Yesterday I was already looking at the Jewish tradition of offering the blood of animals in atonement for our sins and realising that these never-ending sacrifices would never be enough. Jesus’s sacrifice was enough though, he was perfect enough to take the punishment of the whole world’s sin so… that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16 KJV). Today’s passage reiterates the idea that the endless animal sacrifices are pointless and that Jesus’s sacrifice is once and for all time. I am interested in the link the the writer of Hebrews makes with scripture from the book of Jeremiah which records a prophesy of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:33-34). But in particular, I am most interested that the writer does not claim the scholarship himself, rather he writes that it is the Holy Spirit who is testifying. In other words, I believe the writer of Hebrews is actually pointing out the divine inspiration behind his knowledge and writing in general. He is claiming that it is through the power of the Spirit that the connection has been made to the scriptures recorded in Jeremiah.
Hebrews 10:8-18 NLT
First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honour at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says, “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
It has occurred to me, and has also been suggested by others, that the kind of devotional discipline I have found in writing everyday, can only be maintained by the influence of the Holy Spirit. That is to say that as I have spent so much of everyday immersed in scripture, I have been able to see with the most remarkable clarity, things that I’m sure I would have missed if I were not aware of, and open to, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. My goal is therefore, to keep my heart open to whatever else the Holy Spirit might testify about.
Ezekiel 21:1-22:31, Hebrews 10:1-18, Psalms 108:1-13, Proverbs 27:12