Futility Of Religion: Hebrews 10:5-10
“8) After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9) then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10) By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:8-10‬ ‭
In verses 5-7, the author quoted Psalm 40:6-8. In the context, King David was talking about Gods amazing wonders and thoughts toward us. He was prophesying that God had something better coming than the Old Testament sacrifice system.
In Hebrews 10:9-10, these verses are applied to the work of Jesus Christ. The writer makes it clear that David was talking about the mystery of the incarnation. God prepared a human body for His Son. (Vs 6) In this body, Jesus came to do Gods will, which included His work on the cross to redeem humanity.
Notice verse 9 stresses that “… He takes away the first to establish the second.” God took no pleasure in the Old Testament sacrifice system. It presented a pattern or figure for what Jesus fulfilled, but the Old Testament system fell short. However, it did establish the principle of a substitutionary sacrifice. Verse 10 nails it; “… we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all.”
I like the simple response of Abraham to his son Isaac as they walked toward the altar of sacrifice. (Genesis 22:7-8) Isaac asked, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abrahams answer could be translated, “God will prepare Himself as the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
The incarnation of Jesus Christ was God’s plan way before Moses gave the Law or the details of the sacrificial system. God took no delight in the empty ceremonies within the Law. Eventually they were reduced to empty ceremony which became a cover for holiday festivities, parties, drunkenness and revelry. Instead of becoming an atonement for the sins of mankind, the sacrificial system became an annual occasion for fleshly indulgence.
This is a prime example of the futility of religion. It often misses the mark. Religion can quickly become empty and a mask for human depravity. It often becomes the opposite of its expressed purpose.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global