“He then says, ‘See, I have come to do Your will.’ He takes away the first to establish the second. By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.” Hebrews 10:9-10
In Hebrews 10, we see the author of Hebrews continuing to discuss the superiority of Jesus’ sacrifice to those of the old covenant. In this passage, the author tells us that the blood of bulls and goats cannot take our sins away. The inferiority of the old sacrifices was demonstrated by the fact that they had to be renewed each year. Had these sacrifices been able to cure us of our sin, the author tells us that there would have been no need for them to be renewed again and again. Repeating the sacrifices each year served only to remind the people of their sins and their need for a savior.
To further support this point, the author quotes Psalm 40, in which the Messiah is speaking to God. In that passage, the Messiah says, “You did not want sacrifice and offering…You did not delight in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings,” ( 5-6). This means that God takes no pleasure in the ritualism and methods of our worship; there is something more meaningful to God that He takes pleasure in. What is it, then, that God prefers more than our rituals? It is our obedience. This is demonstrated by Christ; He came into this world with one purpose: to do God’s will. Christ never strayed from doing God’s will, even when doing so required Christ to die on the cross. Christ was perfectly obedient, and His commitment to obedience allowed the new covenant to be enacted. Christ’s obedience saved us and freed us from the cycle of sin and shame that we were stuck in under the Law.
What does this mean for us? It means that our lives must be committed to obeying God. If we profess to be followers of Christ, then we must be like Christ, and we cannot begin to be like Christ if we are not obeying God in every area of our lives. As Christians, our sole motivation and purpose must be to obey God and live as He has called us to live. Obedience is the hallmark of an authentic follower. We must make sure that our actions, thoughts, views, and interactions reflect our obedience to Christ. Our actions reveal our hearts, and nothing will expose the inauthentic follower than a lack of obedience. God doesn’t desire our sacrifices, songs, or good works–He wants our hearts and obedience. Are we giving that to Him?
Artwork: “Christ’s Entry in Jerusalem,” Hippolyte Flandrin, c. 1842