SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST'S SACRIFICE
All these sacrifices of the Old Testament were wonderful, and greater than any alternative then... but they were only shadows of what the Lord was going to do for us in His own sacrifice...
The sacrifice of Jesus literally TAKES AWAY SIN...
"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For they would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience for sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou has no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me.) to do Thy will, O God. Above when He said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin Thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law: Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that He might establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified though the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
We need a better sacrifice than the old covenant sacrifices which were inferior. They had become empty rituals.
"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the Lord. I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts, and I delight not int he blood of bullocks or of lambs, or of he goats. Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me, when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes..."
They were only a "shadow" of the true sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The animal sacrifices could not deal with guilt, for they only covered sins, but Christ cleansed sins.
God had "no pleasure" in the old covenant sacrifices... God delighted not in the sacrifices, but He delighted in the obedient faith of the sacrificer... God longed for the time when Christ came to fulfil what these other sacrifices were only representative.
The sacrifice of Christ DOES NOT NEED TO BE REPEATED.
"And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God. From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. For by one offering He had perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us; for after that He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them. And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin."
Jesus "sat down" for His work of sacrifice was totally completed. The old sacrifices never were done... but His work is done... With Christ's sacrifice, all is forgiven, guilt is totally gone.
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ OPENS THE WAY TO GOD.
Before we could not enter into the Holy of Holies... but now we can "draw near... and hold fast"... (See Hebrews 10:19-39). A sacrifice of the Old Testament needed to often be repeated, but Jesus "sat down" and we can boldly now enter into the holy presence of God... There is a solemn warning (Hebrews 10:26-31) telling the hearers of Paul's message here in Hebrews that to despise this plan of God, and to prefer the former sacrifices will result in loss of salvation.
To sacrifice as they did in the Old Testament, was to "tread underfoot" the sacrifice of Jesus. This is a willful sin, and it is a horrible sin.
I John 5:16
"There is a sin unto death."
God deals with willful sinners... for God said "Vengeance belongeth to Me..." We should know that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
Encouragement follows the warning...
"But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions..."