|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-10 The apostle having shown that the tabernacle, and ordinances of the covenant of Sinai, were only emblems and types of the gospel, concludes that the sacrifices the high priests offered continually, could not make the worshippers perfect, with respect to pardon, and the purifying of their consciences. But when God manifested in the flesh, became the sacrifice, and his death upon the accursed tree the ransom, then the Sufferer being of infinite worth, his free-will sufferings were of infinite value. The atoning sacrifice must be one capable of consenting, and must of his own will place himself in the sinner's stead: Christ did so. The fountain of all that Christ has done for his people, is the sovereign will and grace of God. The righteousness brought in, and the sacrifice once offered by Christ, are of eternal power, and his salvation shall never be done away. They are of power to make all the comers thereunto perfect; they derive from the atoning blood, strength and motives for obedience, and inward comfort.
Verse 4. - For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats (specified as being the offerings of the Day of Atonement) should take away sins. The principle of the insufficiency of animal sacrifices having been thus expressed, confirmation of it is now further adduced from the Old Testament itself, together with a prophetic anticipation of the great self-oblation which was to take their place.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For it is not possible,.... There is a necessity of sin being taken away, otherwise it will be remembered; and there will be a conscience of it, and it must be answered for, or it will remain marked, and the curse and penalty of the law must take place: but it is impossible
that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins; which was shed on the day of atonement: sin is a breach of the moral law, but these sacrifices belong to, the ceremonial law, which are less acceptable to God than moral duties; sin is committed against God, and has an objective infiniteness in it, and therefore can never be atoned for by the blood of such creatures; it leaves a stain on the mind and conscience, which this blood cannot reach; besides, this is not the same blood, nor of the same kind with the person that has sinned; yea, if this could take away sin, it would do more than the blood of the man himself could do; such blood shed can never answer the penalty of the law, satisfy divine justice, or secure the honour of divine holiness: but what the blood of these creatures could not do, the blood of Christ has done, and does: that takes away sin from the sight of justice, and from the consciences of the saints. Compare with this the Septuagint version of Jeremiah 11:15.
"what, has the beloved committed abomination in my house? shall prayers, and the holy flesh take away thy wickednesses from thee, or by these shall thou escape?''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. For, &c.—reason why, necessarily, there is a continually recurring "remembrance of sins" in the legal sacrifices (Heb 10:3). Typically, "the blood of bulls," &c., sacrificed, had power; but it was only in virtue of the power of the one real antitypical sacrifice of Christ; they had no power in themselves; they were not the instrument of perfect vicarious atonement, but an exhibition of the need of it, suggesting to the faithful Israelite the sure hope of coming redemption, according to God's promise.
take away—"take off." The Greek, Heb 10:11, is stronger, explaining the weaker word here, "take away utterly." The blood of beasts could not take away the sin of man. A MAN must do that (see on Heb 9:12-14).
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