|INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDIES|
LESSON FOR JULY 27, 1997
Jesus, The Perfect Sacrifice
KEY VERSE: “By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” —Hebrews 10:14
SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 10:1-16
IN THESE SCRIPTURES the apostle explains to the Hebrew brethren that the typical and ceremonial features of their Law had come to an end, having been replaced by a higher royal priesthood as represented by our Lord and his consecrated followers.
“The Law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” (Heb. 10:1) Those things were given to foreshadow the antitypical sacrifices.
Continuing, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (vs. 4) The types were insufficient to do more than foreshadow the greater events to follow. Neither a higher nor a lower order of beings could accomplish the satisfaction for sin. It required that a perfect human life be given as a corresponding price for Adam’s transgression against God’s laws. That perfect life was Jesus.
Through the Heavenly Father’s miraculous power he provided a sinless human body for the great redemption work. Our Lord came into the world holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. By laying that life down in sacrifice he became the exact equivalent of Adam, who was also a perfect man and thus capable of carrying out the obedience required under God’s laws. Sacrificial animals were used only to typify the true sacrifices.
Jesus was a willing sacrifice, as explained by the apostle: “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me), to do thy will, O God.” (vs. 7) Jesus consecrated his life to God at thirty years of age—the legal age at which a priest could offer sacrifice. He then presented himself as the antitype of those things shown in the Law as applicable to him. ‘The volume of the book’ represents those scriptures that portrayed his sacrificial life and death.
“Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy Will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” (vs. 9) Presenting himself to God at the time of his baptism represents the first antitypical feature of the great Atonement Day work, which corresponded to the sacrifice of the bullock in the type. Taking away the ‘first’ shows that the typical sacrifices of bulls and goats were no longer valid. The true lamb of God, Jesus, was put to death on the cross at Calvary, and he had come to take their place. Establishing the ‘second’ indicates that our Lord was the true antitype, and that he had begun to set aside that which had foreshadowed the better sacrifices.
The apostle continues: “Every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.” (vs. 11) There was no merit in the blood of the animals which had been slain. He explains further, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” (vs. 12) Satisfaction for sin having been accomplished, our Lord sits down, resting from any further sacrificial work.
A new and better covenant will be established as part of the kingdom rule of the future. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them. And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”—vss. 16,17