For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.Hebrews 10:14
They just repaved this road, I thought to myself as the traffic slowed. Now they’re tearing it up again! Then I wondered, Why is road construction never done? I mean, I’ve never seen a sign proclaiming, “The paving company is finished. Please enjoy this perfect road.”
But something similar is true in my spiritual life. Early in my faith, I imagined reaching a moment of maturity when I’d have it all figured out, when I’d be “smoothly paved.” Thirty years later, I confess I’m still “under construction.” Just like the perpetually potholed roads I drive, I never seem to be “finished” either. Sometimes that can feel equally frustrating.
But Hebrews 10 contains an amazing promise. Verse 14 says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Jesus’ work on the cross has already saved us. Completely. Perfectly. In God’s eyes, we are whole and finished. But paradoxically, that process isn’t done yet while we’re still on earth. We’re still being shaped into His likeness, still “being made holy.”
One day, we’ll see Him face-to-face, and we shall be like him (1 John 3:2). But until then, we’re still “under construction,” people who anxiously await the glorious day when the work in us is truly complete.
11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,13and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.14For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”[a]
17Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”[b]
18And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
Do you ever get frustrated that spiritual progress seems slower than you expected?
How does this passage from Hebrews encourage you to think about your spiritual growth?
Because of severe persecution, Jewish believers in Jesus felt pressured to abandon their faith and revert to Judaism(Hebrews 10:32–36). The unnamed writer of the book of Hebrews encourages them to persevere, and affirms the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus as Savior. He’s superior to the angels (chs. 1–2), to Moses (chs. 3–4), and to the Aaronic priesthood(chs. 5–7).
Chapters 8–10 describe Him as the perfect High Priest.The backdrop for this is the annual blood sacrifices offered by the high priest on the Day of Atonement(Leviticus 16). The writer compares the old covenant initiated by Moses requiring animal sacrifices (Hebrews 9:1–23) with the new covenant initiated by Jesus (v. 15; 9:24–10:18). As the perfect High Priest, Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice for sin—Himself (9:12–14; 10:11–12). “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (10:14).
Faithful God, sometimes I get frustrated that my spiritual progress seems slow. Help me to remember that You’re still at work in my life, shaping me and helping me to become more and more like You. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!!