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A once-and-for-all sacrifice

He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do—first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all time when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son, who has been perfected forever. Hebrews 7:27-28 CSB

The author of the Book of Hebrews continues to highlight the supremacy of Jesus being our High Priest. The author already established this truth by exalting Jesus’ position at the beginning of his book. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). The Apostle Paul also mentioned about this exaltation of Jesus. “The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things” (Ephesians 4:10). Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross is unlike the sacrifices by the earthly high priests for they sacrifice “first for their own sins, then for those of the people.” But Christ sacrifice is “once for all time when he offered himself.” Since Jesus is “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26), He does not need to offer for His sin for He is God and He is perfect. The fact that the high priests have to offer sacrifice first for their own sin signified that their lives were also defiled by sin. And to do this sacrifice through the blood of the animals frequently and also for the sins of the people showed the enormity of sin, a clear indication that the sacrifices will never be sufficient. The earthly priesthood therefore is temporary and ineffective thus, has to be replaced by a High Priest who is eternal. That is what our Lord Jesus Christ did “when he offered himself… who has been perfected forever.” Jesus voluntarily died on the cross and by His death presented Himself as the once-for-all sacrifice. The expression once for all reveals that the Levitical system has come to an end. In Hebrews 7:28, it says, “For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak.” The writer used the term “weak” to make a distinction between sin committed in weakness and sin perpetuated deliberately. A high priest who sinned intentionally could not remain in office. They were appointed based on the law but Christ’s appointment was based on the “promise of the oath, which came after the law.” “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). A law can be repealed; an oath stays forever. The Son is not subject to weakness or change, because he “has been perfected forever.” Unlike the earthly priests, Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross “is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).



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