“Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” (Hebrews 10:5-7)

The author of Hebrews tells us about the human nature of the Messiah, Jesus, the Incarnation which we celebrate at Christmas time. The author expounded upon the inferior nature of the Old Covenant and its ritual offerings which had to be offered over and over again because they were inadequate. They could never take away guilt or sin or its consequences or even hold them in check.

On the other hand, Jesus to earth as a human being to offer His body and blood as the only sacrificial offering that fulfills the demands of God’s Law and satisfies His justice. There is no need for further offerings: they are useless and ineffective. In fact, any further offerings are a denial of the efficacy of what Jesus did and an insult to the Father. Those who, by faith, accept the offering of Christ, however, find that He no longer remembers their sins. They have been dealt with at cross and He will never bring them up again.

When I first read this passage when I was in my early twenties, I was stunned. I had always been taught that I had to earn God’s grace and mercy by performing good works. Maybe if I did enough, scored enough points, I could make it to heaven. Yet here we see clearly that it is by Christ’s work, His obedience unto death that we are made holy. Jesus Christ had to be offered only once for all sin. Through His one offering God dispenses grace, forgiveness, and mercy unto all those who accept Jesus as the offering for sin. This is the great news we recall at this time of year and broadcast for all the world to hear.