In those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Jesus transformed the meaning of the Passover meal. He said the unleavened bread represents the fact that He came in bodily form to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Luke 22:20 says, “In the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.’” The cup represents the new covenant that God has made with man. The old agreement was based on works. God said, “Here are My rules. Obey them, and you will find favor with Me. Disobey them, and you will be judged by Me.” The only problem was that nobody was capable of keeping those rules. So built within the old covenant was a system of sacrifices they could offer to atone for their shortcomings.
But those sacrifices were very limited in their efficacy. Hebrews 10:1-2 says, “The Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered?” In other words, if those animal sacrifices actually removed sin, why did the Israelites have to keep offering them? The fact that God’s people offered the same sacrifices year after year demonstrates their limitations.
The writer continued, “But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (vv. 3-4). Why did God have the Israelites engage in these endless sacrifices? To make them long for a future sacrifice that would forever remove the stain of their sin: Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. That is why Jesus said the cup now represents a new covenant–a new agreement not based on our works but based on His grace, demonstrated by His blood that has been shed for us.
The night of the tenth plague in Egypt, when God looked at the doorpost of a home and saw the blood of an innocent lamb, He passed over that house in judgment. In the same way, when God looks at your heart and sees that you have trusted in the blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, the Bible says He will pass over you in judgment. As Paul wrote, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Jesus, the Lamb of God, is the only way any of us can escape God’s judgment.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “ In Remembrance Of Me” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.