We have been made holy.

Pastor Ino

 Today’s message is from Hebrews 10:10, “We have been made holy.” Last week, we learned from Hebrews 9:15, the theme was “Christ is the mediator of a new covenant.” As the mediator of the new covenant, Christ has created a new era, the era of the New Testament. The Old Testament era is already over. We don’t have to go back to the old covenant anymore. The cross of Christ is enough for us. You and I are forgiven of our sins through the cross of Christ. God sees us in faith as holy, and we can boldly come before Him. Chapter 10 reveals the superiority and perfection of the salvation that Jesus gives us through the contrast between the Old Testament sacrifice and the New Testament sacrifice. Now, please read Hebrews 10: 1-18.

Hebrews 10:1 says,「The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.」The expression, “The good things that are coming” here refers to Jesus coming as the high priest and accomplishing the eternal redemption, as written at 9: 11-12. The shadow, the Old Testament offering is only for a temporary cleansing. Verse 4 says,「It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.」 In fact, in some parts of the Old Testament, God reveals that he does not want offerings such as burnt offerings. The author of Hebrew quoted from Psalm 40:6 and mentioned about it, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but my ears you have opened burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require”  Author of Hebrew quoted from Septuagint, which translates Old testament in Greek language. In Septuagint, the part “my ears you have opened” was
translated a little bit differently and it says ” a body you have prepared for me”.  This could originally mean that God rejoices when his people listen to God’s word rather than providing the sacrifices. In Greek translation, they added the nuance that not only listening to God’s words by ears but also responding to God with all you have. That is how the author of Hebrew understood how God would rejoice. Let’s read from Hebrew 10:6 and 7 “with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll I have come to do your will, my God.’ Let us think about the background of this text. Jesus as Son of God decided to complete and fulfill all of the requirements in OT and start the new covenant. Jesus has been faithful to the will of the Father and has fulfilled the sacrificial law of Old testament through the cross. The author of Hebrews was trying to reveal that to its audience. Verse 10 is written “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Jesus made a decision to proceed to the cross by being faithful to the will of the
Father in order to save us.  As it is written in Hebrew 9:26, Jesus’ death on the cross removes all of sins’ of humanity once for all. Through the redemption of Christ, all of your sins in the past, present, and future have been already forgiven and you are now called as a saint. being made holy is written in perfect tense, which means no matter how many times we fail in our life, because of the redemption of Christ, God now considers us holy and saint, which is the state without condemnation.

In verse 13 (in NIV it is verse 12), it says “But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God”. When Jesus became an eternal sacrifice, that removes all of sins once for all. He demonstrated his sacrifice on the cross
once and it has been in effect for eternity. When Jesus ascended to Heaven and seated at the right hand of God, that is the indication of Christ’s redemption being completed.  In comparison of that, Old Testament days, priest had to repeatedly demonstrate the redemption for Israelites’ sins every day. This only works for temporal removal of the sins but never completely take away the sins.  Priest demonstrating the sacrificial offering for the sins of Israel, it was only for temporal, and it had to repeat day after day.
 In verse 14, it says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Here it says that the phrase “those who are being made holy” is written in present participle, which indicates that these people progressively become holy as time
goes on. We are considered as holy and saint, but yet, we are progressively made holy as we live to our God by guidance of the Holy Spirit, which is written in verse 15 to 18.

 The eternal salvation has already been given to believers. God sees that the salvation is complete. If anyone accepts Christ as the Savior, the new life will begin from here. It is important to live under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy God wants you to live with His holiness. The Lord calls us brothers.「Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.」(‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭2:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬) Let us believe in this word and live with the help of the Holy Spirit in 2021.