The early part of the tenth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews brings before us three glorious subjects:
- A Glorious Person.
- A glorious work.
- A glorious result.
The Glorious Person is none other than the Son of God. The One by whom God made the worlds; the One who upholds everything by His Word; the One to whom all judgment is committed; the One who will fold up as a worn-out garment all created things; the One in whom God has made Himself known, He being the brightness of God's glory, and the exact image of His person; He has come.
In the volume of the book it was written of Him, "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." None other than One who was Himself God could undertake to do all God's will, none but He could make atonement, none but He could obtain eternal redemption for us and bring a people to God in righteousness. Thus it was that He, being Himself God, became man in order to carry out all the pleasure of God. No angel or archangel was glorious enough for this, no priest or prophet under the law could avail. Only the Son of God could accomplish atonement and glorify God about the awful question of sin.The law of Moses had shadowed the coming of Christ. In an indistinct way it had showed that He was yet to appear. Every sacrifice and offering was a signpost on the road of the centuries, and, so to speak, on each one was written- "TO CALVARY."
They told of the glorious work that the glorious Person was to perform.
But none of these sacrifices or offerings could put sins away; none had any real value for this; their importance was in being types foreshadowing the death of Christ-they pictured that which He was yet to effect.
So it was that they were offered again and again, and never could give a perfect conscience to the one who brought them. It was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins; and thus, year after year, on the day of atonement there was a remembrance of sins made by the offerings which Aaron was ordered to present.
But Christ, the Son of God, having offered Himself without spot to God, and having offered one sacrifice for sins, the work is accomplished, the redemption is completed, the atonement is made. Thus His own blessed words on the cross were, "IT IS FINISHED"; and now He is risen, His empty grave echoes back those words, and they are re-echoed from the throne in glory where He sits exalted. His cross, His grave, His throne tell the story, "IT IS FINISHED." He will never suffer again, for His sufferings avail perfectly. They are all-sufficient and sufficient for all. No more offering for sins is necessary, and no more offering for sins is possible. No more offering for sins is necessary, because of the one offering of that all-glorious Person having entirely and eternally satisfied the righteous claims of the throne of the thrice Holy God. No more offering for sins is possible, for such an offering would cast a slight and a slur upon the sufficiency of the work of the Son of God. Now we can speak of there being
"NO MORE REMEMBRANCE OF SINS"
on God's part against anyone who believes the gospel message concerning His Son. And this is the witness of the Holy Spirit to us who believe concerning the glorious result of the work of Christ.
God has had remembrance of sins. When the Lord was on the cross, all our sins were remembered in judgment. As the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah says, in the sixth verse, "The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." At Calvary our sins came into view and were dealt with in the judgment which fell upon our Saviour.
The Lord Jesus suffered there for us, and as we hear His cry, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" we can answer and say, "For me, Lord Jesus, Thou wast forsaken, for my sins Thou wast judged. Thou wast wounded for my transgressions, bruised for my iniquities, the chastisement of my peace was upon Thee, and with Thy stripes I am healed."But as we have seen, His work is finished, the cup of judgment has been drained, and God is now righteous in remembering our sins no more.
Think well of this statement, dear believer: "Because the blood of Christ is ever before the eye of God, therefore my sins are ever behind His back. They are gone from His sight and gone from His memory for ever." NO MORE will God remember our guilt; He has forgiven our many sins on the ground of that one offering of His Son made once for all, and He will never refer to them for the judgment of them again. Here is the glorious result flowing from the glorious work of the glorious Person. And we who believe enjoy the glorious result, though we could have no part whatever in the glorious work. So there are two clear proofs that our sins are gone. One is the place Christ has taken at the right hand of God, and the other is the written word which the Holy Spirit has penned, "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
But not only is there no more remembrance of sins on God's part, there is
"NO MORE CONSCIENCE OF SINS"
on the believer's part. This is the thought of God for all His own in this glad gospel day.The conscience is according to the sacrifice. An imperfect sacrifice under the law gave an imperfect conscience. The perfect sacrifice of Christ gives the perfect conscience to the Christian. That is, it enables the Christian to be before God without any fear of judgment, for his conscience is purged by the blood of Christ, purged "from dead works" from all endeavours to make out a righteousness of his own, and he is set free, henceforth, "to serve the living God."
An illustration has been used and may help some. We may suppose a great blackboard in the presence of God, and upon it, ALL our many sins are written-this is God's memory or account of our sins. And we may suppose a small slate within our breast, and upon this SOME of our sins are written-this is our memory or conscience of our sins. The work of Christ clears the great blackboard, and clears the small slate as well. It clears God's memory, and it clears our conscience too. God knew all our sins, and we knew some of them, but the one offering of Christ enables God righteously to remember our sins no more and to have us near Himself, and the same offering enables us to be before God without fear of judgment, with joy in Himself as we see all the greatness of His grace toward us.
But solemn indeed is the position of anyone who has professed to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and then has turned back to Judaism, or Buddhism, or Islam. Alas! Instances are not rare in our day where such apostasy has taken place.
Thus the apostle warns them that such a course as this could only end in sorest punishment.
If Christ and His finished work were turned from, there remained
"NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SINS."
After the one sacrifice of Christ the Son of God no other sacrifice was possible. A soul definitely giving up Christ is left without the possibility of salvation. There is no other Saviour, and nothing but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries is before the apostate.
It shows that that person is an adversary of God, for that which God values he slights, and that which God establishes for man's blessing he sets aside as nothing worth.
Thus we see that-
- There is no more offering for sins on Christ's part;
- There is no more remembrance of sins against the believer on God's part;
- There is no more conscience of sins on the Christian's part as he enters into God's thought of Christ's work;
- There is no more sacrifice for sins on the Christ-rejector's part, but he is left exposed to the sure judgment of God.
The believer rejoicing in the glorious result of the work of Christ can enter into the holiest, with boldness, by the blood of Jesus, and pour out his heart in glad praise and adoration, as a happy worshipper within the veil.