What Does Hebrews 10:12 Mean?

but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,

Hebrews 10:12(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

The Mosaic Law, the Feasts of the Lord, the different priestly ceremonies, and various sacrificial offerings are described in Hebrews as a shadow of good things to come. Each of these elements fulfils an important function within the Old Covenant, but both individually and collectively they typified things that would be part of the New Covenant - they were a pale representation of what was to come - they were a foreshadowing of things to come.

The sacrificial offering, given to Israel, and all they represented, were to teach them about their coming Messiah. They become a sequential illustration of things that were to happen - they were given to Israel to be a schoolmaster to point people to Christ. There were many types of sacrifices given to Israel in the Old Testament, but each one became a representative reminder of Christ, Who was to come.

There were many animal sacrifices given to Israel, and every time an animal was sacrificed, it was a blood-splattered reminder that we are all sinners who fall short of God's glory; we are fallen creatures who need to be forgiven; we are all sinners in need of a Saviour - and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. God chose to use the sacrificial system He gave to Israel as a daily reminder that we are all fallen creatures, who need to acknowledge our sin and confess Jesus as our Saviour.

In the New Testament, Christ was sent to earth as the last sacrifice - the one and only perfect offering for sin. The Lord Jesus Christ came as the fulfilment of every precious animal sacrifice that was slain on the altar of the Lord. The religious laws, ceremonies, feasts and sacrifices became a never-ending teacher that persistently pointed us to Christ. Every animal sacrifice was another reminder that we are sinful creatures and every drop of blood that was shed, was a picture of the Lord Jesus Himself, Who would come to earth, at God's appointed time, to be the full and final sacrifice for the sin of the world - so that ALL who believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life. 

The sacrificial offering of Christ was so different by comparison with those earlier animal sacrifices, but they acted as a shadow - a shadow that was cast on the pages of history that became a heavenly reality when Jesus Christ offered Himself as the sacrifice for sin. He offered Himself once and for all, and when His heavenly mission was over, He ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father - until that day when His enemies become His footstool and He returns the lost world into God's safe-keeping.

Living in the Church age we cannot imagine what it must have been like to have daily, weekly, monthly, and annual sacrifices. We cannot begin to imagine the rivers of blood that flowed from the bulls and calves, the lambs and the doves that were slaughtered in anticipation of the Saviour, Who was to come as the full and final sacrificial offering for the sin of mankind.

Their blood was shed as a result of sin but could never deal with the consequences of sin. Their lifeblood could never take away men's sins. The blood of bulls and rams could only cover sin until the perfect kinsman-Redeemer would come to offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world - but it does expose the inherent weakness of the first sacrificial system, given to Israel, for the process of atonement was never-ending. Sin may have been covered but the sinner had to wait until it could be fully and finally dealt with at the cross. No surprise that the writer to the Hebrews emphasises the value of Christ's sacrifice and the glory of the Lord Jesus - "WHO.. having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God".

The Lord Jesus is not only a prophet like Moses and the King from David's royal line, He is also the heavenly High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek. The Aaronic priests would stand in the Temple day by day fulfilling their role as mediator between man and God, and the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies once a year, and standing before the altar, would make atonement for the sins of the people... as the blood of bulls and calves flowed continuously, as a temporary covering for the sins of the people. But as soon as Christ Jesus had offered Himself as the full and final sacrifice for sins, He sat down on God's right hand. 

As we recognise the truth that Christ's sacrifice was made once for all and forever... and that by faith in Him our sins are not simply covered but fully forgiven, we can rejoice with exceeding great joy, that the Mosaic Law, the Feasts of the Lord, the various priestly ceremonies and bloody sacrificial offerings of the Old Covenant were true, shadows of the glorious reality that was manifest in Christ Jesus, Who has saved us from our sin and seated us together with Christ in heavenly places.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the Law, the Levitical priesthood, and the sacrifices that were so faithfully made again and again to cover the sins of Israel and constantly pointing to the One Who sacrificed Himself once for the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future. Thank You that Jesus’ sacrifice was enough and that we cannot add anything more for our salvation than to believe on Him. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

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