Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Epistle reading from Hebrews chapter ten serves as a commentary on Psalm 40:6-8, where the Lord is said not to desire sacrifices, but to delight in the one who has come to do his will. What is God’s will? What is God’s desire? He wants to gather his people in a body which does his will. The problem is that we, in our nature, even at the best of times, aren’t that interested in doing God’s will wholeheartedly, especially without getting something for ourselves out of the deal.
The idea of sacrifice is central to this passage, as it is central to the entire Bible. In a nutshell, as God has designed it, sin requires death. It is, thankfully, possible that there can be a death of a substitute. That isn’t too comforting to the substitute. However, to take care of sin entirely, the substitute must be perfect. We’re not going to find a perfect person. Or are we? Here in Hebrews, the sacrifice of animals is taken away and replaced by the death of Christ (v. 10). He is the perfect one, being God the Son. He is also born with a human, though not sinful, nature. The implication here is tremendous. It is through the death of Jesus on behalf of all sinful humanity, that all sinners can die at the same time. As people believe that Jesus has given himself for them, his death is applied to them. This is the second sacrifice of Hebrews 10:10. It’s effective. It’s the one that is pleasing to God, because it allows him to gather his people into that body that does God’s will.
During this season of Advent, may we have grace to see that through the coming of Christ we too can be partakers of eternal life. We too can be pleasing to God by faith in Jesus. That’s what Christianity is all about. Reconciliation.
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