“For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, they would not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.” Hebrews 10:1-3
Under the Mosaic law sacrifice for sins had to be made every year. They were reminded that they were never fully cleansed of their sins because the preparations were made and sacrifices were made every year for their cleansing.
“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4
This is why Christ came to the world. The sacrifices of bulls and goats to cleanse their sins yearly was meant to point to the picture of what Christ would do once and for all. And while God set that sacrificial system up, it would never be enough.
“Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’’” Hebrews 10:5-7
The law required the sacrifices, offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings, but when Christ came he did away with the law and he established the second covenant with his own offering so that we can truly be cleansed of our sins.
“And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:10
I loved the next verses. They explain that the priests work was never done. As soon as he completed his service by entering into the Most Holy Place he would begin preparations for the next time he would enter in. He was always “offering repeatedly the same sacrifices” and they “can never take away sins.”
“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.” Hebrews 10:12-13
Jesus offered the sacrifice of His body once and for all and he sat down at the right hand of His Father. He does not have to continually do this work on our behalf, the work is finished. And all we have to do is accept His gift and come to Him. We just now have to draw near to Him to receive the forgiveness.
And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,’ then he adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’ Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering of sin.” Hebrews 10:15-18
The writer of Hebrews is quoting scripture from Jeremiah here. Because of what Jesus did here on earth, he died on the cross and because of that we all receive the Holy Spirit when we receive forgiveness for our sins and now we no longer live under the Mosaic law, but the law is written on our hearts and on our minds. When we accept Jesus and make Him Lord of our life, then he doesn’t remember the sin and we don’t have to have these offerings over and over and over again. But we can have personal relationship with Him and we have His laws written on our hearts and minds. Because of this we can trust that still small voice, which is the Holy Spirit living inside of us, to guide us every day and we can live in the knowledge that His blood has washed away our sins.