Christ's Sacrifice Offered Once for All.
SUMMARY.--The Imperfection of the Sacrifices of the Law.
In Such Sacrifices God Had No Pleasure.
Christ's Sacrifice Offered Once for All.
The Holiest of All Opened by the Blood of Christ.
Exhortation to Faithful Perseverance.
If Christ is Rejected, No More Sacrifice.
1-4. The Law. The law of Moses.
Having a shadow of the good things to come. It did not contain
the good things, but only the shadow of them. They were typified in the
law but exist in the gospel.
Can never . . . make the comers thereunto perfect.
That is, free them from sin, and thus perfect their consciences.
2. For then would they not, etc. If the legal sacrifices secured
complete forgiveness, they would not have been offered over and over.
The fact that it was
done showed that there was still a consciousness of sin.
3. There is a remembrance, etc. Besides the daily sacrifices,
and the individual sacrifices, there was repeated every year the
atonement for the whole nation. There were daily, monthly, and yearly
4. For it is not possible. The blood of bulls and goats, the
animals offered in the sacrifices, had no power to cleanse from sin. In
their essence the only real efficacy of the bloody sacrifices of the
altar was the moral effect upon the people and the fact that they
pointed forward to the Lamb of God.
5-10. When he cometh into the world. Since the Levitical
sacrifices could not cleanse from sin, Christ, the Redeemer from sin,
said when he entered upon his mission,
Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not. Quoted from
Since the sacrifices and offerings of the Jewish altar did not meet
A body hast thou prepared me for an offering. This is Christ's
6. In burnt offerings. Burnt offerings were wholly consumed. See
Sacrifices for sin. See
Lev. 4:1 to 5:13.
They were so called because of their special reference to sin. In
neither had God pleasure; that is, they did not fully meet his
7. Then said I, Lo, I come. The Psalmist represents Christ, who
comes simply to do the will of God, completely surrendered to his will.
In the volume of the book. In the roll of the law it is written
of me; that is, there I am predicted.
8, 9. Then said he. He said, first, "The Levitical sacrifices do not
then he said, second;
Lo, I come to do thy will. This is pleasing to God. Hence
he taketh away the first, the old covenant with its sacrifices,
and establishes the
second, the new covenant inaugurated by complete submission to
the will of God.
10. By which will we are sanctified. By this complete submission
our sins are removed from us and we are made holy. The meaning of
"sanctified" here is remission of sin.
Through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ. In Christ's
surrender his body was offered on the cross,
once for all for sin, and by that offering our sins are
11-14. Every priest standeth daily ministering. Christ offered
his sacrifice "once for all,"
but Levitical priests offer daily their sacrifices
which can never take way sins.
12. But this man. Jesus,
after . . . one sacrifice, himself on the cross,
sat down, which implies that he
needeth to make no more offering.
On the right hand of God. Honored forever.
13. From henceforth expecting. Waiting until every enemy is
conquered. See note on
14. For by one offering, that of the cross,
he hath perfected forever. Given them perfect consciences free
from a sense of the guilt of sin.
Them that are sanctified. All Christ's brethren are sanctified
so are all whose sins are forgiven
(verse 10, also verse 29);
all saints are sanctified
(1 Cor. 1:2);
hence all Christians are called the "sanctified."
15-18. Whereof the Holy Ghost is also a witness. It testifies
that Christ perfects the sanctified. See, too, that it bears witness in
words. He spoke in Jeremiah the prophet.
16, 17. This is the covenant, etc. See
Jeremiah 31:33, 34;
also notes on
Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. It is
thus God "perfects the sanctified," by forgiving all their sins.
18. Where remission of these is. Hence, since there is complete
remission, no more offering for sin is required.
19-22. Having therefore, brethren, boldness. It has now been
shown that Christ has, as our high priest, opened the way into the
holiest of all, the heavens, for us. Hence we may follow with boldness.
We have the assurance of heaven.
20. By a new and living way. Christ is the way.
The way for us is not only pointed out but opened through his flesh.
His rent body poured out the redeeming blood, and thus the veil before
the holiest of all was rent open that we might enter in. For us the
rent veil is the body of Christ.
21. And having an high priest. Our high priest hath opened the
way by rending the veil. He is priest over the House of God, the church
on earth, and our high priest in the Holiest of all above.
22. Let us draw near, the altar of incense, the open veil, and
to God who dwelleth in the Holiest of all.
With a true heart. Sincere and pure heart.
In full assurance of faith. Filled with trust in our high priest.
Our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience. By the blood of
Christ through which we realize that our sins are forgiven.
Our bodies washed with pure water. See
Titus 3:5, and Acts 22:16.
Alford, Prof. Stuart, Delitzch, Moll, Meyer and most commentators
refer the passage to baptism. That is undoubtedly the thought of the
sacred writer; the heart and spirit are cleansed by the blood of Christ
and the body sanctified by washing in pure water, effecting the
purification of the whole man.
23. Let us hold fast. The thought is, cling to the faith
professed and the hope in the soul without wavering.
24, 25. Consider one another. Let each care for others and
exhort others to love and to do good works both by word and
25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves. In times of
persecution there was a great temptation to stay away from the church
assemblies, and some had fallen into dangerous neglect.
As ye see the day approaching. There were signs that the Hebrew
Christians could see that the day was near at hand. They
probably thought that Christ would come in person at that day. He did
come in judgment on the Jewish nation. As that awful time of trial
seemed near at hand they should be zealous in exhorting each other.
Macknight, Stuart, Milligan, Meyer and many others refer "day" to the
destruction of the Jewish nation.
26-31. For if we sin wilfully. Deliberately trample under foot
Christ's will; apostasize from the faith in life.
Remaineth no more sacrifice. We have, in that case, rejected
Christ, the only sacrifice for sin.
27. There remains instead a
looking for of judgment. Cut off from hope of salvation by
rejecting Christ, one has only judgment and punishment to look forward
28. He that despised Moses' law. He who wilfully rebelled
against the law of Moses had no remission. When proved guilty by two or
three witnesses his fate was death. See
Num. 15:30-36; Deut. 13:6-10.
There was mercy for the ignorant, the mistaken, those "overtaken,"
but not for the deliberate despiser.
29. Of how much sorer punishment. Where much is given much is
required. How great the sin of the apostate!
Trodden under foot the Son of God. Despised him instead of
Counted the blood of the covenant, the blood of Christ, the
blood by which he was
sanctified (cleansed from the guilt of sin), treated this blood
as if it was unholy.
Done despite unto the spirit of
grace. Rejected all the work, the words, the preaching, the
pleadings of the Holy Spirit.
30. We know him that hath said. We know what God hath said. He
promises vengeance and judgment upon sinners.
The Lord shall judge. See
31. It is a fearful thing, etc. A fearful thing for the sinner
who has despised God's mercy; for the apostate who has trampled it
32-36. Call to remembrance the former days. Some former day of
persecution, after they were
enlightened (Revision) by the gospel. Possibly the great
persecution at the death of Stephen
is referred to, or that of
33. Made a gazing stock. Looked upon with reproach, abused and
Companions. Sharing the suffering of those who were
34. For ye had compassion on them in bonds (Revision). And
actively showed their sympathy.
Took joyfully the spoiling of your goods. The losses made
necessary by becoming Christians.
Knowing. Knowing that if they lost on earth they would gain in
35. Cast not away therefore. In as much as formerly ye endured
so well, be faithful now. Some great period of trial was evidently
36. For ye have need of patience. Patience is an essential
element of patient endurance. See
37-39. For yet a little while. Quoted from
Habakkuk, chapter 2,
and applied to Christ. Soon Christ will come, either in person or by
his providence, in such a way as to bring relief. He did thus come very
soon after and ended Jewish persecution by the overthrow of the nation.
This is a frequent sense of oft-repeated allusions to the coming of the
Lord found both in the Old Testament and New Testament. See
Habakkuk, chapter 2.
The passage there quoted refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by
Nebuchadnezzar, and is here applied to the destruction by the
38. Now the just shall live by faith.
Those who continued to walk in the full assurance of faith
shall live by faith.
If any man draw back. He who draws back through fear, or because
of trial, in him God hath no pleasure. See
39. But we are not of them. The apostle has confidence that the
Hebrew saints are of those who "shall live by faith"
rather than those who draw back to
perdition. He that draweth back is lost.