Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com

 

 

 

 

Sermon #2377 — Miscellaneous Sermons

 

Title:               The Substance of the Shadow

 

Text:                            Hebrews 10:1-14

Subject:                     The Reason for Our Lord’s Incarnation

Date:                          Sunday Morning — December 31, 2017

Reading:       Hebrews 10:1-14

 

(Hebrews 10:1-14) “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. (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. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

 

(5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

 

(8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

 

(10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”

 

Introduction

 

The most amazing thing in all the world is the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, should condescend to become a man that he might live and die in the place of sinful men as their Substitute upon the cursed tree. I hope I never get over the wonder of redeeming love. — “The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 3:16; 4:9-10).

 

(John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 

(Romans 5:8) “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

(1 John 3:16) “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us.”

 

(1 John 4:9) “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

 

Well did the hymn writer say…

 

“Could we with ink the oceans fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade, —

To write the love of God above

Would drain the oceans dry,

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky!”

 

Yet, when I meditate upon this great, stupendous fact, I am compelled to ask, with reverent astonishment – Why? Why did Christ come? Why did he die upon the cursed tree? What made his death necessary? Those are the questions I want us to consider. If we would trust the Lord Jesus as the Christ of God, we must know why he came into this world in human flesh. The Christ of God must be identified by the mission he came to perform.

 

Why did Christ come? That’s the question. It is a question answered in many ways and in many places in Holy Scripture. But it is not answered more fully or more clearly in any single passage than it is in Hebrews chapter ten. So, I want you to look with me into the first fourteen verses of Hebrews 10. Here, God the Holy Ghost tells us specifically why the Lord Jesus Christ came into this world and why he died. If that doesn’t interest you, if that doesn’t stir your heart, if that doesn’t cause you to now cry out to God to speak to your heart by his Word, I cannot imagine what might.

 

The title of my message is The Substance of the Shadow. The reason I have given my message that title will become obvious in just a moment.

 

Divisions: Why did Christ come? God the Holy Ghost answers that question for us in our text in three ways.

1.    Christ came here to put away sin because there was no other way for sin to be put away (vv. 1-4).

2.    Our Lord Jesus Christ came here as a Man, as our Mediator, Substitute, and Representative to do and fulfil the will of God, to bring in a better covenant (vv. 5-9).

3.    Christ came here to die at Calvary to redeem God’s elect (v. 10-14).

 

No Other Way

 

1stOur Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God came here to put away sin because there was no other way for sin to be put away (vv. 1-4).

 

(Hebrews 10:1-4) “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. (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. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”

 

The law of God given by Moses, with all its rituals, sacrifices, and ceremonies, was a shadow, type, or picture of the good things to come in Christ. —Those “good things” pictured and typified in the law are:

Š      The Forgiveness of Sin,

Š      Justification with God,

Š      Peace with God,

Š      Rest in Christ,

Š      Fellowship with the Holy Lord God,

Š      Preservation by Grace,

Š      Salvation and Eternal Life in Christ,

Š      And the Blessed Assurance of that Salvation.

 

A Pattern

 

The tabernacle, the priesthood, and the law were not given to put away sin, but only to serve as a pattern, a blueprint, a picture of the true Tabernacle and true Sacrifice, which is Christ himself (Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 8:4-5).

 

(Colossians 2:16-17) “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

 

(Hebrews 8:4-5) “For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: (5) Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.”

 

Those Old Testament sacrifices could never put away sin (v. 2). Do not miss the message given here by God the Holy Spirit. If those sacrifices could put away sin, they would have ceased to be offered! If I could bring a sacrifice of any kind that could make atonement for my sin, then there would be no need of offering another sacrifice (Hebrews 10:12-14). — Justice must be satisfied; and Christ alone could do it!

 

(Hebrews 10:12-14) “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”

 

Once sin has been put away the sinner is discharged. Guilt is gone. Condemnation is impossible (Romans 5:1; 8:1-4; 8:33-34).

 

(Romans 5:1) “Therefore, being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

(Romans 8:1-4) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

 

This is the reason we have assurance and confidence in Christ (Romans 8:33-34).

 

(Romans 8:33-34) “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ has offered one sacrifice, and believing him we have complete, total confidence and assurance that our sins are gone (Hebrews 10:17; Isaiah 53:4-6).

 

(Hebrews 10:17) “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

 

(Isaiah 53:4-6) “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

 

“Not all the blood of beasts

On Jewish altars slain,

Could give the guilty conscience peace,

Or wash away the stain.

 

But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,

Takes all our sins away:

A Sacrifice of nobler name

And richer blood than they.

 

Believing, we rejoice

To see the curse remove:

We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,

And sing redeeming love!”

 

In verse 3 God the Spirit tells us that those carnal, legal sacrifices of the Old Testament only reminded the worshippers of God that someone must yet come to put sin away. Those sacrifices offered on a regular basis and by divine appointment gave a fresh remembrance of sin. The sin for which the sacrifices were made was not put away. They were still there. The sacrifices themselves only reminded the people of their sins. The sacrifices must and did continue until the Christ came, who put an end to them and put an end to sin by his sacrifice.

 

Why is it impossible for carnal sacrifices to put away sin? Look at verse 4. Did you ever notice how often we are told in the Book of Hebrews that some things are impossible?

 

(Hebrews 6:4) “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost.” — It is impossible for saved sinners to fall from grace and perish under the wrath of God!

 

(Hebrews 6:18) “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” — It is impossible for God to lie!

 

(Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” — It is impossible for fallen sinners to please God, except by faith in Christ!

 

(Hebrews 10:4) “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”

 

It is not possible for animal blood to take away sin. Let me give you four reasons why sins cannot be put away by such sacrifices.

1.    Sin is a transgression of the moral law. These sacrifices belong to a ceremonial law. Christ was born under and obeyed the moral law (Galatians 4:4-5).

2.    The blood is not the same blood. But Christ is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh (Hebrews 2:16-18).

3.    Sin deals with the mind and conscience, to which an animal cannot relate. Christ made his soul an offering for sin. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:10-11).

4.    If sin could be put away by some other means, then Christ died in vain (Galatians 2:21).

 

A Shadow

 

The law was “a shadow of good things to come” (v. 1). — Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Substance of the shadow. Let me tell you what that means.

Š      It means that Christ was before he appeared and that all the work he would accomplish was already done before the shadow was seen (John 1:1; Revelation 13:8; Hebrews 4:3). — The substance precedes the shadow. You cannot have a shadow unless the substance already is.

Š      Christ is the end of the law! — The fulfilment, the finish, the period, the full stop, the termination of the law!

 

Better Covenant

 

2nd Our Lord Jesus Christ came here as a Man, as our Mediator, Substitute, and Representative to do and fulfil the will of God, to bring in a better covenant (vv. 5-9). Verses 5-8 are a quotation from Psalm 40:6-8 in which David writes of Christ who was to come.

 

(Hebrews 10:5-9) “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”

 

God the Holy Spirit prepared a body, a real human body and soul for our Savior, so that he could bear our sins in his own body on the cursed tree. — The sacrifices and offerings of the Old Testament continued only for a set time until Christ came (1 Corinthians 5:7). God never accepted them to be a means of righteousness. But, when the fulness of time came, he clothed his darling Son in a human body prepared by the Holy Ghost, that his own dear Son might (in the body of a man) obey the law and suffer for sin (Romans 5:19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

 

(Romans 5:19) “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

 

(1 Corinthians 15:21-22) “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

 

Verse 6 tells us again that it was impossible for animal blood to put away human sin. Burnt offerings and sacrifices could never satisfy God’s justice, appease his anger, honor his law, or put away sin (Isaiah 1:11-18).

 

(Isaiah 1:11-18) “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. (12) When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? (13) Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. (14) Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. (15) And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. (16) Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; (17) Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (18) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

 

(Micah 6:6-8) “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? (7) Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (8) He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ came here as a voluntary Surety, as Jehovah’s voluntary Servant, to die as our Substitute by the will of God (v. 7). In the book of God’s decrees and in the Book of God’s revelation (the Bible) it is clearly written that Christ would come to work out the redemptive will of God (Luke 24:44-47).

 

(Luke 24:44-47) “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (45) Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (46) And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: (47) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

 

Lo, I Come

 

So infinitely interested God the Holy Ghost was that God’s elect should always be on the lookout for the Lord Jesus Christ, that from the moment of the Fall, when it was promised, that the Seed of the woman would bruise the serpent’s Head, every part of Holy Scripture in the Old Testament pointed to and celebrated the great Redeemer’s great work, and taught believing sinners to live in the expectation of his coming. — “Behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills!(Song of Solomon 2:8; Zechariah 2:10-11).

Š      Genesis 3:15

Š      Abraham rejoiced to see his day — (Abraham’s Sacrifice — Jehovah-jireh).

Š      Jacob spoke of Shiloh’s coming.

Š      Moses spoke of him as that Prophet.

Š      David lived and died in assurance that the fruit of his own loins would come as his God and Redeemer.

Š      As the appointed tie drew near, some waited in the temple (Simeon and Anna), anticipating his appearance.

 

Blessed be his name, our dear Savior still says to his church, “Lo, I come!

Š      In the Ordinances of Worship

Š      At the Appointed Time of Love

Š      At the Appointed Hour of Our Departure

Š      In His Glorious Second Advent

 

In order to fulfil and bring in the new, everlasting covenant and the blessings of it, our Savior completely took away the old (vv. 8-9).

 

(Hebrews 10:8-9) “Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”

 

In verse 8 the prophecy of Psalm 40 is repeated. Here, however, all the sacrifices are included. That means this: —– When Christ fulfilled them all he replaced them all. Those sacrifices gave no pleasure to God except as they were offered in faith toward Christ (Hebrews 11:4, 17, 28).

 

(Hebrews 11:4) “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”

 

(Hebrews 11:17) “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.”

 

(Hebrews 11:28) “Through faith Moses kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.”

 

Now, look at verse 9. — By completely fulfilling the redemptive will and purpose of God (John 6:38), the Lord Jesus Christ has put away all sacrifices, all offerings, the priesthood, and all that was associated with that covenant. — “Christ is the END of the law!” He stands in the place of all that was represented in the law. Now, having Christ, we have all things in him (1 Corinthians 3:21-23; 1:30; Colossians 2:9-10).

 

(1 Corinthians 1:30) “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

 

(1 Corinthians 3:21-23) “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; (22) Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; (23) And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.”

 

(Colossians 2:9-10) “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”

 

God’s Method

 

Here is God’s method of grace. — “He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Š      He gives the good wine last.

Š      He takes away the refuge of lies to give a better refuge.

Š      He takes away your false hope to giv a good hope through grace.

Š      He takes away the first covenant that he may bring in the better covenant.

 

To Redeem

 

3rdOur Lord Jesus Christ came here to die at Calvary to redeem God’s elect (v. 10-14).

 

(Hebrews 10:9-14) “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”

 

I want you to carry four things home with you. Rejoice in them. Roll them over in your heart. Worship God and give him thanks for these four things.

 

1.    Christ came here to offer himself as a sin-atoning sacrifice to God at Calvary.

2.    The Son of God came here to die as our Substitute by the will of God.

3.    He came here specifically to die in the room and place of God’s elect (“Them that are sanctified!”) as our great Substitute.

4.    And he has successfully redeemed all God’s elect by the sacrifice of himself (vv. 11-14).

 

(Hebrews 10:11-14) “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”

 

In evil long I took delight,

Unawed by shame or fear,

Till a new object struck my sight,

And stopped my wild career.

 

I saw One hanging on a tree,

In agonies and blood,

Who fixed His languid eyes on me,

As near His cross I stood.

 

Sure, never till my latest breath

Can I forget that look;

It seemed to charge me with His death,

Though not a word He spoke.

 

My conscience felt and owned the guilt,

And plunged me in despair;

I saw my sins His blood had spilt,

And helped to nail Him there.

 

A second look He gave, which said,

“I freely all forgive;

This blood is for thy ransom paid;

I die that thou may’st live.”

 

Why did Christ come? That’s the answer. He came here to die that I might live.

 

Oh, can it be that on the tree

The Savior died for me?

My soul is thrilled, my heart is filled,

To think He died for me!

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Fortner’s

 

Audio Sermons

Video Sermons

Books

Itinerary