Animal Sacrifices Are Insufficient

“A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth” (Ecclesiastes 7:1). In the book “Facing Death”, Billy Graham tells of hearing about the death of Corrie ten Boom. She was a remarkable woman who hid Jews from the … More


Animal sacrifices could not take away sins; they provided only a temporary way to deal with sin until Jesus came to deal with it permanently. This chapter of Hebrews continues to emphasize the perfect sacrifice of Christ in contrast to the imperfect sacrifices that were offered under the Old Covenant.

  1. The need for a better  sacrifice (verses 1-4). This was because the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin (v. 4). It is estimated that at Passover times as many as three hundred thousand lambs would be slain within one week’s time. Yet, no matter how many sacrifices were made, or how often, they were ineffective.
  2. The provision of a better sacrifice (verses 5-9). Jesus Christ has taken away the first covenant and established the second (v. 9). “You cannot be under two covenants at the same time,” they are being told, “and now that the second has come, the first one has to go.”
  3. The effectiveness of the better sacrifice (v. 10). Believers have been set apart by the offering of Christ’s body once for all. This is permanent and can’t be modified in all eternity.


There are people today who think doing certain things will take away their sin. If they go to church every Sunday and go through a set of rituals they will be ok. If I am trusting in anything except the blood of Christ I am still in my sin. I am so glad that my trust is in Him.

Hebrews 10:1-10 (English Standard Version)

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'" When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), then he added, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »