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Off with the Old, On with the New

Hebrews 10:16-27

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“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds, [17] [He adds]: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. [18] Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. [19] Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, [20] by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh); [21] and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, [22] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled [clean] from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. [23] Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. [24] And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, [25] not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. [26] For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, [27] but a terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.” (HCSB)

 The writer of Hebrews begins a summation of his previous teachings by quoting Jeremiah 31:33-34 about the new covenant.  God writes this one on the hearts of His people, not on a stone tablet, and it offers permanent forgiveness of sin “I will never again remember their sins” the text says.

 Previously he makes some watershed statements that lead to this summation.  In Hebrews 9:22, he wrote “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”  (NKJV)  This was true in the old covenant as well as the new.  The old covenant involved animal sacrifice for the remission of sin, but the writer of Hebrews says it didn’t bring forgiveness, at least not permanently.  Hebrews 10:4 says, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” (NKJV)  In the new covenant, a sinful priest didn’t sacrifice an animal for the temporary forgiveness of sin; instead, Jesus Christ, the sinless High Priest sacrificed His own sinless life for our eternal salvation.  Hebrews 10:12 says, “But our High Priest offered himself to God as one sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down at the place of highest honor at God's right hand.” (NLT)

 We say this so often that it is easy for its impact to escape us.  Jesus died for us.  John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.” (NKJV)  Something Michael Costello was willing to do for Gareth Griffith. While on vacation in Florida, Griffith, decided to try sky diving. He was jumping in tandem with Michael Costello, an experienced instructor. 
 Something went wrong.

 The main chute failed to open. No big deal, they had a back up chute. The back up failed too. The two men went into a violent spin as they plummeted to their destiny. The instructor corrected the spin and regained control of the fall. Griffith was on bottom and the instructor was on top.

 As they neared the ground, the instructor, folded his arms and legs, causing the pair to rotate, in doing so, the instructor hit the ground first, cushioning his student's blow.

 Griffith survived. Costello wasn't so lucky.  (
 Jesus sacrificed His life for us, but it wasn’t just to show His love for us, it was to provide a way of escape—it was so we could live.  The new covenant is our only chance.  If we sin by rejecting Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, we have no hope.  Verses 26 and 27 say “For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, [27] but a terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.”
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