“With one sacrifice He made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:17.
Is perfection possible? Humanly impossible. However, God declares you perfect in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Now that is a piece of wonderful news!
Please mark the four words/phrases in today’s insight. (1) One sacrifice, (2) perfect, (3) forever and (4) being made holy.
Let us divide today’s Bible verse into two parts. The first part says, “With one sacrifice of Jesus Christ, He made us perfect forever.” In the old testament period, thousands of animals were sacrificed every day in the morning and in the evening to obtain forgiveness for people’s sins. On top of that every year annual sacrifices were also made for the nation Israel as a whole for the purification of the sins of the nation as a whole. This is called the day of atonement or Yom Kippur. Jews still observe this every year. The day falls in September-October of every year. All these sacrifices were repeated again and again because when people sin again, they had to bring a new sacrifice again. All these daily and annual sacrifices of countless animals were a shadow of the perfect one sacrifice that Jesus Christ was going to bring in the fulfillment of time. The animal sacrifices were the types or shadows and Christ’s one time sacrifice was the antitype or fulfillment of these shadows or types. In other words, Christ was the fulfillment of all these sacrifices. He became the one perfect sacrifice for all of our sins.
We all broke God’s moral laws in many ways and death was God’s punishment on sin. However, In contrast, Christ did not break any one of God’s law, and therefore Christ should not have died. However, why they crucified Him on the cross? There was not even one sin He had done, but He was crucified. He was counted among criminals though He did not do any crime. You see an exchange happened when Christ died. Our sins were placed on Him who should not have died. He shed His divine and sinless blood when we should have died. In return, God granted His righteousness and declared us justified. Justified means God declared us not guilty of our sins because Jesus shed His blood in our place for our sins. Christ’s blood covers our sins. We were made perfect by His one sacrifice.
Now let us discuss the second word – perfect. Webster defines ‘perfect’ in these ways, “being entirely without fault or defect, satisfying all requirements.” Considering this definition, none of us are perfect. No human being ever lived was perfect except Jesus Christ. The exchange of our sins on the perfect body of Jesus resulted in a ‘perfect’ status of us in front of the holy God ‘forever.’ Mark the word ‘forever.’ Not for a few days or a couple of years. But mark ‘forever’. God does not just ‘improve’ you. You see He makes you ‘perfect forever’ when you accept Jesus Christ as your savior for your sins.
However, even after accepting Christ as our Lord and savior the believers in Christ know this -although they are declared “perfect” by the heavenly court, not by the merit of their own but by the merit of Christ’s one time sacrifice, they are not “perfect” in practical terms as long as they live in this sinful world.
Now let us discuss the second part of today verse. “those who are being made holy.” This means believers in Christ are being sanctified or being made holy as the days and years go by. The believers in Christ are transformed into Christ’s image (2 Corinthians 3:18) as new days are unfolded and finally will be glorified. Those who accept Jesus as Lord and savior is declared not guilty by the heavenly court at the moment of their belief in Christ. This is called Justification (declared not guilty) by the one sacrifice of Christ.
However, a believer knows well that he is not entirely holy yet although declared not guilty or justified. Bible teaches Justification results in sanctification (made more and more holy by transforming to the image of Christ) as you live on this earth and the final glorification (glorified, heavenly, eternal bodies) in heaven with God at the time of the believer’s death or Christ’s second coming. Justification is a one-time event and declaration upon your faith in Jesus. Sanctification is a continual and life long process by which the Holy Spirit inside you makes you more and more holy like Christ Jesus.
Beloved, got a moment for today’s prayer? Let us pray.”Father in heaven, I believe in the one perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus for my sins. I believe God placed my sins in Christ Jesus and in exchange declared me not guilty of my sins. I repent of my sins and accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord. Please save me. Amen.”