I was asked a very good question as follows:
What is your interpretation of the following Scriptures?
1) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no conscience of sins.
3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
In particular, I would like for you to comment on this phrase: “Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no conscience of sins.”
The law spoken of here is the Law of Moses, and especially refers to the Levitical sacrificial system. Remember this book was written to Jews / Hebrews who were asking whether Christ was really all they needed, or whether they needed the Law of Moses also.
The first five books of the Bible, especially parts of Exodus through Deuteronomy, which describes the sacrificial system and civil law of Israel, as well as many ordinances which flow from the moral nature of God is actually full of typology. That is, things like the Table of Showbread have a symbolic meaning which points to an aspect of service to Christ in the New Testament – in that case – continual consecration and prayer. In fact, everything in the Tabernacle symbolizes something important in the Christian life, or something in the nature of Jesus Christ, or something in God’s design for the church. I refer you to Derek Prince or Kevin Connor, esteemed Bible teachers, for more on this – as huge books have been written on the subject and they contain fascinating insights.
These things in the Mosaic Law are thus only SHADOWS of the good things to come. The spiritual reality is in Christ. All the spiritual treasures are in Christ. Forgiveness of sins is also in Christ. It is no longer through the animal sacrifices referred to in Hebrews 10:1.
There is no need for further SACRIFICES to be made to atone for sin. Our acts of obedience to God are NOT sacrfices that pay for sin – whereas in the Old Testament, there was a sense in which the sacrifice of a valuable animal was a necessary and required faith step for the people’s sins to be covered. Such sacrifices are no longer required, as Christ fully provided through his own body and blood all the SACRIFICES needed for atonement.
God no longer remembers sins which are under the blood of Christ, and furthermore, God certainly doesn’t want us to be conscious of guilt for those things which Christ has paid for.
Today those WORSHIPERS the Father seeks should have no consciousness of sin. Why? Because the Father is seeking those who worship in SPIRIT and in TRUTH (see John 4:23,24). The Father is not seeking for unfaithful hypocrites, idolaters, lovers of uncleanness to give Him lip service. Those he calls to stop deceiving themselves and REPENT. But those who come to God as worshipers with FAITH – with HONESTY – with HUMILITYand dependence on the Spirit of God are pleasing to God because it is these people who are in Christ and are being SANCTIFIED. These are the people who believe that God is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). They have that faith, without which, it is impossible to please God. As for those who worship with their lips while their hearts are full of greed, lust and impurity, who say, “I love you Lord” when really they don’t – these ones can and should have consciousness of sins, because they are not abiding in Christ at all. But those who are humble enough to be honest, who confess their sins and forsake them, who trust in the Blood of Jesus as their sacrifice, these are the ones whose lawless deeds God remembers no more. And if God remembers them no more, neither should anyone else.