Nr.81 ended with: “The third surprise or shock came when I showed them some passages in the letter to the Hebrews……..!” (See richardandmarina.net).
It was just wonderful to have a room full of people, sometimes, 15, 25, 40, even 70, ready to listen to God’s Word, which was totally new to them. It was quite a revelation for them to hear that forgiveness and eternal life are a gift from God, received by faith without any works. And on top of that, that we can be sure of this. They were so surprised to hear me say that I was sure that I would go to heaven when I died. As I explained the Gospel to them, I took them to the book of Hebrews, chapter 10:5, “Therefore, when He (Jesus) came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You (God) did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.” And in verse 9, “Then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God. He takes away the first that He may establish the second.” This is one of the most important sentences in the N.T.
What is meant with “the first?” This: the O.T. temple with its altar, its sacrifices, its priests and its ceremonies. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom, God thus indicating that He was finished with that. And why? “He takes away the first that He may establish the second.” And what is “the second?” Jesus’ own sacrifice on the cross, which was so perfect and so complete that no other sacrifice ever has to be brought anymore. He died “once for all.” The Catholic Church is still very much in the O.T. It has a temple: the church building, an altar, daily sacrifices: the mass, priests and ceremonies. And while God was finished with “the first”, the Jews did not accept that and restored the veil and went right on. But then come those shocking words in verse 11, “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.” This is speaking of the Jewish priests, but my Catholic listeners took it to mean their priests, so what now……..? (Go to Musings)