“For such a High Priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens, Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice—first, for his own sins and then for the people’s—for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.”
It was decisive and a Divine Demarcation declaring “a new and living Way” (Heb. 10:20).
Even a cursory reading of Numbers and Leviticus will leave you wondering how the priests ever kept up with what sacrifice was needed for which type sin-offering. Did they learn them by heart or did they have some type of resource manual nearby to assist them?
Most likely, they knew them by heart.
But, one thing was clear in all of them: They were all repetitious. And, the ones requiring a blood sacrifice required one “without spot and blemish” (Ex. 12:5; Lev. 1:3; Num. 6:14). This meant blemish-free both outwardly and inwardly. That’s why the priest would split the lamb from the tip of its nose, up over the top of its skull and down its backbone. . .laying bare the halved spinal column. . .exposing the animal’s internal organs and sides. . .so he could be sure there wasn’t any sore, cancerous tumor, etc., hidden from view and making the sacrifice unacceptable.
That’s also why Jesus, our High Priest, “Who is holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners,” was also God’s acceptable Sacrifice: “He Who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21). Truly, the Giver became the Gift. The Priest became the Sacrifice.
And, His Sacrifice would be different from all others:
It would be “once-and-for-all” in time and “once for all” in scope.
Unlike earthly sacrifices that had to be continually repeated, His was decisively final when He said “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30). And, unlike the earthly, Aaronic high priest who had to go twice into the Holy of Holies to offer atonement for his own sins and then the people’s, our High Priest triumphantly entered Heaven’s Holy of Holies after His Ascension and declared “The Victory has been won. All Who come to me in repentance and faith will be forgiven forevermore—for they are trusting in Me and Me alone for their forgiveness and salvation.” Hallelujah!!
Yes, “once-and-for-all” and “One for all.”
That’s the Pilgrim’s “Shout of Victory” in salvation. Through Jesus’ never-to-be-repeated death on the Cross we are freed from “God’s wrath and have NOW received the Atonement” (Rom. 5:6-11). Glory!!
When Jesus “sat down at the right Hand of God” that day in Heaven after His Return, He declared “Mission Accomplished” (Heb. 9:25-28; 10:10-18). And, it’s our trusting in the sufficiency of His Sacrifice that frees us from “the curse of sin and the Law” (Gal. 3:10-13). May we live today in His Victory by “walking in His Spirit, in which there is now no condemnation” (Rom. 8:1). Amen and amen.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 17, 2010