I. Intro: Hebrews has been comparing aspects of the Old Covenant with Jesus, showing that in every way, Jesus is superior. Here we see that Jesus offers better access to God than the Old Testament saints could ever dream of.
II. Comparisons (10:11-14)
A. Priests are pictured standing because their work is never done. In contrast, Jesus is seated as His work is done. What work are the priests doing?
1. They maintain the tabernacle and later the Temple. They were the only ones who could draw near. This is because God’s holiness is radioactive (warm a home, heat a city, lethal in full dose).
a. Leviticus 10:12 - Nadab and Abihu die in Leviticus 10 for offering strange fire.
b. 1 Samuel 6:19 - 70 men in Beth Shemesh were killed for looking in the Ark.
c. 2 Samuel 6:7 - Uzzah dies in 2 Samuel 6:7 for touching the Ark.
2. Offering sacrifices. This is the starting point of worship.
a. Over and over, because they only cover sin. Further sin required additional sacrifice.
b. In contrast, the sacrifice of Jesus is needed only once. It perfects those who put their faith in it.
1) His blood is more valuable than that of animals.
2) He is ruling and reigning, seated at the right hand of God. He is greater than the priests.
3) His sacrifice does not just cover sin, it takes it away (Bernstein Bears illustration).
III. Fulfillment (10:15-18) In doing this, Jesus fulfills the New Covenant from Jeremiah 31:31-34. It also alludes to Ezekiel 11:19-20 and Ezekiel 36:26-32. In these passages, God promises a number of things. Principally, He offers His Spirit living in us, forgiveness of sin, a knowledge of God and His Law. Most importantly, He will be our God, and we will be His people. These verses tell us that this New Covenant is accomplished in the death of Jesus. Our sin has been taken away, and God has initiated a relationship with us.
Sometimes we have the mistaken idea that in the Old Testament, God was angry, but now He is in a good mood.
Previously it was Law, and now it is grace.
Understand that God does not wink at sin, even now.
All sin will be paid in full.
The question is whether you will pay the debt, or did Jesus pay your debt.
IV. The New Way (10:19-21) That way is the blood of Jesus. His flesh was torn like the veil was torn. He is our mediator. The price of our access with God is the death of Jesus.
V. Results (10:22-25)
A. We draw near (10:22) – This is a call to close relationship with God. It is primarily a call to pray. Pray not to let God know our agenda, but to ask Him His.
B. Understand we are consecrated (10:22) – We have been made priests! We have gone from not being allowed access to working for Him. We have access. This gives us assurance, not in what we are doing, but in what He has done. Like the Levitical priests, we are tasked with helping people draw near to God. The difference is we no longer use animal sacrifices, but we point them to Jesus. They too can then draw near by the blood of Jesus.
C. Hold fast our confession (10:23) – We confess that Jesus is Lord and never look ton anything else for acceptance with God.
D. Now we stimulate each other to love and good deeds (10:24-25). This is why we assemble. We do this by gathering to recall the greatness of the sacrifice of Christ, the greatness of the kindness of God. We remember who He is and what He has done.
A. If you’re a believer, don’t forget the cost of your access, and how great that access is.
B. If you are not a believer, if you feel like you don’t belong here so near to God – if you will put your faith in Jesus, repent and believe, His sacrifice will be for you and you will be welcome to draw near. You will belong.