Hebrews 10:18

Monday, 4 February 2019

Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Hebrews 10:18

The verse here, though seemingly subdued, is the culmination and high point of the entire section of the letter. It is also the last part of doctrinal instruction in the book. From here, the author will provide words of exhortation and encouragement on how to conduct one’s life based on the doctrinal nature of the items he has explained. And so to close out this section, he says, “Now where there is remission of these.” The word “remission” signifies forgiveness. The Greek word means “to send away.” In the sending away of their sins, there is pardon, release, and complete forgiveness of the sins and lawless deeds of the previous verse. The author has just said that, in the eyes of the Lord, they will be remembered no more.

As the sins are pardoned, then, obviously, “there is no longer an offering for sin.” What is being conveyed, again, is the “greater than” nature of the New Covenant over the Old. Under the Mosaic Law, sacrifices and offerings were constantly repeated. This brought back the memory of sin, and it continued to remind the people that they were sinful. However, under the New Covenant, the sins are forgiven – once and forever. There is no longer an offering for sin because there is no longer the imputation of sin. As Paul says –

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19

Instead of a system of continuous sacrifices and unceasing guilt for sin, we have one Sacrifice and a word of reconciliation. What has been realized in the New Covenant is infinitely greater than that of the Old.

Life application: First century Jews who were considering a return to the temple and its sacrifices were being told, in certain language, that this move would be completely ineffective in improving their position with God. What would be the point? Their sins were already forgiven in Christ, and where these had been forgiven, there was no longer any sacrifice for sin; their return would be a useless gesture. The same is true with the Jews who are now coming to Christ. A temple will be rebuilt, but the exhortation is to fix the mind and eyes on Christ, not to be swept back into a useless, failed system of ineffectual sacrifices which reminded of sin. Instead, they are being implored to stay the course and to be freed from the memory of sin once and forever. So too are we now, in the dispensation of Grace, not to get caught up in observing the Law of Moses, in whole or even in part. We are to trust in Christ, rest in Christ, and be fully satisfied with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Never does the Bible ask us to blindly walk through this life. Instead, God asks us to use reason and to be fully versed in His word. Using our brains doesn’t demonstrate a lack of faith. Instead, it directs our faith to the narrow path of Jesus Christ. As Proverbs 14:12 says –

“There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.”

Choosing the right way is a responsibility we all bear.

Lord – a thousand religions on a zillion websites tell us they have the answer – that they are the path to You. But Lord, Your word says there is one Way and one Door. Protect us and keep us on that Way which leads to life. Help us to keep our thoughts and our eyes on Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Amen.

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