READ – Hebrews 10:1-10
It is difficult for us to imagine the emotional and spiritual impact of having to offer repeated sacrifices to become reconciled to God. “The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.” (verse 1)
Some of the Hebrews must have felt a sense of futility in it all of it: try to live sin-free, fail, offer a sacrifice. Repeat. In spite of their attempts to cleanse the conscience, their sacrifices served only to remind them of their sin and reinforce their guilt before God.
God has a better way: his son, Jesus. “God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.” (verse 10)
Many Christians have allowed effort, work, study and doing good deeds to replace the ancient system of sacrifice in their lives. They don’t slaughter animals before an altar to be reconciled to God, but they do “try to be extra good.” Or they put effort into learning about God, or serving God in the hope that their deeds will gain them favor with God. Trying to gain favor with God through good deeds is just as futile as trying to sacrifice your way into favor.
The path to reconciliation with God goes through Jesus. He provides the access to God that we long for.