*Below is Pastor Andrew’s teaching outline from Sunday’s sermon, not a word for word manuscript. This is meant as aid in seeing the thought and direction of the sermon.
Every year the four weeks leading up to Christmas we light the advent candles. Each one brings a little more light to the room, but never fully casts away the darkness.
Each candle symbolizing a different aspect of the the work of God in the world and the hope that the Christ child would bring.
The Candle mark us week by week closer to the True light. They keep pointing us forward they are not the True light. They are not the the flame that will cast of darkness they are but a sign post along the way to Christ.
It is this very thing that the candles symbolize that we will see today in our text.
We will explore the symbols of the Old that pointed to the hope we find in Christ. We will see why these shadows were incapable of doing the very thing Christ came to do: bring salvation and a hope to those lost in darkness.
Advent: Week 1- The prophets told us long ago about the Word that was to come. (1:1-2)
Advent Week 2- He came like us in flesh and blood. He took on our humanity Freeing us from the fear of Death (2:14-15)
Advent week 3- He is our great High priest who is one with us and now before the father granting us a freedom from to come boldly to God. (4:14-16)
Advent week 4- He had come to Die (10:1-10)
So as we come to the text the first thing we see is the Shadow-1-4
I. The Shadow (10:1-4)
Hebrews 10:1–4 ESV
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
We begin with a Shadow: Now when we look at the text the idea here of a shadow is very much a sketch. It is a partial image of what is to come:
• the law here is like a sketch on an artist pad. It is not a full picture, yet from it you can identify some of the key features. It lacks depth and precision but it is the first of what will become a magnificient portrait. And as we will see the shadow is not a bad thing it is just not the perfect thing. It is not capable of being what it was not designed for-
• Think of it this way and outline is not a final draft: when a writing a paper you begin with an outline laying out where you will go highlighting some key points but lacking any real substance. It is a shadow of what will be, but it is not the real thing. The cliff notes of Les Miserables will hardly give you the robust and wonder of the 1100 page novel, but it will point you in the right direction.
• So to the shadows are pointing us to the true and living sacrifice. the Law when looking at it without Christ is good it was designed by God for a purpose, but when seen in the fullness of Time in light of Christ it is clearly but a glimpse of the truer and lasting reality. (The Road to Emmaus Lk. 24:13ff )
• Now how do theses shadows point us forward:
A. They Lacked The True Power to Save (1)
The first thing we see is they lacked the power to grant an eternal or lasting salvation.
Hebrews 10:1 ESV
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.
They could not make perfect the saints.
The idea being argued here is they did not have the power to make us right with God. We could not come to God and we could not be granted entrance into his courts by the blood of these sacrifices. They were only temporary solutions, continually needing to be applied:
-A Medicine that is continually taken vs a cure.
-and because they could not save they could not offer a lasting hope:
B. Lacked the Power to offer hope (2)
Hebrews 10:2 ESV
Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?
Without the power to grant a lasting salvation there was a never a lasting hope.
The Epistle to the Hebrews Hebrews 10:2
The rest of the verse contains some repetition: those who offer sacrifice would have no further consciousness of sin, that is, they would have been purified with permanent effect (perfect participle). The author is not concerned to distinguish subjective and objective aspects of this event, the feeling from the fact of purification. The two go together, just as later in the chapter (especially v. 10) Christ’s will is united with his action. It is true that συνείδησις here (→ 9:9; also Michel 332f., n.4) refers even less than in 9:14 to a distinct human faculty, so that the NIV translation “… would no longer have felt guilty for their sins” (criticized by Gaebelen ad loc.; but cf. TEV, REB) is quite acceptable (cf. the verbal equivalent ἐμαυτῷ σύνοιδα, 1 Cor. 4:4). But the reason why they would not have had any consciousness of sin is clearly that the impurity which causes guilt would itself have been removed.
The heart is still reminded day after day sacrifice after sacrifice that they are not freed from the wrath to come. Their hearts remain entangled in the reality that their sins are not cleansed.
Without the hope for the lasting forgiveness of sins all they are left with is a continual striving after a hope.
Theses were meant to point them forward, for with out the hope all that remains in the knowledge of our sins.
C. Left a continual reminder of our sin (3)
Hebrews 10:3 ESV
But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
So year after year the cycle continues. The day of Atonement comes and goes, the people are cleansed the priests makes his sacrifice the goat is released into the wilderness the people celebrate, and then the next day the preparation begins again. The sacrifices and festivals continue year after year. The passover lambs are slain, the sin offerings are given, the guilt offerings made, and with each one a reminder of sin.
Every sacrifice made over and over again without a lasting salvation and without a lasting hope, only with the lasting reminder of sin and death.
This was all because –
D. Animals would never suffice to save (4)
Hebrews 10:4 ESV
For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
The preacher has already made this claim back in chapter five but he repeats it here to reinforce the fact that God’s ultimate plan was not in animals being slaughtered but in himself being offered.
Through out the Old Testament God reminds us that these sacrifices were not the end but rather they were meant to point us forward and upward.
Hebrews 10:3 ESV
But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
Additional Scripture texts:
1 Samuel 15:22 ESV
And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
Isaiah 1:10–17 ESV
Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
Jeremiah 7:21–23 ESV
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’
Hosea 6:6 ESV
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
The Texts point us to a better and lasting hope. the consequently of the preachers Sermon points us to the fact that these were all mean to lead us somewhere:
II. The Fulfillment (10:5-10)
Hebrews 10:5–10 ESV
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ” When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
The fulfillment of these prophetic words of Psalm 40 is the Christ. The true fulfillment of God’s plan:
He came into the world:
Again we talked about this a few weeks ago:there was a time when the eternal Son of God was not man. There was a point before His birth where he did not have human flesh. He created the universe upheld all that was made before becoming flesh and blood. Before being born to Mary and Jospeh in Bethlehem. Before that first Christmas night, He was.
And then He came-
A. Came into the World (5a)
Matthew 1:21 ESV
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Christ came into the world with a purpose-TO save.
His name was his mission and his mission was to deliver his people form their sins.
The very thing the sacrifices could not do Christ was coming to do.
The Preacher here places the words of the pSalm into the mouth of Christ reflecting for us the reality of David’s song as a foreshadow of the words of Christ himself.
Throughout the Old Testament we have these shadows or sketches of the Christ. Psalm reflecting his purpose and life. Sketches that in their time were not full appreciated, but in light of His arrival they all become clear.
So then as the Psalm states since the sacrifices were imperfect God made a way to set about to bringing His people to salvation:
And that we see was by doing the will of the Father:
B. Came to Do the Father’s Will (5b-9)
Christ came into the world with a mission to do the fathers will, and save his people from their sins, by being the true and lasting sacrifice unlike the temporal offerings of the old covenant.
1. The True Sacrifice
The Will of the father was to make a true and lasting atonement for sin. The old covenant sacrifices were but a sketch of the wonderful picture being painted finding their fullness in Christ.
All the more as you hear the words of Christ from Psalm 40 we can reflect clearly his words again in the garden, before his crucifixion.
Mark 14:34–36 ESV
And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
In the garden he weeps for the knows what is to come. He knows the pain and agony that awaits him, the lamb being prepared for the slaughter.
Yet for the will of his father he willingly goes. He is not a sheep without a mind, without a will being forced into a decision apart from his own abilities. He is the son of God, fully divine and fully human, laying aside his rights in this moment become the sacrifice to free his own. He willing lays down his life.
An din so doing he established the better covenant
2. The Better Covenant
This better covenant is the one spoken of in Jeremiah 31 (already worked over by the preacher earlier in the text of Hebrews) but here again we are reminded this was all part of the work of God from the beginning.
And here again we see have a second covenant which Christ himself reminds us of on the night he was betrayed:
Luke 22:20–22 ESV
And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”
On the first of each month we remind ourselves of this promise. Of His sacrifice for the forgiveness of Sins. He is not re-sacrificed, He is not once again being poured out for our sins. This has been accomplished. He has sealed us in his death and resurrection
C. Came to Sanctify Us (10)
Thus through His true sacrifice that makes a better convent he has now made sanctification for His people.
Our text concludes with the solution to the problem: Here sanctification is tied to the truth that now by Christ’s body sacrificed in obedience to God the Father we who have believed have been made perfect in him and are free from the lasting judgment and guilt of sin. He is the lasting solution that the Old covenant could not guarantee.
This is the hope for all who hear the call: Christ came on Christmas day taking on flesh for a purpose. He came to do the father’s will and to die to bring salvation to humanity. He did this by offering himself and for all who turn and repent of their sins and trust in him, he gives them a true and lasting hope for the forgiveness of sins. No more sacrifices nee to be made, we can trust in the promise of Christ alone.