“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the True, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the Presence of God for us—not yet that He should offer Himself often, as the High Priest entered into the Holy Place every year with blood of others, for then must He also have suffered since the foundation of the world; but now once in the end of the world has He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”
Because of Christ’s “once-and-for-all” Sacrifice, there’s no need for repetition, only rejoicing.
Once a year, on the 10th day of the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar, the Jews came together for a time of public fasting and humiliation. On this day the nation sought atonement for their sins (Lev. 16:29; 23:27; Num. 29:7). This usually fell somewhere around our month of August and was preceded by several special Sabbaths (Lev. 23:24). This was the only fasting required by Law (Lev. 16:29; 23:31) and this Day—the Day of Atonement—was their recognition of man’s inability to atone for or cover his own sins.
The high priest had to first sanctify himself by taking a ceremonial bath and putting on white garments (Lev. 16:4). Then he had to atone for himself and other priests by sacrificing a bullock (Num. 29:8). After sacrificing it, he chose a goat for a sin-offering and sacrificed it, which was followed by his sprinkling of blood on and around the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant (Lev. 16:12, 14-15). A “scapegoat” was then led into the wilderness to symbolize the people’s sins being taken away from them. It was not returned and this represented the pardon they received “through the shedding of blood” (Heb. 9:22).
Though quite impressive, all of these things were insufficient.
They had to be repeated year after year after year.
But, not so with Jesus’ Sacrifice! It was “once-and-for-all” and “once and FOR ALL.” Hallelujah!
Yes, Jesus’ Death on the Cross put an end to the need for annual sacrifices; otherwise, He “would have had to suffer since the foundation of the earth” (v.26a) and even continue doing so until the end of time.
But, thanks be to God, Jesus “appeared once ‘in these last days’ (Heb. 1:1-3) to put away sin by the SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF.” And, it is His having “been ONCE offered to bear the sins of many” (v.28a) that frees us from the guilt of sin, the “curse of the Law” (Dt. 27:26; Gal. 3:10, 13) and enables us to look joyfully for His “appearing the second time” (v.28b). Hallelujah!!
Aren’t you glad that Jesus’ Sacrifice on the Cross was sufficient for our sins? Aren’t you glad, as the old Gospel song says, “Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it/me white as snow.” Glory!! Why not spend some time today reflecting upon this Good News and then share it with someone else?
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 25, 2011