Hi, guys. This is my family. Welcome to Church, by the way. But my name is Tyler, and more important, I’m just glad to be back. It’s been a bit. I’ve been out for a bit. I’ve been in London, Birmingham, England, the UK, all over the place, and I think my family finally caught up on sleep. But it’s just good to be back. And we’ve missed you guys, so it’s just good to see all of you.
I wanted to share a couple of pictures because we went for my brother’s wedding, and it was a really great time. I don’t know how many trains, planes, and automobiles we took to get there, but it was a long trip with two kids, but it was incredible. And yes, we went on a double decker bus. We went on one of those red ones. I went into a red telephone booth. I tried to get my mom to fit in with me, but I was the only one that wanted to do it, but everyone wanted to eat the scones and drink the tea. And it was just a really fun time. In the Church there in Birmingham, they were just so welcoming to us. So we got to welcome my new sister. Her name is Chids. This is Brandon and Chids. And I think that they’re back from Greece. I think they went for their honeymoon, but it was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever been to. And I’m really proud of my brother because I just think the way that they dated, he’s 30 and I mean, whatever. But I’ve been married for eight years, and I think when you’re so close to someone and he just is like, when is my turn?
I think he’s just a great example of waiting well and waiting well, laying a solid foundation that their marriage is really going to glorify God and really has. I remember at the end of the vows, the preacher was like, what you just heard is how Jesus feels about his Church. And so, it was really moving, and it’s amazing. I got to be the best man being so close to my brother. And one of the cool things was that we got to go to a Barber shop. And I’ve actually never been to a Barber shop before. My brother was always my Barber growing up, and we would just shave each other’s heads. We’ve been through countless buzzers, we call them. But they use the straight edge razor and was a little bit nervous with that. But what I thought was like, man, this is the real thing, a professional. Why does someone like me need to go to get a haircut?
But for a wedding, we did it, and I was hoping maybe it just wouldn’t grow back. Maybe this magical experience would just be once and for all and just done. But that’s just not the way hair works.
Maybe if Jesus was my Barber. It would be Once and for all, but that’s the way Jesus is. But I had a really great time. I miss him, and I think they’re just doing great over there. But our title today is Once for all, because Jesus is better. And when he does anything, it’s better. But our text, you should turn there. It’s Hebrews ten, verses one through 18.
So if you’re there with us online, it seems like there might be a few extra today that are with us online, that’s great.
But today we’re going to talk about how his perfect sacrifice was once and for all. And the journey through this book so far, it’s been really awesome. I wanted to kind of provide an outline of where we’ve been and where you are today. Being in the middle of chapter ten, we’re literally like in the middle of the book, even though the book’s got 13 chapters, this is kind of a shifting and turning point in this book. We’ve gone through in great detail how Jesus is better than anyone. Anyone you pit him against, he comes out on top all the time. Jesus is the best.
And in the last couple of chapters, chapters eight through ten, we’ve talked a lot about how what Jesus does is better than anything anyone does. He does it better. He does the priesthood better. He has a better Ministry. He has a better sacrifice. He provides a better Covenant, all of these things. And he’s kind of gone in circles around and around. And he said these themes again and again. So if you feel like these sermons are a little repetitive, we get it. He’s better. He said that for months. You can’t say it enough. And we’re saying it because this author wants to say it again and again and again. So today, though, is the reiteration. It’s a reiteration. It’s going to sound familiar, but it’s an advancement in the book, and it’s also the conclusion of kind of his thesis that Jesus is better and it focuses on his sacrifice. So we’ve gotten to this checkpoint, right? This is who Jesus is. And now we’re shifting towards next week, we’ll shift towards therefore, this is how it plays out for you.
What should your life look like? And if Jesus is a better everything, then he has a better way of living.
And we’ll have laid the foundation for all of that today. So this is where we’re going to rest our case right?
Today, the case will be made. Jesus is amazing.
He’s better in every way.
I love this Psalm. I know it’s a hymn, really, and it says it really well. We’ve sung this from time to time. If you’re younger, it’s just good to have the lyrics for you. But it says so eloquently I think what we’ve been trying to say with Hebrews. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face.
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and Grace. And I do hope that his glory and his Grace are weighing a little heavier in your heart as you think about Jesus. We can think, wow, Jesus like we’ve heard that name. But we can lose touch with the weight of his glory, the weight of who he is. And if you remember, biblically speaking, anytime someone approaches the presence of God, they don’t do it lightly when they come face to face with Jesus, like Peter in Luke, chapter five. What does he say? He’s like, Lord, Lord, go away from me. He says this begging on his knees in a boat, for I am a sinful man. And the more closer we get to perfection, the more we feel our flaws. And we just know we are not fit to be there, to be in that presence. Peter’s eyes are open to how great Jesus is. And I hope your eyes have been opened wider, if not anything.
How great, how Holy, how majestic is his name and his presence. It’s a fearsome thing. There’s a place for trembling and fear in the presence of a perfect God.
So if your eyes are still a little blind or just a little dim, may today be one last time and another opportunity that you can wake up to how Jesus is amazing. So let’s start reading, okay? In Hebrews chapter ten.
The law or the old way laid out in the Old Testament is only a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the realities themselves. For this reason, it could never by the same sacrifices, repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshippers would have been cleansed once for all and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It’s impossible for the blood of Bulls and goats to take away sins.
We’ll pause here, but he’s basically saying like the Old Testament, it wasn’t sufficient. It needed, the way that they atoned for sins was an ongoing, continually inadequate. Okay, let’s do it again. We’re going back to the altar again and again and again. And I do think God with his plan, you see hints throughout the whole Old Testament that he had something better in mind. And so it does hint that there’s something more than this old system.
It’s just a shadow. It’s nothing more. It’s nothing substantive. And shadows really don’t do much, do they?
Right? They mimic. They have some good outlines that they give you a hint. Some shadows are awesome. Silhouette photos are beautiful, but they’re not the real thing. If it was freezing in here, you would want actual firewood to go around a bonfire. You wouldn’t want just the shadow of a log, right?
God set the system up to point to what actually works, because it was again and again this sacrifice maybe this would get the picture. The word for atonement, CoFAR, it literally meant to cover. So to cover, to make atonement for sins. It was like a bandaid. It was a covering, nothing more. It didn’t actually treat the infection or treat the wound. It just glazed over. It kept it okay for a bit.
Got soggy throw it away. It was a gross depiction, right? Blood is disgusting. But God decided that, man, all of this was going to point to something better because the problem was all of this bloodshed, all of this sacrifice, it really couldn’t actually take away the sin.
It just covered it.
It couldn’t remove it. It was again and again, kind of like just a treadmill. When does this end? When does this stop? Sacrifice after sacrifice. So what we really need and what we really have in Jesus is someone who takes away our sin.
And that’s the amazingness of his better sacrifice. Taking away his sin, it’s like just remove it completely.
And that’s what Jesus does. Let’s keep going.
So the point from the first few verses was it didn’t cut it. And the fact that it kept going meant we need something better.
Therefore, therefore, verse five, when Christ came into the world, he said, now and we’re going to quote from Psalm 40, Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.
With burnt offerings and sin offerings you are not pleased. Then I said, Here I am. It is written about me in the scroll.
I have come to do your will, my God.
First he said, Sacrifice 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.
Then he said, Here I am. I have come to do your will.
He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ. Once for all.
He comes just as Psalm 40. And way earlier in your Bible prophesied about, he comes to replace the old way with a new way, God’s old will with his new will.
And there’s hints all along the Bible that God ultimately didn’t desire animal sacrifice. But what does it say? Rather, a body.
A body meaning Jesus body. This is what he wanted.
This is what he knew would be the real way forward. And Jesus, he’s a better man than me because he answers that call, doesn’t he? Would you answer that call if you knew? You’re sitting by God’s right hand in the throne room and he’s like, I want a body.
And Jesus is like, okay, I’m going.
To take up the call and I will be the body that will bring in this new Covenant. That’s a lot of love. That’s a lot of bravery. And I do think there was a surrender like the scripture is talking about two different Wills. There’s God’s will. And then Jesus aligning his will to God’s will. So they’re in line. And you can see it in the Bible when Jesus is about to go to the cross, remember when he’s in that garden and he’s just agonizing over like, Lord, I don’t want to go through all that the crucifixion represents, like the severing of me and you, the crucifixion, all of that God. Total abandonment, taking on the weight of the sin of the world. I don’t want to. But by the time he got up, that was what he wanted to do. He walked into it.
He said, Arise, let’s do this. Your what be done? Will. Yeah.
All the way to the point of saying it’s finished. Like it is done once and for all. And when he said it’s finished, it’s what he meant, it’s done. And because like the scripture here says, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. It really is finished. This is the good news. This is the good news.
If you keep reading verse eleven. We’ll finish our section here. Day after day, every priest stands and performs his religious duties again and again and again. And he offers the same sacrifice which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. And since that time, he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made Holy.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First, he says, this is the Covenant I’ll make with them.
After that time, says, Lord, I will put my law in their hearts and I will write them on their minds.
Then he adds, Their sins and lawless acts, I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
And if you look closely, you’ll see the contrast between the better sacrifice and the less the better sacrifice, right?
That the priests of the old Covenant, it says that they stood because they were always busy. Someone was always up to no good. Even in their hearts they were sinning. We know this experientially like this is our experience. We’re so drawn towards sin. So they had to do this again and again and again. Always more to do. Always more sin to cover. So many animals, right?
Yet his better sacrifice was once he’s one and done. He’s over with. And it is effective even now.
It says for all time.
And it was even effective, it’s almost like this explosion that goes if you see the timeline, it’s like BC and Ad. Jesus blood covers. I don’t want to be too graphic, right. But it does cover retroactively. All those who were under an animal system of sacrifice we realized from the scripture it was a placebo, right?
It wasn’t really working, but Jesus’s blood is the magic sauce for all of that. Amen. All right.
So. Wonderworking power in the blood of Jesus.
This is the real cleansing. And it’s actually what we need to be in the presence of a perfect God. Because a perfect God requires perfect company. And his Holiness, it demands perfection. And here we see that Jesus is making a way for perfection. If you look closely, you’ll have seen this concern in the scripture with people being perfect. The word comes up quite a bit. More, maybe like the concern that people aren’t perfect.
That’s the concern.
And I want us just to meditate on that. That’s kind of a big theme here. We got to meditate on this word, because this word, like the reality of that word, it’s kind of lost on us. It’s only something we aim for, but we never get to in our lives. I mean, what even is perfect? The closest thing I could think of was, like the Hubble telescope. I remember when they made the mirror that could look billions of miles into the universe. They had to Polish that thing forever. I was just astounded at what it meant to make a perfect piece of glass, like a mirror. I’m out of touch with that. I didn’t expect to say that, so I’m probably wrong on all of that, but perfection is the point.
Imagine perfection even just looking at the man in the mirror.
We know so much of our life is aimed at chasing. Defined, it’s completely free from fault or defect.
Or as close to such a condition as possible.
And I think about how this is like this elusive bar of soap that you just can’t hold on to. You try. But perfection is kind of out of your grasp, and we want it. We’re trying. We want to at least cover and hide up over our weaknesses, right? At least we’ll paint over and decorate our blemishes. But just our whole lives. Even if you’re at whatever grade you’re in, you’re probably aiming for straight A’s, right? That’s the goal. That’s the standard. The president’s list. If you’re an art school, maybe the perfect circle. One time our teacher said, you got ten minutes to draw one circle. I was like. And then he said, they’re all bad. And it’s like, yeah, we can’t do it. Or your eyesight, I can’t see. I really can’t. Brush your teeth. Have the perfect teeth.
Just craft that perfect resume. You want that job, that perfect dream job. So you need the perfect impression. Sorry, there’s going to be a lot of that this morning, because the word perfect, I’m going to make it pop. I like that.
With the perfect wedding, perfect guy, perfect girl. Find the perfect home.
And I think about a perfect omelet. I sure can’t make a perfect omelet. It’s the most trivial things to the most serious things in our life.
We do aim for perfection, don’t we? We want to be a perfect dad. When you become a dad and you’re like, I got to be perfect for you. When you see that child, you want to be the best you can, and then you realize after they cry and cry and cry that you have a limit and you are not perfectly patient, and it just goes on. And you can’t come back from messing up once if perfect is what you want.
But we’re wired that we were designed for excellence, but we know we’ve blown it. So with our sin stained hands, perfection is just not in our grasp. It’s out of reach. That’s why we call it missing the Mark. That’s what sin is. It’s missing that Mark, the Mark of perfection.
And we know from the Old Testament that an imperfect person can’t stand in the presence of God without a covering for his sin, at least a bandaid right?
That’s why Jesus steps on the scene, and he gives us confidence that his perfection is going to count for us. As we approach this inevitable approach that we have to meet face to face with the perfect God.
We do have to meet face to face with God. And that’s a little scary, even if you’re like, all right, jesus’s blood. I’m trusting in him.
I have my faith in him, and that’S all I can bring. It’s still a terrifying thing to encounter.
And I hope that you feel that. And I hope from the scripture, you realize you can be ready for that. There’s just one verse I want to Hone in on today and focus on, and it gets to the heart of this section. It’s verse 14, and I just want to spend the rest of our time on that this morning, okay?
Verse 14. For by one sacrifice, he has made perfect forever those who are being made Holy.
This is your memory scripture this week and next week when Marcus comes back, he’s in the southwest region today, he can quiz you on it. But I do think you’re going to want to carry it with you this week.
Because it’s just mind blowing when you grasp this.
And there’s a couple of words I think that are going to be helpful to clarify, and so let’s do that. The first one is sacrifice.
One very specific sacrifice has been, it’s the reason that we’re perfect. One specific sacrifice. It’s bought our perfection.
It wasn’t a Bull. It wasn’t a sheep, a dove, a lamb.
No. Verse ten names it specifically. Says in verse ten, we have been made Holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
The body of Christ with all the blood in his veins, that was the sacrifice given to you. And that’s what makes you perfect.
And I will say this without being too gory.
Probably already used up too many tokens with that.
But I do think we’re out of touch with blood. And honestly, I’m kind of queasy with blood. I’ve developed this aversion of blood. It started with, like, nine months of wondering what pregnancy and what the birthday would be like. I think I worked myself into a frenzy. But to be truth be told, sacrifice was a very bloody, bloody thing.
It literally is lifeblood being given for someone else. And you just got to be in touch with the fact that this is actual blood we’re talking about. This is actual life exchanged one for the other, like a blood transfusion. If you’ve ever had one to save your life, you’re in touch with the reality that real blood needs to be shed for you to be okay or offered somehow.
And that is the case with Jesus. I think sometimes we can think of him as, like a piece of metal welded to a cross, and it’s just more of, like a theory because we see so much iconography and pictures. But this is real. This wasn’t just red paint on a painting. This was actual human offering for us in our place. And that’s a lot. So for by one sacrifice, it says he has made perfect. The other word I want to say is he has made perfect.
That’s one verb in Greek, it’s one word, and we get four here in English. But the one who is doing the perfecting is Christ himself. Like, it is his perfecting. His touch personally and completely. It’s not like an exchange has been made, now you’re going to be perfected on the side, or he’s bought that process. He has an active part in doing that process. Jesus’hands, his fingerprints are all over that. And in Hebrews twelve, we’ll get there soon. It calls Jesus our Perfector. And in Hebrew six, he’s already been called our Perfector. He is our Perfector. Finally, thoroughly, completely through and through, Jesus makes us perfect. 100% perfect, nothing less. Or we wouldn’t be perfect. That’s the status of those who are his.
You’re perfect now if you’re his.
So that’s kind of a weird thing to say, though. You’re like, Dude, you don’t even know how many curse words like, went through my head just like the hour getting here. You don’t even know what’s brewing in my heart. How can you say I’m perfect? I know I’m a Christian, but, man, I can hardly hope that I’ll get through my day without sinning, because that’s just our battle with sin.
So what does it even mean, perfect?
Do we ever sin? We know we do, but are we done sinning? Thank you, Tyler, for Hebrews 10:14. Now I know I’m done sinning.
That’s not really what I’m saying. You know I’m lying. You know you’re going to sin again.
I don’t even know if you think you’re ready to sin.
I know I’m running towards sin as soon as this is over. Who knows? But what I’m saying is, if perfection looks different than one and done with sin right now.
Okay, so verse 17 kind of gives us the idea. Verse 17, if you look there, he says, he elaborates. He’s like, I will remember their sins no more.
I will remember them no more.
He’s going to clear them from our record.
That’s what he has done. This is the present perfect tense.
He has perfected. He has cleared them from our record.
As he has already given the sacrifice.
They won’t be brought up before God. We will know that Jesus is with us. He’s going to be there in the presence of God, and they won’t be brought up. We will be free and perfected. Our sin is spoken for forever. It’s forgotten.
That’s an amazing reality. That’s what perfect means.
So the last thing is the question here is, who is made perfect by this offering? I want to expand on that. And one of the other words here is being made Holy. Also, one word, one verb. Is it you? Is it me? Who is perfect?
Who is perfect in God’s sight?
And the last word here, this word, hagiazomenos. Got it.
One word. When translated, it gives us these three words: being made Holy.
And the answer of who is made perfect with this offering is just read the scripture again for those for by one sacrifice, he’s made perfect forever those who are being made Holy.
Important to note the tense here. It’s the present tense. It’s an ongoing current reality.
Those who are being made holy right now. The NIV gets it right. Maybe some of your translations don’t put the emphasis that this is a current reality, but it is. In other words, he’s made Holy those who are now being made Holy.
Now maybe a bit mind boggling, but what I mean is that they’re being made Holy should be ongoing. It should be happening. It’s not a thing of the past. That’s not the once and for all of us being made Holy. That’s a process that’s never complete.
And it’s called sanctification. Maybe your version actually says those who are sanctified. It’s not something just happens when you’re baptized either. Yeah, it definitely is. You should be at a place where you’re man, I want Jesus is lord. That’s really the requirement. A true Jesus Lord experience for baptism. And that’s the beginning of a journey. But that is just a beginning of a journey. Being made Holy is happening day after day after day, and you encounter temptation and sin, and it’s like God is refining you right?
Year after year, on your first year as a Christian and on your 50th year as a Christian. I want to make it to my 50th year as a Christian. And I want to still be being made holy.
It’s not over. It’s a process. So here’s your question. That you got to look deep and dive deep and ask yourself, are you looking more and more and more like Jesus? Or less like Jesus as life goes on.
This is a good question to ask if you’re actually even actually a disciple, actually truly a Christian. It’s a process and it doesn’t end. Is your life rooted in abiding in Jesus that allows him to guide your way towards him? It’s not clarification. It’s not about being a good person in any sense.
Who cares? Good person.
That is not a biblical theme in any sense. But anyone outside of the Church context thinks Church is about being good. That is nowhere in the Bible. It’s about sanctification. It’s about becoming like a specific person, like about Jesus. Because a good person is just an arbitrary standard. And it does shift as culture shifts. Good is very different than good was ten years ago.
Good, it changes. It’s worldly ethics, right? Instead of trying to think, what am I supposed to do in the eyes of culture that is good to be on the top of that? Just look at Jesus.
He never changes. He’s the same once and for all. So this is about being made Holy.
And if it describes you today, I just want to encourage you.
You can walk out of here knowing that in God’s eyes, you are perfect. You are perfectly imperfect. Your reality it might be different than how God sees you.
I mean, even if you’re still wrestling with sin at this very minute, maybe you put hit pause right on that argument in the car with your wife or your husband or your friend or your roommate or whatever. Maybe you showed some disrespect and you still need to make that right. Maybe you’ve lied someone and you’re kind of holding it up and you need to come clean with someone. You really do. Maybe this has been an ongoing thing. I don’t know. And you need to come into the light. Or maybe you actually have pornography on your computer at home right now.
Just kind of tucked away on some browser hidden.
That could be the case where your heart is just selfish, man, I’m here. None of my friends are here. It’s kind of like, Where is everyone? I’m just leaving. And your heart just kind of poised selfishly. I don’t know what it is. I’ve given a big spectrum, but fill in the blank, please. Where your heart is at. There’s something that it could be anything. And there likely is something you’re wrestling with, right?
But I guess what I’m saying is it doesn’t matter where you’re at so much as if you’re on a trajectory, actually. Like, everyone starts somewhere different in their journey. But are you being made Holy? Is the scripture and God’s law, like the end of our verse here says, written on your heart so that you can are in touch with what God wants.
And are you responding in kind?
Wow. I need to do something about that. I need to be transformed because the Spirit is wanting to change me. No one has arrived at total Holiness.
No one has.
But if you’re merely on your way, on a trajectory that is aimed and propelled by the Holy Spirit, following his ways that are written on your heart, then you are perfect.
That’s what this is saying.
And if that’s not you, then ask someone to point you in the right direction. And we’re not asking for you to be flawless. You know you. But we can help each other to point each other towards Jesus.
And sometimes the Spirit uses a brother to nudge and point us that way. Are you responding to that?
Let Jesus be your Perfector.
So if you walk away with anything today, I want it to be this, that a perfect sacrifice has been given once and for all on your behalf.
And now, because of that, you are perfect. If you abide and follow Christ imperfectly yet persistently, this is how God sees you. It is.
And I think you do well to see yourself that same way and to see your brothers and sisters that same way through God’s eyes.
So as we close right now, we’ll just listen to how Paul puts his wrestling with perfection and imperfection into words. And it’s in Philippians chapter three.
I want to read as we close for Communion, verse twelve. Phillipians 3:12
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection, but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it. But I focus this on one thing. Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us.
And with that, let’s pray as we realize the perfection that Christ has achieved for us that allows us to enter the presence of a perfect God, even just in prayer. Amen. Let’s pray, Father in heaven, God, we are so grateful that you see us as perfect, that Jesus blood can cover all of our blemishes. Not only cover, but take them away.
And God, that they would be forgotten, Lord, even as they plague us all the things that I just wish I could forget. God, you will do that. And you will help me to do that myself. What a Grace to me that your blood would go so far. And I’m so grateful, God, for what that means for our life going forward. Help us to respond as you’re to your spirit as you prompt us and guide us and help us to step with you.
In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.