Brief Notes


1 October 2022

The sacrifice of Jesus
on the cross never
needs to be repeated,
for our sins are
gone forever
Sometimes when a boxer is getting ready for a fight, someone will ask him what his strategy is for dealing with his opponent. He might reply, “I’m gonna ‘one-time’ the guy.”

What he means is, he’s going to wait for the right time to throw a punch, but when he does, he’s going to hit the other guy so hard that he can’t get back up again; the fight will be over then and there.

Jesus dealt with our sins just like that.

Have you ever noticed how John the Baptist testifies to Jesus at the beginning of the Gospel of John? The first time he sees Him, he declares,

“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
— John 1:29

The second time he sees Him is the next day. He is standing with two of his disciples and again testifies to Jesus, but this time he only says,

“Behold the Lamb of God!”
— John 1:36

He does not say a second time, “who takes away the sin of the world!,” because he does not need to. Jesus only needed to take away the sin of the world “one time”; after that, it is gone forever, and in terms of our guilt before God it never needs to be dealt with again.

Making the same point, the writer of Hebrews contrasts the sacrifices of the Old Testament priests, which had to be repeated year by year on the Day of Atonement, with the unique sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Regarding the sacrifices made under the old covenant, He tells us plainly,

It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
— Hebrews 10:4

That is why the Old Testament priests had to keep offering them; they were only “atoning” sacrifices that merely covered sins; they could not take them away. That is in fact what the Hebrew word for “atonement” means, “to cover.”

In contrast, Jesus has taken our sins away completely by the one-time sacrifice of Himself:

Now once at the end of the ages He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
— Hebrews 9:26

On the cross, Jesus took permanent, legal ownership of our sins; in a very real sense, they became “His sins” (Heb. 7:27; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:5-6,10). The fact that God raised this one from the dead, who had become sin for us, and caused Him to sit at His right hand in the heavens, is the proof, the “receipt,” so to speak, that full payment has been made for our sins, so that they are now gone forever:

He…was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
— Romans 4:25

When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
— Hebrews 1:3

Thank the Lord, our sins are gone forever, and the One who paid the price on our behalf is now at the right hand of God! So that we can boldly say,  with the Apostle Paul:

Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ?…In all these things we more than conquer through Him who loved us.
— Romans 8:34-35,37

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— 1 October 2022 —