1. 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…8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
The challenge of so many words of simple truth repeated in slightly different ways made this chapter seem complicated to me. I finally had to re-read these 14 verses in the light of a 3-point philosophy of writing I learned way back in junior high. My “aha” moment came when I realized that Simplicity and Complexity have to coexist in the life of a believer.
1 – Tell them what you’re going to tell them:
• “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—…”
2 – Tell them what you want to tell them:
• “…we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
3 – Tell them what you’ve told them:
• “For by one sacrifice he [Christ] has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”
There’s more to these words than just reading and agreeing. The simple part is the truth that “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The complex part is recognizing that within us the deep and mysterious truth of “once and for all” and “made perfect forever” coexists with the reality of our life; we are still “being made holy.”