Hebrews ◦ Chapter 10
1 The script (also known as "the Law of Moses") was only a shadow–a stage play, a symbolic acting out–of the wonderful joys, blessings, health and happiness that are coming; it was not reality itself. This is why the law–the symbolic system–can never, by the repeated rituals year after year, perfectly heal and restore those who practice its rites.2If animal sacrifices could somehow actually heal and restore the worshiper to Godlikeness of character, then would not the sacrifices ceased to be offered, for everyone would have been healed, and there would have been no more sickness of heart or mind to remove?3 Instead, the animal sacrifices were annual reminders of our sick and dying condition,4 as it is impossible for the death of bulls and goats to heal our hearts and minds and restore us to Christlikeness.5 Therefore, when Christ himself came into the world, he said: "You never desired sacrifices and offerings, but you prepared a body for me;6 burnt offerings and sin offerings are not what your heart longed for.7 Then I said, 'Here I am–I am the one written about in the Scriptures–I have come to fulfill your will of love, to reveal your true character, and to expose the lies of Satan, O God.'"8 First he said, "You did not desire sacrifices and offerings; burnt offerings and sin offerings were not what your heart longed for" (although they were exactly what the script directed to be done).9 Then he said, "Here I am; I have come to fulfill your will of love, to reveal the truth about your character, and to expose the lies of Satan." He set aside the stage play, the symbolism, the shadowy drama, and revealed the reality–the truth.10 And by that truth, we have been won back to trust and subsequently healed in hearts and minds and made Christlike in character. All this was made possible by one single event — the loving self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ whereby he overcame selfishness with love.11 Day after day earthly priests stand and act out their part in the religious drama; again and again they re-enact the same lesson, offering the same sacrifices which can never actually transform the heart or heal the mind.12But Jesus Christ voluntarily sacrificed himself once, and that one sacrifice was sufficient to achieve Remedy for sin. And having achieved the Remedy, he resumed his place at God’s right hand.13 Now he waits for the Day when even his enemies will bow before him,14 because by his one self-sacrifice he actually transforms and perfectly heals those who are being made holy.15 The Holy Spirit also confirms that his sacrifice was for the purpose of healing and transforming us. First he says:16 "This is the healing plan I will make anew with mankind after that time, declares the Lord. I will recreate and cleanse them, and restore my law of love in their minds, and write my principles of benevolence on their hearts."17 Then he adds: "I will never need to think about their sin-sickness again."18 And when the mind and heart have been healed, there is no longer need for further treatment to cure the illness.19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since Jesus died to bring us the truth about God and to eradicate selfishness from humanity, we no longer need to be afraid but can confidently enter the Most Holy Place–God's very presence–20 because Christ's death revealed the truth about God and ripped open the veil of lies told by Satan that blinded our minds, and destroyed the infection of selfishness that separated us from him.21 And since we have this great ministering priest who ministers the truth to all,22 let the truth permeate us, cleansing, transforming and changing us as we draw near to God in heart, mind, purpose, method, principle and character,23 so that we may have ultimate confidence and trust in him who has revealed himself to be completely trustworthy.24 And think constantly how we can work with God to help each other to grow in character to be like Jesus.25 Don't stop meeting together, as some have done, but continue to encourage each other, and do so even more as you see the Day of our ultimate deliverance approaching.26If we deliberately reject the truth about God and his loving, life-promoting methods, and instead — after God sacrificed everything to bring us this healing truth — continue to practice self-destructive methods, no further remedy remains:27only the inevitable consequences of unrestrained selfishness — the total destruction of character, perversion of mind, and abject panic and fear when God unveils his life-giving glory which transforms the righteous but consumes the wicked.28 In the symbolic stage play — which was designed to reveal the truth about God and his plan to heal — anyone who rejected the script of Moses was terminated from the group on the testimony of two or three witnesses.29 How much more certain will the agonizing death be for those who reject the Son of God (the only Remedy for our terminal condition), who treat as poisonous the healing truth that his death revealed, and who reject God’s Spirit that enlightens the mind with this life-saving Remedy?30 For we know him who said, "It is up to me to determine when someone is beyond healing–when someone has rejected the only healing cure; I will decide when to let them go;" and again, "The Lord will accurately diagnose his people."31 It will be horrible for those who remain God's enemies to experience his unveiled goodness and realize all they have rejected, and experience the full weight of their own guilt.32 Remember those first days of recovery when you had just begun to internalize the healing truth: You stood firm for what is right and healthy in the great battle against the tormenting forces of selfishness, both internal and external;33 sometimes you were attacked publicly with name-calling or even physical assault; at other times you stood up and supported fellow believers who were being mistreated.34 Your hearts went out to those imprisoned for this cause, and when your properties were seized, you remained joyful because you knew they couldn't take your possessions of real worth–God's love, a new heart, a healthy mind, and life eternal.35 So don't become discouraged and lose confidence; your trust will be richly rewarded.36 Maintain your focus and continue to implement God's methods in your lives, and you will receive all that he has promised;37 for in the grand history of the cosmos, it is just a very short time until "He who is coming to get us will come and will not delay.38 And those who are set right with me will live their lives trusting me; but if any stop trusting and turn away, my heart will break over them."39 But we are not those who stop trusting and turn away into the path of self-destruction and death; we are those who trust God and are healed.