Discussion Guide: Jesus - Perfecter of the Church (Hebrews 10:1-18)
Monday: Hebrews 10:1-18
Tuesday: Hebrews 10:1-4; 1 John 1:8, 10; Psalm 130:3-4
Wednesday: Hebrews 10:5-10; 1 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 50:8-10; Hosea 6:6
Thursday: Hebrews 10:11-14; 1:3; 8:1; 12:2
Friday: Hebrews 10:15-18; 2 Corinthians 5:17
Having Jesus as our High Priest means we are free from sin’s guilt and free to enjoy God’s presence.
This section concludes the author’s discussion of Jesus as our high priest (7:1-10:18). In closing, he again emphatically contrasts the New and Old Covenants.
First (vv 1-4), he reminds his readers that that law was by its very nature a sign pointing to something greater. After all, unwilling animals couldn’t really take sin away (v 4). On the contrary, like a bill that serves as a monthly reminder that a loan has not yet been paid off, these sacrifices could only remind God’s people that their sin problem hadn’t been taken care of yet.
Second (vv 5-10), the author quotes Psalm 40:6-8 to show that even though God commanded these animal sacrifices to be made, he wasn’t automatically pleased with them. In the Old Testament, God’s people were often tempted to think that if they just offered sacrifices correctly, God would automatically be pleased. Psalm 40 is a reminder that true worship is internal – heartfelt obedience to God – not merely external. And unlike animals who could not stand in place of people and who had no say in being sacrificed, Jesus took on a human body, lived a perfect life, and willingly sacrificed himself.
Next (vv 11-14), he reminds his readers that whereas Old Covenant priests stand (because their work was never finished), Jesus sits (John 19:30 – “It is finished”). Jesus’ one-time sacrifice did for us what various sacrifices made daily over centuries couldn’t: perfect “for all time those who are being sanctified” (v 11).
Finally (vv 15-18), the author reminds us that Jesus’ sacrifice actually removes our sin. While the Old Covenant had constant reminders of sin (v 3), God now remembers our sins “no more” (v 17). And while the Old Covenant required repeated offerings for sin (vv 1-2, 11), there’s now nothing left to offer (v 18).
While we may not relate to the kind of ritual the Hebrews were tempted to revert to (Old Testament sacrificial laws), we can often revert to some sort of ritual: actions we believe (even subconsciously) make God more pleased with us and which must be re-performed after fresh sins are committed. What are those “rituals” for you? When do you feel like God’s approval of you fluctuates, and why?
According to verses 15-17, what does the Holy Spirit remind us of? What makes these reminders so comforting?
Have any aspects of your Christian walk become merely external or routine? What would it look like to increase to your enjoyment of those aspects?
Hebrews 10:18 – “Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.”
 Note that these can be good things done for wrong reasons. Israel often abused sacrifices (Psalm 50:8-10), but God was still the one who instituted those sacrifices (Hebrews 10:8).
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