Better Than A Shadow (Hebrews Series “Better than”)

girl-afraid-shadow-today-tease-150911_5d1a13fac7bc2283c53df9f3d9cbd4b3Morning Communion Message

As we come to our Lord’s Table I wanted to read something to you from Hebrews chapter 10. Hebrews chapter 10 is a summary of all that we have learned in the Book up to this point. Please listen as I read and talk about the text:

Hebrews 10:1 (KJV) 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.

The Law of Moses is a SHADOW of good things TO COME.
A SHADOW is an absence of light.

I saw a little girl the other day in the park walking with her mom. Every other step she would jump forward, straining to catch her shadow. He mother smiled. “Are you trying to catch your shadow honey? You can’t.” But the child kept trying. A shadow cannot be caught. It has no substance. It is real, but cannot be touched. The Law was a shadow of GOOD THINGS to come. As a shadow, the Law could not make those who came to it PERFECT. And you need to be PERFECT to be with God.

Hebrews 10:2-4 (KJV) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

A SHADOW cannot make perfect. An ANIMAL cannot pay for man’s sins.

The SHADOW of the Law reminded God’s people that they were sinners. You see that word REMEMBRANCE. The Law reminded us. It reminds us still. It is a REMEMBRANCER.

Hebrews 10:5-10 (KJV) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 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; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The SHADOW could not save, so God the Son came to this earth to do God’s Will.
The SHADOW was the glory of God shining behind Christ. The Law was Christ’s SHADOW.

God had no pleasure in the sacrifices of the Law. An animal cannot pay for the sins of a non-animal. We are not animals. We are created in God’s image. Christ came to do the will of God, to remove the SHADOW of the Law for those who would receive the REALITY. Jesus Christ is the REALITY. We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

13_better_than_tetelestai

In Roman times when a person was convicted of a crime their criminal act was written on a parchment and nailed to the prison door. Until that crime was paid for the sign stayed up so that all could see your punishment was just. But when the crime was completely paid for the word “Tetelestai” was written on the document by the judge. The same was true of debts owed. The Greek-English Lexicon by Moulton and Milliagan states:

Receipts are often introduced by the phrase [sic] tetelestai, usually written in an abbreviated manner…” (p. 630). 

The day that Jesus died on the Cross on of the last words He spoke was tetelestai or “it is finished”.

John 19:30 (KJV) … Jesus … said, It is finished:
and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

The Greek tetelestai is in the Perfect Tense meaning the action was completed, and the result of that action is ongoing and with full effect. What Jesus did on Calvary was completely pay for our sins. Back to Hebrews …

Hebrews 10:11-14 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

We are set apart unto God by the Blood of Christ. When we received Christ as Lord and Savior, confessing with the mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we were saved (Romans 10:9-10). We were saved not by our actions, but by His actions.

The Law is a REMEMBRANCE of our sinfulness.
But we come to another REMEMBRANCE today.
We come to the Lord’s Table.

Luke 22:19 (KJV) …. this do in remembrance of me.

When we come to the Lord’s Table we remember that we are flawed creatures who love a flawless God. We remember that Jesus was broken for us. We remember that He suffered and died once for all to bring us to God. We remember that He rose again, and is the Master of His Church and of His people. We remember. Let us all prepare our hearts for this Table.

Will our Deacons and Assistants come forward and help with the preparation of the Lord’s Table?

Evening Message

Hebrews 10:14-20 (KJV) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 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; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

I stood waiting in line the other day (I always pick the worst lines to wait in) trying to keep a good attitude. My turn finally came, and thankfully I was able to pay for what I had. As I got ready to leave I told the lady in line behind me “Have a blessed day”. She replied, “I will, if they ever wait on me!”

This lady was saying was that her happiness or blessedness is based on what another human agency did. Now that is strange! I cannot base my happiness on what another human agency does. We are all flawed creatures, subject to doing foolish things. I really shouldn’t base my happiness on what I MYSELF DO. My Joy should be ever focused on my God, my Savior, my Lord!

1 Our Joy Should Be In God Because God Profoundly Showed His Love For Us At The Cross. The Scripture says:

Hebrews 10:14 (KJV) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

  • By ONE Offering. God offered Himself for us. The Bible tells us that God offered Himself for us. The Perfect offered Himself for the flawed. No one made the Father do what He did. The Bible says:

John 3:16-17 (KJV)   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.   [17]   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

God had every right to condemn the world. In Noah’s Day God condemned the world for its corruption and sinfulness. God did not have to send His Son to pay the penalty of our sin. But He did. God sent His Son to this world so that the world MIGHT be saved. He did not force salvation on any, but offers salvation to whosoever will. This is an OFFERING. None are forced to it, but whosoever will may come unto Him.

  • By ONE Offering. No one forced Jesus to come from Heaven to this earth. Jesus said:

John 6:37-40 (ESV) All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Jesus willingly came down from Heaven on a mission from God. He came to save. No one forced Him to go to the Cross. As Max Lucado once said, and I paraphrase,

He chose the nails.

Jesus Christ chose the nails. He chose the shame. He chose being abandoned. He chose the beating. He chose the humiliation. He chose it. And if you choose to believe and receive Him, then He chooses to make you His Child.

John 10:18 (NLT) No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.

Hebrews 10:14 (KJV) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

  • He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. We do not perfect ourselves through the Cross, but God perfects us through the Cross. His sacrifice on Calvary pays for our sins. His sacrifices does not JUSTIFY sin. No, sin is wrong, and sin will always be wrong. We who are His are to run from sin, and to acknowledge and agree with God on sin. The Bible says:

Ezekiel 18:20 (KJV) The soul that sinneth, it shall die. ..

Romans 6:23 (KJV) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sin is to do that which God considers unnatural and ungodly. Sin always leads to death. Sexual sin leads to death, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Lying leads to death. Do you know that the Bible says there will be no liars in Heaven?

Revelation 22:15 (NAS) Outside {of Heaven} are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

God does not justify sin, but He justifies or makes right the sinner. How does He do this? He pays for our sins on the Cross. What does our text say?

Hebrews 10:17-18 (KJV) “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. {18} Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

God said “I’ll forget your sins and iniquities” like they never happened. Well now, that’s a wonderful thing. How do we reach this state, Lord? What work can I do? What thing can I achieve for you? If I can get in that state where you have, as the Greek text says, me eti, no more remembrance of me as an enemy of Yours, no more a reminder that I was not just as sinner, but I was also a law breaker – just as we all are sinners and law breakers.

The Blood of the Cross paid the penalty for our sins. Where sins are remitted – paid for – there is no more offering for sins. The Child of God born into His Kingdom by faith in Christ stands clean before God.

2 Our Joy Should Be In God Because God Profoundly Shows His Love For Us By Binding To The Believer. In the Old Testament the Law was written on tablets of stone, then later on animal skins and parchment (early paper). The Law was EXTERNAL. But God promises under the New Testament …

Hebrews 10:16 (KJV) … 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;

God puts His Laws into our hearts. God cleans us up. He starts a work in us that does not stop until the day we enter yonder Heaven. Like a Parent – or a Potter – God the Holy Spirit enters the framework of our souls and begins to change the Child of God. The Prophet said:

Isaiah 64:8 (KJV) “But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”

I remember when I was a little boy I hated to take a bath! I just spent a long day playing in the fields and in the woods, running and climbing and jumping and climbing trees. I used to climb those pine trees and get that old pine sap all over me, on my hands and feet, on my clothes. Oh, it smelt so good! I can still smell it. I’d come in at the end of the day, tired and happy, and momma would say “You go get in the tub”. She’s run the tub full of hot, soapy water – nearly scalding, and tell me “Get in the tub and get clean”. You know what I’d do? I’d wait till momma went out of the bathroom, and I’d close the door. Then I’d get in the tub and walk around in it, splashing around, making sounds like I was getting clean. Then I’d get out, dry my feet off, splash a little of dad’s cologne on, and head to my bedroom.

And I’d run smack dab into momma!

She’s ask me, “Did you get a bath?”, to which I’d reply “Yes, momma”. She’s thump me on the top of the head and say “No you didn’t – get back in there!” Then she’d take me and wash me from head to toe, scrubbing hard until all that pine tar came off and into the water. How did momma know I wasn’t clean? I made all the sounds, I splashed the water, I used the towel and the rag. She knew because when she looked at me my head was still dirty, my hair gummed together, my upper torso was still marked by dirt. I might have done it my way, but my way didn’t clean me!

So it is with God. Once you receive Christ as Lord and Savior God Himself – the Holy Spirit – comes into your life. And He begins working with you, changing you, writing His Laws into your hearts. The Holy Spirit is the Companion and Comforter of the believer. Jesus told His disciples:

John 14:15-17 (KJV)   If ye love me, keep my commandments.   [16]   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;   [17]   Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The Disciples knew of the Spirit, but Jesus promised His followers a greater knowing. He promised that the Holy Spirit would come and indwell His people. He would be our Comforter. The Holy Spirit Who indwells us teaches us of Jesus:

John 15:26 (KJV)   But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Jesus told His disciples that He had to leave so that the Comforter could come:

John 16:7-13 (KJV)   Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.   [8]   And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:   [9]   Of sin, because they believe not on me;   [10]   Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;   [11]   Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.   [12]   I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.   [13]   Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Oh what love that God would come to dwell in imperfect vessels such as us. God comes ands makes a gift of Himself. Last Wednesday when I was reading my morning devotional (C.H. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening) I came across these words:

The Lord is my Portion, saith my soul” (Lamentations 3:24)

It is not “the Lord is partly my portion” nor “the Lord is in my portion” but He Himself makes up the sum total of my sdoul’s inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire. The Lord is my portion. Not His grace merely, nor His love, nor His covenant, but Jehovah Himself. He has chosen us for His portion, and we have chosen Him for ours. … all that we can wish for is to be found in our divine portion. “Whom have I in Heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee!”

What a beautiful truth. God indwells the Christ follower, and we live in Him. He lives with us now, and we will live with Him for all eternity.

We have something that no Old Testament believer had. We have BOLDNESS to enter into the Presence of God. We read:

Hebrews 10:19-22 (KJV)  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,  [20]  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  [21]  And having an high priest over the house of God;  [22]  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

We have boldness to come into God’s Presence. Not because of who WE are, but because of what GOD has done for us. WE can enter into prayer with our Heavenly Father ANYTIME. We do not have to go through an earthly High Priest or earthly religious figure, but every Child of God has access to his or her Father through Jesus Christ our High Priest. Look at verse 22:

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

We draw near to God in full assurance of faith. Not doubting, but trusting. Draw near to God claiming the Cross and the Christ. The Priests of the Old Covenant drew near to God when sprinkled with the Blood of the Sacrifice. We who are Christ’s draw near to God sprinkled with His Blood, our bodies washed with pure water (a picture of baptism).

3 As We Draw Near To God, We Will Draw Near To One Another. I have heard some say “If I have Jesus, I don’t need the Church”. But that is wrong. The Church and Christ go hand in hand. Jesus said:

I will build My Church, and the gates of hell
will not prevail against it

Jesus is the builder of His Church. The Church is not to be ignored. The Church is the Children of God gathered. And as we draw near to God, we will draw near to one another. Read with me:

Hebrews 10:23-24 (KJV)  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  [24]  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 

Every believer is called to hold fast the profession of OUR faith. Faith is not held fast in a vacuum. There is no singular Christianity. Our faith relies on love, love of God for us, our love toward God, and our love toward one another.

Here I have a Cross representing what Jesus did for us. If you on the left side of this auditorium draw near to this Cross representing Christ and you on the right side of the auditorium draw near to this Cross representing Christ and you at the back of this auditorium draw near to this Cross representing Christ then as you come closer to God you would naturally draw closer to one another. Drawing near to God as a focal point draws you near to one another. You come together.

This is what God demands of us.

Coming into the Presence of God together we are not to fight and claw at one another. We are to:

let us consider one another to provoke unto love
and to good works

As we gather together under His banner of love we encourage one another. When one stumbles we lift that one up in love and encourage them to good works. The person who says:

I love God, but I hate or dislike my brother

Cannot be a Christ follower. Don’t believe me? Read the witness of

1 John 4:20 (ESV) If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

You cannot love God and hate your brother. As you come into the Presence of God you are drawn closer to one another. And while in His Presence you realize

It is all of Grace

I have nothing in myself, and neither do you. Our position with God is all of Grace. We should not provoke one another to evil or hatred, but to love. As we all draw near to Jesus, we draw nearer to one another.

Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)   Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We are called together in the Presence of God to exhort one another, to encourage, to lift up for Christ’s sake, to be members of God’s Kingdom on this present earth. And we are to stay focused on the Gospel. Too many Churches have forsaken the Gospel for something else. Note the warning:

Hebrews 10:26-31 (KJV)  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  [27]  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  [28]  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:  [29]  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  [30]  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.  [31]   It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

There are many different interpretations in the commentaries and in the pulpits about what these verses mean. Some believe that these verses talk of believers losing their salvation. No, that is not true. These verses are addressed to those who …

who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted

the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified,
an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace

You tread underfoot the Son of God and do despite to the Spirit of Grace (the Holy Spirit) when you reject what Jesus did for you on the Cross. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. As Jesus told the Rabbi Nicodemus:

John 3:18 (KJV)   He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

To reject Calvary in favor of something else is to reject Grace and to reject Heaven. There is no way unto God the Father but by Christ the Son. So we preach His Gospel. We believe His Gospel. We share Him with others.

What has washed away my sin?
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.
Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow,
No other fount I know.
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!

May God bring His Church together through this Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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