The opening chapter of the book of Hebrews is one of the New Testament’s most poignant introductions of Jesus Christ. He is the “radiance of the glory of God” and he “upholds the universe by the word of his power.” He is glory wrapped in flesh and with one word, he holds the galaxies in place.
That’s not all.
Hebrews tell us that he also made “purification for sins.” In other words, He cleansed the blot of sin. It no longer needs to be atoned for. And as a result, Jesus the Great High Priest, “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Unlike the Old Testament priests who were constantly moving because sin was not atoned for, Jesus cleansed sin and thus sits down because His sacrifice is, as the author would later say in Hebrews, is done once and for all.
Jesus did what had never been done before.
Free from Sin
I once heard the story of a man whose dream led him to be converted. In his dream, he saw an angel writing a book. At the top of the page was the man’s own name and under it were all the evil things he had done and all of the evil thoughts he had entertained. But then suddenly, a man appeared with a bright face, his palms dripping with blood. The man grabbed the book and smeared his hands over the page. A voice then shouted to the angel to read what is on the page, but the angel answered, “I cannot because it is covered with blood.”
How did Jesus cleanse sin once and for all? How are you, as a result, free from sin? He did it by shedding his own blood for our sins. Jesus became the scapegoat that would absorb all of God’s wrath in our place so that we might be cleansed once and for all.
This is why Hebrews 10:10 tells us that “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” And as a result, “having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
In other words: Christ hit “select all, delete” with every sin you ever have and ever will commit. This leads us to say with the Puritan Thomas Watson,
“O saints, let your thoughts dwell upon the love of Christ, who passed by angels and thought of you, who was wounded that, out of his wounds, you might be healed; Think on Him who leaped into the sea of his Father’s wrath, to save you from drowning… It is not enough to have a few transient thoughts of Christ by and by, but there must be a fixing of our minds on Christ, till our hearts are warmed in love to him, and we can say, ‘my heart burns within me!’”