Saturday, July 11
Once for all
Scripture: Isaiah 11-14, Hebrews 9
Hebrews 9:26–28 26 If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. 27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
The author of Hebrews describes the sacrifices required under the Old Covenant. These sacrifices had to be repeated over and over: daily, weekly, monthly, annually. They could not permanently cleanse those who offered them.
Some of the readers of Hebrews were evidently considering leaving Jesus and going back to the Old Covenant. The author is pointing out that is a backwards step—going back to old sacrifices that were unable to cleanse, and leaving Jesus whose sacrifice cleanses once for all.
The phrase, “once for all” (Greek: hapax, ephapax) is repeated several times in the NT referring to Jesus’ sacrificial death. (Romans 6:10, Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 26, 28, 10:2, 10, 1 Peter 3:18). It signifies the completeness and finality of Jesus’ single sacrifice. This is not something that can be repeated or needs to be repeated. Jesus’ died once for all: one sacrifice for all time, all people, all sins. No one and nothing is excluded. When Jesus said “It is finished!” (paid in full), there was nothing left to be done—but believe and receive.
There is no sin, no person that is not covered by the grace of Jesus! Whatever you’ve done—it’s paid for. Whoever you are—you are forgiven. All that remains is to accept the gift given once for all. Never believe the lie that you are too bad for God to forgive you. That lie is an insult to the finished work of Christ on the Cross. You are saying that you and your sin are bigger than Jesus and His once for all sacrifice! God’s grace is bigger than your sin—much bigger. Your sin is paid for—once for all. You’re forgiven—once for all. Believe and receive…and rejoice.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your once for all sacrifice on the cross—that it includes me!