Archive for October 22nd, 2008


Guilt and Hebrews 10


     I think one of the most fascinating books of the New Testament is Hebrews.  I love the way it shows how the Old Testament pointed to Jesus.  And one of its most fascinating chapters is chapter 10 – because it vividly talks about becoming free of guilt.

     In the first four verses the writer states that the Old Testament sacrificial system could never make the worshipers perfect.  Especially interesting is verse 2.  If the Old Testament sacrifices could have done that then “the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sin.”  Or as one modern translation puts it:  they “would no longer feel guilty for their sins.”   Since those sacrifices couldn’t do that, the opposite was true as verse 3 states:  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.’

    The chapter then proceeds by talking about Jesus’ sacrifice.  In striking contrast to what the writer had said about the Old Testament sacrificial system in the first part of the chapter, he now says, in regard to Jesus, “for by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (v. 14)   And again, because of Jesus, “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”  (v. 17-18)  Because Jesus has perfected us through his offering, God no longer remembers our sins.  Jesus offering did what the Old Testament offerings couldn’t have done.  He purged us so that we don’t have any more guilt before God.  The conclusion of verse 2 doesn’t apply to the Old Testament sacrifices, but it does apply to Jesus’ sacrifice.  His sacrifice has purged us.

     Therefore one of the best ways we give glory to Jesus is by quickly dispelling the guilt feelings that can so quickly arise in us – quickly dispelling them not by working a process of repentance but by remembering the fact of Hebrews 10 – because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God no longer remembers our sins.   That’s the best news in the whole world.

October 2008

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