— Desire of Ages, p. 23
7. What was the result of the offering made by Christ according to God’s will?
Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
“The death of Jesus Christ for the redemption of man lifts the veil and reflects a flood of light back hundreds of years, upon the whole institution of the Jewish system of religion. Without the death of Christ all this system was meaningless. The Jews reject Christ, and therefore their whole system of religion is to them indefinite, unexplainable, and uncertain. They attach as much importance to shadowy ceremonies of types which have met their antitype as they do to the law of the ten commandments, which was not a shadow, but a reality as enduring as the throne of Jehovah. The death of Christ elevates the Jewish system of types and ordinances, showing that they were of divine appointment, and for the purpose of keeping faith alive in the hearts of His people”—Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, p. 1097.
8. What could the daily sacrifices offered by the Levitical priests not remove?
Hebrews 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
9. How many sacrifices for sin did Christ offer for all time?
Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.
“Beholding Christ means studying His life as given in His Word. We are to dig for truth as for hidden treasure. We are to fix our eyes upon Christ. When we take Him as our personal Saviour, this gives us boldness to approach the throne of grace. By beholding we become changed, morally assimilated to the One who is perfect in character. By receiving His imputed righteousness, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we become like Him. The image of Christ is cherished, and it captivates the whole being (MS 148, 1897).” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, p. 1098.