Bible Study Doctrine Questions

Hebrews 10:1-4

What are some differences between the earthly sacrifices required by the Law of Moses and the one sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ? The Hebrews writer examines the earthly sacrifices first.

My translation and notes on Hebrews Chapter 10:1-4

Earthly Sacrifices Do Not Cleanse Sin

1 Because the law only being a shadow of good things to come and not the thing itself can never make those who come with those sacrifices, which they continually offer year after year, perfect.

[Mosaic Law cannot remove the guilt of sin. There is no peace because each person had to offer more sacrifices. The Greek word ‘shadow’ is σκιά skiá (G4639). It means a shadow, not a pattern or image. The Greek word for ‘image’ is εἰκών eikṓn (1504). It means a more substantial word having the idea of being a pattern. A pattern has sharp edges, but a shadow has blurry edges. The Law is very weak; Christ is very strong. The contrast should be startling to any Jew. The New Living Translation has—The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship].

2 For wouldn’t they have stopped being offered? Because once purified, those serving should have no more consciousness of sins.

[This passage implies that we who believe in Christ are purified and no longer need blood sacrifices to cover our sin. We are justified. See Romans 3:20-26].

3 But in those [sacrifices there is] a recollection of sins every year,

4 Because [it is] impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

[Salvation, forgiveness of sin, cannot be accomplished by animal sacrifices. They only provided a covering for sin and restoring fellowship with God. Israel needed a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31) to have forgiveness of sins and replace Mosaic Covenant. Compare Acts 21 (Paul did not offer a sin offering but did offer a vow offering). Abraham enjoyed the provisions of the new covenant. The Mosaic Covenant came many hundreds of years after Abraham. Abraham was saved by faith in Yahweh alone (Genesis 15:6 and Galatians 3:6-9). The sacrifices of the Old Covenant did not take away sins, nor cleanse the conscience (Hebrews 9:14). The Ezekiel Temple sacrifices (Ezekiel 40-44) do not remove sin either. Only the Good News through grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone removes sin and guilt (1 John 1:9). The New Covenant is between God and believers. See NEW COVENANT PROPHECY (JEREMIAH 31) for more information. The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin. We remember His atoning work with the remembrance of the Lord’s Supper which ends when the Lord returns (Luke 22:14-23, Matthew 26:29, and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34].

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