“Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself” ( Hebrews 9:25-26 )
This glorious truth rings out from the dawn of mankind until the time when our King will return to bring us home... our sins are completely, utterly and eternally blotted out from all record and we are forgiven through the Lord Jesus Christ! This is why the cross was a complete victory, it was the means to forever deal, once and for, with the issue of sin.
The writer of Hebrews stresses this truth so many times in chapters 8, 9 and 10 that it is impossible to miss. In fact, looking at the Scriptures as a whole, this is one of the most amazing truths that the Law and the Prophets foretold, Jesus talked about and the apostles wrote about. It is a theme throughout the entire Scriptures. Jesus’ sacrifice was so perfect and so complete that it only took one time to completely undo everything that sin corrupted. Peter tells that we have to know this otherwise we will be ineffective and unproductive in life ( II Peter 1:8-9 ).
In contrast to the Levitical system, two things stand out in this passage of scripture in Hebrews 9. First, Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary ( Hebrews 9:24 ). Secondly, He did not have to offer himself over and over again ( Hebrews 9:25 ). Christ’s priesthood and sacrifice were vastly superior to that of the first covenant. In contrasting the two systems in this way, it shows the New Covenant’s superiority in which Jesus is the guarantor. In fact, all of this happened only once and when it happened, it occurred in heaven. If it happened only once, it means that it worked the first and only time the sacrifice was made.
If it worked, it means that Christ obliterated sin once for all, for all time, past, present and future. Otherwise, sin would still have the means to accuse us before God, but Hebrews says, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” ( Hebrews 10:22 ). We’ve been cleaned and purified by the blood of the lamb and welcomed by the Father into His presence.
David saw this and prophesied, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” ( Psalm 103:12 ). Isaiah saw this and prophesied, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” ( Isaiah 43:25 ). Jeremiah prophesied this, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” ( Jeremiah 31:34b ). Oh, what a marvelous truth this is.
As recipients of the blessing of the New Covenant we have an obligation to our Savior to not let sin keep us captive. We’ve been freed by the precious blood of the Lamb, our lives have been redeemed and we are forgiven. Paul said, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross” ( Colossians 2:13-14 ). There is nothing to accuse any longer, it was nailed to the cross marked ‘Paid in Full’.
Therefore, we should live as those who have been freed and forgiven. Not taking liberty in the freedom, but living like who we are in Christ Jesus. A holy people, set apart, redeemed, favored, forgiven and free. This is why Jesus’ sacrifice for sin was the consummation of the ages, because he abolished and obliterated sin for all mankind for all time ( I John 2:2 ). What an amazing truth!