Once for All part 2

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Hebrews 10:11-14

You’ve probably noticed that the mere fact of the repetition of the old sacrifices has been used by the author to make the point that they could never take away sins; our author here again, uses this fact of the repetition of the same sacrifices, day after day, year after year, as proof enough that this system is finished. Jesus, after making His sacrifice has sat down on high and awaits his enemies being made His footstool which is some interesting imagery, for sure. His enemies are defeated, and upon His return, their activities will cease once and for all time, becoming as a footstool for His feet, and thus our author is showing us that the old system is over for good.

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

Hebrews 10:15-18

Once again, we see the verses from Jeremiah 31 foretelling of the New Covenant that was to come, and now has come, and notice the final sentence, the author’s summation of these chapters. Sin has been forgiven, and further sacrifices are no longer necessary: The Old Covenant is over.

When the same things are repeated over and over again, it is incumbent upon us to take notice of them. This repetition isn’t simply poor writing style, if anything, the letter to the Hebrews of Rome is one of the best written of all the New Testament books; some of the phrasing is nothing less than brilliant.  No, the repetition is a literary device to underscore these points, to highlight them; the author really wants the people to remember them, and hopefully we will remember.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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