1. THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF ANIMAL SACRIFICES
a. Why were the sacrifices offered in the earthly sanctuary unable to forgive sins? Hebrews 10:1–4.
“The blood of beasts could not satisfy the demands of God as an atoning sacrifice for the transgression of His law. The life of a beast was of less value than the life of the offending sinner, therefore could not be a ransom for sin. It could only be acceptable with God as a figure of the offering of His Son. . . .
“God made man perfect and upright, and after his transgression there could be no sacrifice acceptable to God for him, unless the offering made should in value be superior to man as he was in his state of perfection and innocency.”—Lift Him Up, p. 24.
“The entire plan of sacrificial worship was a foreshadowing of the Saviour’s death to redeem the world. There would be no efficacy in these offerings when the great event toward which they had pointed for ages was consummated.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 165.
2. THE FULLY QUALIFIED HIGH PRIEST
a. Who only could redeem the sinner, and why? Hebrews 10:5–10.
“Upon Christ no requirements were laid. He had power to lay down His life, and to take it again. No obligation was laid upon Him to undertake the work of atonement. It was a voluntary sacrifice that He made. His life was of sufficient value to rescue man from his fallen condition.”—Lift Him Up, p. 24.
b. What gave Christ authority to be our High Priest? Hebrews 10:11–14.
“The spotless Son of God hung upon the cross, His flesh lacerated with stripes; those hands so often reached out in blessing, nailed to the wooden bars; those feet so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to the tree; that royal head pierced by the crown of thorns; those quivering lips shaped to the cry of woe. And all that He endured—the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face—speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise. He who stilled the angry waves and walked the foam-capped billows, who made devils tremble and disease flee, who opened blind eyes and called forth the dead to life—offers Himself upon the cross as a sacrifice, and this from love to thee.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 755.
c. Why, being fully innocent, did Christ die on the cross? 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:5, 6, 8, 11.
“It was not alone by dying on the cross that Christ accomplished His work of saving men. The ignominy and suffering and humiliation was a part of His mission. [Isaiah 53:5 quoted.] This penalty Christ bore for the sins of the transgressor; He has borne the punishment for every man and for this reason He can ransom every soul, however fallen his condition, if he will accept the law of God as his standard of righteousness.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 4, pp. 1147, 1148.
“Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 25.
3. FREE ACCESS TO THE THRONE OF GRACE
a. Having Christ as our High Priest, how can we approach the throne of grace? Ephesians 2:17, 18; Hebrews 4:16; 10:19, 22.
“Our will must be wholly yielded to the divine will, our feelings, desires, interests, and honor identified with the prosperity of Christ’s kingdom and the honor of His cause, we constantly receiving grace from Him, and Christ accepting gratitude from us.
“When this intimacy of connection and communion is formed, our sins are laid upon Christ; His righteousness is imputed to us. He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. We have access to God through Him; we are accepted in the Beloved.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 229.
“Let each one of you search his own heart, cleanse the defiled soul temple, and watch unto prayer. Be determined you will seek Jesus until you find Him; release not your grasp until His love dwells in your heart and you have His spirit subduing your life and fashioning your character. Then believe, and with boldness you may approach His throne, knowing that He will hear your prayers.”—Ibid., p. 132.
b. What will be the result of our connection with Christ? Hebrews 10:23–25.
“Those who do not feel the necessity of seeking the assembly of the saints, with the precious assurance that the Lord will meet with them, show how lightly they value the help that God has provided for them.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 934.
“Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the presence of God for us. There He ceases not to present His people moment by moment, complete in Himself. But because we are thus represented before the Father, we are not to imagine that we are to presume upon His mercy and become careless, indifferent, and self-indulgent. Christ is not the minister of sin. We are complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved, only as we abide in Him by faith.
“Perfection through our own good works we can never attain. The soul who sees Jesus by faith, repudiates his own righteousness. He sees himself as incomplete, his repentance insufficient, his strongest faith but feebleness, his most costly sacrifice as meager, and he sinks in humility at the foot of the cross. But a voice speaks to him from the oracles of God’s Word. In amazement he hears the message, ‘Ye are complete in Him.’ Now all is at rest in his soul.”—Faith and Works, pp. 107, 108.
4. KEEPING GOD’S GOODNESS FOREMOST IN OUR MIND
a. What will be the result if we neglect such a great salvation? Hebrews 2:3; 10:26–31.
“God works by the manifestation of His Spirit to reprove and convict the sinner; and if the Spirit’s work is finally rejected, there is no more that God can do for the soul. The last resource of divine mercy has been employed. The transgressor has cut himself off from God, and sin has no remedy to cure itself. There is no reserved power by which God can work to convict and convert the sinner. ‘Let him alone’ (Hosea 4:17) is the divine command.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 405.
b. Why should we ever recall God’s deliverances for us—and what example do the Advent pioneers give in this regard? Hebrews 10:32, 33.
“The dealings of God with His people should be often repeated. How frequently were the waymarks set up by the Lord in His dealings with ancient Israel! Lest they should forget the history of the past, He commanded Moses to frame these events into song, that parents might teach them to their children. They were to gather up memorials and to lay them up in sight. Special pains were taken to preserve them, that when the children should inquire concerning these things, the whole story might be repeated. Thus the providential dealings and the marked goodness and mercy of God in His care and deliverance of His people were kept in mind. We are exhorted to call to ‘remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.’ Hebrews 10:32. For His people in this generation the Lord has wrought as a wonder-working God. The past history of the cause of God needs to be often brought before the people, young and old. We need often to recount God’s goodness and to praise Him for His wonderful works.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 364, 365.
“In referring to our past experience, we are carrying out the exhortation of the apostle to the Hebrews: [Hebrews 10:32 quoted.]
“Our lives are interwoven with the cause of God. We have no separate interest aside from this work. And when we see the advancement that the cause has made from a very small beginning, coming up slowly yet surely to strength and prosperity; as we see the success of the cause in which we have toiled, and suffered, and nearly sacrificed our lives, who shall prevent or forbid our boasting in God? Our experience in this cause is valuable to us. We have invested everything in it.”—Ibid., vol. 3, p. 319.
5. SAFE PATHS
a. How can we be safe on the way to life eternal? Hebrews 10:35–39.
“It is not he that putteth on the armor that can boast of the victory; for he has the battle to fight and victory to win. It is he that endureth unto the end that shall be saved. . . . If we do not go forward from victory to victory, the soul will draw back to perdition. We should raise no human standard whereby to measure character. We have seen enough of what men call perfection here below. God’s holy law is the only thing by which we can determine whether we are keeping His way or not. If we are disobedient, our characters are out of harmony with God’s moral rule of government, and it is stating a falsehood to say, ‘I am saved.’ No one is saved who is a transgressor of the law of God, which is the foundation of His government in heaven and in earth.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 315.
b. What are the main characteristics of God’s people in these last days? Revelation 12:17; 14:12.
“There are only two parties upon the earth—those who stand under the blood-stained banner of Jesus Christ and those who stand under the black banner of rebellion.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, p. 161.
“At this time the church is to put on her beautiful garments—‘Christ our righteousness.’ There are clear, decided distinctions to be restored and exemplified to the world in holding aloft the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”—Christian Experience and Teachings, p. 207.
“Faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus.”—Selected Messages, bk. 3, p. 172.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why wasn’t the blood of beasts adequate for salvation?
2. Explain, as far as we can grasp, the depth of Christ’s sacrifice for us.
3. What do you appreciate most about Christ’s ministration for you?
4. Why should we recall old experiences in our religious life?
5. What do many today fail to realize about salvation?