v1-4 - This opening passage concludes that the Old Testament law and temple worship were just a "shadow of the good things that are coming (v1)." It can be summarized with the simple statement in v4 that's worth memorizing:
It's impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
We could substitute all sorts of things for the words in italics: It's impossible for our guilty conscience to take away sins, or to do enough good works, or to make a big enough donation, or whatever penance you are trying to substitute in your life... nothing but the blood of Jesus can take away your sin.
v5-18 - After sufficiently demonstrating what won't work to take away sins, it's now time to focus on what will. The author weaves three huge statements in between a litany of Old Testament examples and quotations. Notice how when the intervening verses are taken away, these three verses read as one sentence.
v10 - We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all;
v14 - For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy;
v18 - And where [sin] has been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
v19-39 - Notice the first word of this passage: Therefore. Anytime you see that word it's a signal that all of the meaty facts that we're presented in the preceding passages are about to be applied to your daily life. This passage is full of calls to action you must heed since Christ has paid for your sins with His blood and brought you into His covenant:
v22 - Let us draw near to God;
v23 - Let us hold unswervingly;
v24 - Spur one another on to love and good deeds;
v35 - So do not throw away your confidence;
v36 - You need to persevere;
v39 - We don't belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Old Testament Reference(s) -
Once again there are multiple references to the Old Testament in this chapter. It's good to remember that not all psalms are in the book of Psalms, and today we're going to look at a psalm Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 32. Key in on v34-43 in order to truly understand that "it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:31).
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Near the end of this chapter, God speaks of the kind of person who does not please Him, or give Him pleasure. What kind of person is this? (v38)
How would you explain the tension in v14:
For by one sacrifice He
has made perfect forever those
who are being made holy
Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father who is holy and unapproachable by those who remain in their sin (v31)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will strengthen you so that you do not shrink back (v38-39)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: