Free to breathe
Remember the moment when your last head cold cleared up and, suddenly, you could breathe again? It almost caught you by surprise, didn’t it? And the very next thing you wanted to do was tell everyone “I can finally breathe free!”
After demonstrating Jesus’ superiority over the earthly priesthood and the earthly tabernacle, the author of Hebrews presents his ultimate theological point – that Jesus is superior to the Mosaic Law. Since Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law, His followers are now free to interact directly with God. To prove his point, you’ll see the author’s reliance on Old Testament scripture…
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the reality itself of those things, it can never perfect the worshipers by the same sacrifices they continually offer year after year…For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, as He was coming into the world, He said:
You did not desire sacrifice and offering,
but you prepared a body for Me.
You did not delight in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings.
Then I said, “See –
it is written about Me
in the scroll –
I have come to do Your will, O God.” (Psalm 40:6-8)
After He says above, “You did not desire or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings and sin offerings” (which are offered according to the law), He then says, “See, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first to establish the second. By this will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time.
The author of Hebrews then provides evidence that Jesus – the Greater Messenger – has not only fulfilled the duties of the high priest, but in doing so, He has also fulfilled the requirements of the entire Law:
Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after He says:
This is the covenant I will make with them
after those days,
the Lord says,
I will put My laws on their hearts
and write them on their minds, (Jeremiah 31:33)
I will never again remember
their sins and their lawless acts. (Jeremiah 31:34)
Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
The burden of following the Mosaic Law is no longer needed since the sin has been permanently removed. We are free to breathe and partner with God(!) – and from this point on, the author examines what that freedom-based partnership looks like in the life of a believer who seriously takes up God’s offer to pursue maturity.