OUR FATHER WHOSE GREAT SACRIFICE MAKES US PERFECT FOREVER
Hebrews chapter 10 (x16) verse 14 says this;
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
The sacrifice being spoken of in this verse is the sacrifice of the life of the Lord Jesus where, as the sinless lamb of God, he was slain to pay the price to redeem all who believed.
This one sacrifice made by God was of such perfection that it was sufficient to perfect those who are being made holy.
A sacrifice is understood to mean the giving up of something of value to gain something for someone else's sake.
The more valuable what is being given is to the giver, the greater the quality of the sacrifice.
If, for example, I give one of my ten coats to help a family member without one, it is a sacrifice but not an extremely notable one. On the other hand, if I were to give my enemy my only coat in winter, the sacrifice would be greater because it would entail a greater cost and risk to the giver.
In the case of Jesus' sacrifice, He was the only begotten Son of God. He was the only being who was the exact and perfect representation of God, the precise portrayal of God by God.
Jesus' sacrifice was the giving of the life of this infinitely valuable perfect person to pay for the sins of the enemies of God so that some of them may be saved if they believed.
The gift that those who believe get from this great sacrifice is that they, having been bought out of sin and death, are then made perfect forever.
Considering the extreme value of this gift, it would be worth surrendering everything in our lives to step forward and believe in what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross, and follow Him.
He is indeed no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he can never lose.
“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Go to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down.
You will not escape from his grasp but will surely be captured and given into his hands. You will see the king of Babylon with your own eyes, and he will speak with you face to face. And you will go to Babylon.
The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had undertaken war against the kingdom of Judah and had conquered most of the country and now surrounded Jerusalem where the king of Judah named Zedekiah, was fortified against the siege.
While in this tense stand-off with the Babylonians, the prophet Jeremiah was sent by the Lord to give a message to the king, Zedekiah.
The prophet told Zedekiah that his resistance against Nebuchadnezzar was futile and that Jerusalem would be overrun and burned down. Furthermore, Zedekiah was informed that he himself would be captured and taken to Babylon.
The Lord's word of reassurance to king Zedekiah was that even though he was to be captured and taken to Babylon, he would still live in the dignity of his office as king and that he would be buried with honors in Babylon.
Now, King Zedekiah and the nobles of Jerusalem had made a covenant with each other regarding their Hebrew slaves. They agreed to free them as the siege against them set in. They repented before the Lord for not keeping the law of God which stipulated that every person who held Hebrew slaves was to free them after six years. The nobles of Jerusalem had not done this up to that point but the Lord accepted their repentance and their freeing of the slaves.
Soon after however, those who made the covenant changed their minds and forced their freed slaves back into slavery.
The Lord was angered by this breaking of the covenant that was made and the re-enslaving of the people who had already been freed to choose their own path.
Because of the treachery of Zedekiah and the nobles, the original judgement against Jerusalem, which was difficult but tolerable, was changed to a brutal and ultimately fatal collision with the king of Babylon.
Treating human beings of humble means treacherously will invite an escalation of judgement from the Lord that may not be survivable.
Let us be careful to treat others fairly no matter what their stations in life are.
God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your
The verse quotes Psalm 95 verse 11 where David adjures his audience not to harden their hearts if they hear the Lord's voice.
The literary use of the word "today" by the Lord in this verse is to make an offer to anyone who would hear it at any time at the present or the future.
This standing offer is made to God's people when they hear the good news. Whereas some hear the good news and harden their hearts and decline the offer, others hear the good news and believe and they enter God's rest.
They can rest from their works because they accepted the standing offer of the gospel and believed.
“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will repay him for despising my oath and breaking my covenant.
This verse contains the words of judgement upon the king of Judah who had made a treaty with the king of Babylon and then broke it.
After conquering Judah, the king of Babylon had installed a king in Jerusalem to rule over Judah as his proxy but this king, unauthorised by the Lord, decided to rebel against the king of Babylon and sent envoys to Egypt to get military help in his quest to shake off the Babylonian masters.
Even though the proxy king shook hands on the treaty with the king of Babylon, the treaty was between the God of Israel and the King of Babylon so when the proxy king broke the covenant, he was actually breaking it on behalf of the Lord and this breach brought down severe judgment on Judah where many of the nobles of Judah were taken away to Babylon and many were killed. The armies of Judah had numerous soldiers slain and the rest were scattered.
Thus, the rebellious kingdom of Judah was left in utter ruins for their disregard of the Lord's covenant.
“‘I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you.
This verse in Ezekiel is a detail of the revelation of what condition the Lord found His people.
Before the Lord found them, the people were in a forsaken and abandoned state. They were injured and naked as they struggled in their own blood unable to restore themselves.
The Lord saw them and was compassionate towards them and declared that they should live and then they were able to grow.
The Lord, in accepting the people as His, then washed them with water, rinsed their blood off them and anointed them with oil to heal them.
This is reminiscent of the story of the good Samaritan that Jesus our Lord told.
There was a man who was accosted by robbers and he was beaten and left naked and half dead on the side of the road. The good Samaritan, passing by, saw the injured man and took pity on him. The Samaritan stopped to help and cleaned and bandaged his wounds and anointed them with oil and wine. He then made provision for the injured man to have shelter and a place to recover.
The Lord, in redeeming us, is like the good Samaritan. He finds us in a lost and damaged state and He cares for us by cleansing us and annointing and binding our wounds to heal us and restore us back to life.
Bless the Lord who saved us. With his own resources He provided for us.