2007-04-29 - The Matchless Sacrifice of Jesus Christ
Psalm 40:6, Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced. Burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
It has long been believed by Christians, and this verse is one reason why, that the sacrifices and offerings made in the Old Testament never forgave any sins. Sins are only forgiven in Christ, and the sacrifices were only pointers and inadequate substitutions for the One Sacrifice that Christ would offer. The sacrifices and offerings prior to Christ were in themselves unacceptable, but they were offered by faith in the coming Messiah, that would one day offer the one true sacrifice. Only Christ can take away sin.
This verse is attributed to Christ in Hebrews 10:5-7. We read there that Christ said, Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me. With burnt offerings and sin offerings, you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am - it is written about me in the scroll - I have come to do your will, O God. Here, the inefficacy of sacrifices is proclaimed, and Christ sets Himself forth as ready to do the will of the Father. Here I am; I have come to do your will.
The connection here, in Hebrews, to the verse we are looking at in Psalm 40, is undeniable, but it is also instructive. It is helpful, because in the Psalm, we have the relation, my ears you have pierced. This is a reference to Exodus 21:5,6, when a servant, who could go free, chooses to stay with his master. His ears were then bored or pierced with an awl, and he was then, by choice, a servant for life. Again, the connection here is that Christ was willing to be made a sacrifice - and fulfilled his role as the suffering servant (Philippians 2:6-11). He became a servant by choice. Christ had nothing to gain by redeeming us. There was nothing in it for Him except pain, suffering, and death. But in His great love with which He loved us, He endured the cross, suffered the shame, and made atonement for our sin. He is the true example of selflessness. He gave of Himself, with no thought of personal gain. There was nothing in our redemption for Him, but everything in it for those He loved from all eternity. He suffered willingly because of his immeasurable love.
We can ask ourselves if we have a grasp of the great love with which Christ has loved us. Do we really understand how wonderful His love usward is? He did not consider Himself in what He did, but He looked out for the eternal interests of those He loved. By becoming the One Sacrifice, He has met all our needs, and not only given us hope, but restored us to life itself.
Soli Deo Gloria,