Hebrewsby Robert M. Solomon
The sacrifices related to Old Testament temple practices are contrasted with the one sufficient, self-giving sacrifice of Christ. The writer of Hebrews has already shown us the surpassing supremacy of Christ compared to the law, its tabernacle or temple, priesthood, sacrifices and rituals. On each count, Christ is incomparable. The Levitical priests stood ″day after day″ performing the same religious duties and offering ″the same sacrifices″, because they were only symbolic and ″can never take away sins″ (Hebrews 10:11). The phrase ″this priest″ refers to Jesus our High Priest, who had ″offered for all time one sacrifice for sins″ (v. 12). There was no further sacrifice needed because His sacrifice of himself was perfect and effective for ever. Having completed His perfect work of redeeming us, He therefore, ″sat down at the right hand of God″ (v. 12). His sitting (after completing His work) and the standing of the Levitical priest (who cannot do so) are clearly contrasted.40
Jesus meanwhile waits for the right time to return to establish His eternal kingdom, when His enemies will be made His footstool (Hebrews 10:13; see Psalm 110:1). He will have ultimate victory over all forces that are directed against God and His redemptive work. This is because Christ has already achieved sure victory through His sacrifice; ″by one sacrifice he has made perfect for ever those who are being made holy″ (Hebrews 10:14). This does not mean that we who are being made holy (a present ongoing process) are already perfect, as we all know from experience. Rather, our future perfection is assured and guaranteed by what Christ has accomplished on the cross. This is good for eternity.
The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is God's definite means of forgiving our sins-for He will not remember our ″sins and lawless acts″ anymore when we are covered with the blood (1 Peter 1:1-2) and righteousness of Christ (Hebrews 10:17; see Jeremiah 31:34; Isaiah 61:10; Philippians 3:9). All this is part of the new covenant of Christ, through which God will bring His law into our hearts and minds (Hebrews 10:16; see Jeremiah 31:33). It will not only be on our lips (through reading the Bible), but deep in our hearts and minds (through meditation and understanding), so that we will be changed for ever (through obedience). In Christ, we would receive full and complete forgiveness and holiness-what could not be achieved by the old covenant.
40Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, 400.
How do you think we are being made perfect? What role do we play in this process? What assurance do we have that what God began in us will be brought to completion (Philippians 1:6)?
Recall a time when God wrote His law into your heart. How did it convict you of sin or lead you towards righteous deeds?