“But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” ( Hebrews 10:3-4 )
One thing about the law was that it was great about building anticipation to the time of Christ. I imagine that every time a bull or goat was brought as a sacrifice, the people would stop and think about the promised Messiah, longing for Him to come; knowing that when He came there would no longer be the need for these endless sacrifices.
The previous verses state the entire sacrificial system was a foreshadowing to the good things that were coming ( Hebrews 10:1-2 ). They couldn’t clear the conscience of the worshipper but rather served as a reminder of sin. This is why these sacrifices were brought time and time again. The blood of these animals only served as a covering for the body and could never cleanse the entire person. In other words, the blood of bulls and goats were powerless to take away sin.
The Messiah on the other hand would be able to cleanse the entirety of mankind by the sacrifice of Himself. This is why the endless sacrifices served to bring a fresh remembrance of sin. It would prepare the people for Christ. In contrast to the blood of bulls and goats, His blood would take away sin.
When Jesus appeared, He did away with sin by the sacrifice of himself ( Hebrews 9:26 ). His blood was more than enough to cleanse the worshipper and bring each one into perfect fellowship with God the Father ( Hebrews 10:19-22 ). This was what the sacrificial system under the law portrayed and looked forward to in Christ. Now that it is here, there is no longer a need for any other type of atonement. Jesus’ blood worked to cleanse us of sin, the first and only time it was given.
Just as the Israelites looked forward to Christ in anticipation, we can look to Christ, trusting in the perfect redemption He provided. We can rest assured that we are forgiven and accepted through Him alone and that His blood was more than enough to justify us in God’s eyes. Just as the blood of bulls and goats was an annual reminder of sin, the blood of Jesus reminds us that we are forgiven and free through faith in Him. What an amazing truth!