19th August 2023
Read (Hebrews 10v5-10)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
First posted 10th November 2022
One of the many blessings of Hebrews is how we see the Old and New Testament speaking together to underline the consistency of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. In today's passage the Apostle takes the words of Psalm 40 and places them in the mouth of Christ. This is another Messianic Psalm which pointed forward to the arrival of the Messiah.
What does Jesus say in Psalm 40? “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.’” These sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings are offered according to the law (v8) but Jesus didn't come to take His place as just another temple priest.
Instead Jesus came to do the will of God the Father (v9a). Paul states that Christ does away with the first in order to establish the second (v9b). In this instance "the first" references the sacrificial system of the old covenant and "the second" points to Christ the obedient suffering servant. The first is gone, the second is established.
As Scripture speaks to Scripture the picture is clear. The sacrificial system was fleeting and temporary and Christ's arrival made it obsolete. We've spoken before about the Covenant of Redemption and once again we see little glimpses of it in this passage. What is the Covenant of Redemption? It is a covenant made in eternity past between the three persons of the Godhead. The Father chose a people for salvation, the Son promised to come and die for those people and the Spirit would be the one who would turn sinners to Christ.
Christ fulfils Psalm 40 and promises not to continue the sacrificial system but instead to do the will of the Father. What is the will of the Father? Jesus said "This is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6v39-40)
Christ's sacrifice was once and for all and by this sacrifice we have been sanctified (v10). Here is our Gospel hope. We are not required to offer repeated sacrifices which cannot save. The old has gone and the new has come. Christ the obedient suffering servant came to do the will of His Father and it was the will of His Father to crush Him for our sake (Isaiah 53v10). Thanks be to God for the Gospel for by Christ's stripes we have been healed!
Q22 How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man? Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.