Hebrews 10:1-10: True Sacrifices

Read: Hebrews 10:1-10

Burnt offerings and sacrifices are not what the Lord delights in, nor does he require them, according to the Psalmist in Psalm 40. The author of Hebrews quotes from this psalm to make a point about the insufficiency of the blood of bulls and rams to atone for sin. On the other hand, the author of Hebrews argues that in these sacrifices is a reminder of the cost for sin. Israel on many occasions forgot this and got in the habit of rote ritualistic religion. What God really wanted them to do is come to him with a contrite heart and broken spirit (Psalm 51:16-17, 1 Samuel 15:22, Isaiah 1:11-17, Jeremiah 7:22-24, Micah 6:6-8).

The author of Hebrews then goes onto apply what David wrote about the obedience to Jesus who came to “do your will” – that is the will of God. The gospel of John over and over asserts that Jesus came to do the will of the Father (John 4:34, John 5:30, John 6:38, John 15:21). The work of Jesus, as the author of Hebrews notes, was to do away with the Old Covenant and establish the New Covenant by dying on the cross. His death was once and for all. There is no need for the sacrifice for bulls and rams anymore, and even so, they could not accomplish the task of forgiving sins in the first place.

When Christians approach God, they should do so by the blood of Christ, not through their own merits or through some other sacrifice other than Jesus’ sacrifice. God does not delight in any sacrifice made by means of rote rituals or contemptuous hearts. He desires a contrite, humble heart and obedience to his will. Jesus came to do the will of the Father, and so should those who call upon his name.

Lord, you desire obedience and humility – help me to offer these to you!