Hebrews 10, I uncover astounding. Specific verses of it summarise, concisely and powerfully, why Jesus was born upon the Earth and why He consented to die, in a way that would maximise the shedding of His blood. God, His father, was weary of animal sacrifice that just could not redeem His folks from the depths of the iniquity and the recidivism that was destroying them:
“…each and every [human] priest stands [at his altar of service] ministering each day, providing the very same sacrifices more than and more than once more…” (Hebrews 10:11) (Amp)
I guess, basically place, folks had got into the habit of glibly saying sorry, then performing it once more they sinned, sacrificed a goat, then sinned once more. As extended as they did not run out of goats – or sheep or bulls or doves, based on their implies to raise or obtain livestock – they felt they could get impunity and appease God.
I cannot get my head about how disrespectful this is to God, their Father, and their deliverer from slavery. It tends to make Him no greater than any pagan god to which folks produced blood sacrifices, in the hope that this would get them favour, superior fortune or a superior harvest. The implication, in Hebrews 10, is that the hearts and souls of the folks have been disconnected from the slaughter of the beasts they purchased and left at the Temple to be killed by priests. Sacrifice had turn out to be a meaningless ‘tribute’ – a ritual just before a distant idol.
And how holy and sacred was the slaughter of hundreds of animals each and every day, as far as the priests have been concerned? The Temple should have been extra like an abattoir than a spot of worship weary priests sloshing about in blood and animal excrement – the entire spot stinking and considerably also hot the noise of bleating, lowing, calling animals and birds, deafening. Not quite dignified or ‘priestly’ and it should have been tough perform. It appears that, from reading Hebrews 10, there was no partnership in between God and His beloved folks, even symbolised by the repeated shedding of animal blood. God loved as He had often performed, but the like was not reciprocated:
“You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied properly about you: 8‘These folks honour Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. 9They worship Me in vain” (Matthew 15:eight)
It reminds me a small of the ritualistic confessions I had to attend as a kid, expanding up in an Irish Catholic context specifically when I attended a convent boarding college in Tipperary, Eire, in the mid 1970’s. Each and every Saturday, I was ushered into a dark box to speak my sins into a grille, behind which a Priest sat and listened, then absolved me of the sins I would return to confess in a week’s time. I could not, it seemed, refrain from behaving deceitfully (meeting boys in secret) obtaining nasty thoughts about the nuns who taught and (more than) disciplined me, and I typically had angry thoughts about my parents (who had consigned me to boarding college). Occasionally, I even produced up stuff, to have some thing distinct to say – or just some thing to say – in Confession! Nonetheless, if I confessed my venial sins, even in a bored way to a bored priest, I’d be certain to go to Heaven if Sister Rosario really killed me for the duration of the ensuing week. Jesus was just a figure, hanging from a wooden cross at intervals on the convent walls and college corridors. I understood practically nothing of His crucifixion. I was under no circumstances necessary to study a Bible and definitely did not personal a single. I was necessary to attend Mass each and every morning, even though, and stay awake via a sacrament about which I understood practically nothing – the ‘transubstantiation’ of bread and wine into Jesus’ physique and blood .
The point is, I doubt whether or not my enforced, insincere and ritualistic accounting of my repeated sins, to a priest I feared, as if he was the bogeyman, had any actual significance just before God.
In Hebrews 10:four and five, we study:
“four…the blood of bulls and goats is powerless to take sins away five Therefore, when He [Christ] entered into the planet, He stated, Sacrifices and offerings You have not preferred, but alternatively You have produced prepared a physique for Me [to offer]” (Amp.)
The writer goes on:
“eight…You have neither preferred, nor have You taken delight in sacrifices…all of which are provided according to the Law – 9 He then went on to say, Behold [here] I am, coming to do Your will. Hence He does away with and annuls the first (former) order…so that He could possibly inaugurate and establish the second (latter) order. [Ps 40:6-8]” (Amp)
Wow. There could not be a clearer exposition, relying on Jesus’ personal words, of the causes why Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter. Jesus, the ultimate Lamb, was intended to replace, for all time, any sacrificial animal for the atonement of sin. Additional, the shedding of His blood would be an eternal payment for the sins of all guys and girls who would ever think in its salvific energy.
And while these words could possibly accelerate our heartrates and move us to worship – which responses are suitable and fitting – the mystery of why the shedding of blood was ever a ‘thing’ remains.
In Hebrews 9:22, we study:
“Nearly all issues are cleansed with blood according to the Law, and unless blood is poured out no forgiveness requires spot.”— Hebrews 9:22.
I study these words and accept them. I think them. But I do not comprehend them. I know that life is in the blood:
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have provided it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls for it is the blood that tends to make atonement for the soul.’” (Leviticus 17:11)
My understanding of God’s mysteries is an impossibility whilst I reside on Earth. For now, I should think and accept that I do not reside on bread alone, “”…but on each and every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew four:four.) And so, I feed hungrily and digest, without having realizing whereof I consume – just as the Jews devoured manna in the desert (Exodus). I know it will sustain me.
Subsequent time: Drinking blood? A quite new covenant!