“First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 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” ( Hebrews 10:8-10 )
God was never pleased with nor desired continual sacrifices and offerings. The law required them to be made, however the law’s purpose was to be the catalyst which would point people to Christ ( Galatians 3:24 ). In other words, the sacrifices were more for mankind’s benefit, than God’s. They were a type and shadow of the perfect sacrificial lamb and merely served as a reminder to look forward in faith to the Messiah ( Hebrews 10:1 ).
Jesus, who was the Messiah, came to put God’s will of the New Covenant into effect. By His perfect sacrifice, He fulfilled and completed all the requirements of the first Covenant, including the sacrifices of blood for the forgiveness of sins. “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear” ( Hebrews 8:13 ).
God’s will (as in; Last Will and Testament) was activated with the death of Jesus. Hebrews 9 testifies to this fact, “In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood” ( Hebrews 9:16-18 ). Since a death has taken place, the will is currently in effect and the will is that we have been made holy by Jesus’ sacrifice once for all.
This is an amazing truth! Through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, which paid the price for the forgiveness of sins, God considers us holy as result. It is not something we must work at or try to be. Holiness was purchased and given to us by the precious blood of the Lamb. It is a done-deal because unlike the animal sacrifices, which happened over and over, Jesus’ sacrifice only happened once for all time. Therefore we are made holy by the body of Jesus.
The Greek word used for holy in Hebrews 10:10 is hagiazō, which is also translated sanctified in many translations. The verb tense signifies “expressing the definiteness and completeness of the Divine act” (Vines Dictionary of New Testament Words). The Strong’s Concordance gives these definitions:
1. to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow
2. to separate from profane things and dedicate to God
a. consecrate things to God
b. dedicate people to God
3. to purify
a. to cleanse externally
b. to purify by expiation: free from the guilt of sin
c. to purify internally by renewing of the soul
In the context of Hebrews 10:10, we see its effect on the believer in the death of Christ; we have been made holy and we are sanctified by His blood. By definition this happens both externally and internally. Externally, because Christ’s blood purifies us from the effects of sin. And, Internally, because we are free from the guilt of sin. This purification has a renewing effect on our soul realm as well. So we learn an important truth, Christ put the New Covenant into effect by His blood and this blood has made us holy and accepted by God forever.
Renewing your mind to this amazing truth will keep you from striving to achieve what you already have through Christ. You don’t need to work at holiness; you have been made holy by His blood. You are sanctified through His body and God completely accepts you on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice. Through faith in Christ you are the righteousness of God and have been fashioned after Jesus Christ in true righteousness and holiness ( Ephesians 4:24 ). May this powerful truth change the way you live as a believer.