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THE BOOK OF HEBREWS CHAPTER 10 (15 of 24)
1 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 Mosaic Law was a “shadow,” an image representing
the form or the object of something. It was an
outline, of the good things to come—the sacrificial
and High Priestly work of Jesus Christ, and not the
likeness or the reality. The emphasis of the new
covenant over the old is stressed again in the verse
by the word, “good.” This speaks of the QUALITY of the
new covenant as opposed to the old. Also notice the
absolute FINALITY of which the writer used to teach
that animal sacrifices had no ability to save any
worshipper. He said that the shadow (Mosaic Law or the
Levitical, sacrificial system) could never make the
ones who came with the sacrifice year after year,
perfect (probably a reference to the Day of
Atonement). The word, perfect certainly CANNOT mean
maturity in this verse. It refers to salvation as we
have already seen in many verses in our study in
Hebrews. The law could not save because it was a
shadow of the reality (Salvation through Christ) and
not the reality itself.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered?
because that the worshippers once purged should have
had no more conscience of sins.
If the Levitical offerings saved the offerer, then at
an appointed time, they would have ceased to be
offered up, since the worshippers once for all, and
for all time, being purged or cleansed from filth and
its associated guilt, should have had no more
conscience of sin, meaning, they would have had no
more awareness of their guilt before God. The constant
sacrifices for sin only reminded the worshippers that
no forgiveness, no finality was in sight. It just
brought on more grieving of the conscience. Notice a
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