Believe Jesus: A Perfect Sacrifice by a Perfect Person to Perfect Some Very Imperfect People
Human beings are creatures that sacrifice. Even in cultures (like ours) which don’t offer obvious sacrifices to the gods, sacrifice is part of everyday life. There are different explanations for why humans make sacrifices. For example, Darwin says we do so because we are social animals and need to co-operate in order to survive; while Freud says we sacrifice our true desires as the price we pay for living in a civilised society.
The Bible offers a more complete explanation for our sacrifices, that it is because everything that is and all we are owes its existence to God. The Bible describes two primary forms of owing: Worship and Guilt (which tends to get dressed up as feelings of shame, inadequacy, or having something to prove).
The point of Hebrews 10 is that Christ’s sacrifice was the perfect act of worship which perfectly dealt with guilt. His sacrifice frees us to worship and from guilt.
Christ’s perfect sacrifice ends self-serving
God has always been after the hearts of his people, but we so often fall into the trap of thinking that making a sacrifice will enable us to pay him off. This kind of attitude leads to the kind of dead works religion that God hates. (Look at these OT scriptures which speak of this: Is 1:11-17, Is 66:3-4, Jer 7:21-23, Mic 6:6-8, Hos 6:6, Am 5:21-24)
True sacrifice is not an insurance policy, that will get you out of trouble, but the uninhibited joy of relationship. This is made possible for us by the perfection of Christ’s sacrifice. His perfection covers our imperfections!
Christ’s perfect sacrifice ends self-justification
Even worse than making sacrifices as a kind of insurance policy is making sacrifices and imagining that this places God in our debt. All of us are prone to do this!
This kind of self-justification is dead works religion because God is sovereign and can do what he likes; and because he has already given you everything! Any attempt to put God in our debt is pitiable! Instead we should look upon the perfect sacrifice of Christ and see how it is that which justifies us. Jesus’ sacrifice brings us into the uninhibited joy of relationship with God!
Christ’s perfect sacrifice ends self-pity
Whenever we say something like, “I’m not a very good Christian” or, “My sacrifices are never enough to please God,” we are entirely missing the point!
The good news is that Christ’s sacrifice was perfect! We should think less of our imperfections and more of the perfections of the Saviour! In him we have the victory; in him we are counted as perfect; because of the forgiveness he has obtained for us there is no further offering for sin. This means we can know the uninhibited joy of relationship with God!
A Perfect Sacrifice by a Perfect Person to Perfect Some Very Imperfect People
Christ’s sacrifice was the end of sacrifice. It dealt with our need to make sacrifice because of our guilt and has freed us to offer (in the words of the Matt Redman song) ‘a gifted response’ – something God gives to us and we then return to him. Our guilt dealt with, we are enabled to worship, not as a self-serving or self-justifying or self-pitying attempt at sacrifice, but out of the uninhibited joy of relationship with God!