Once For All

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The Letter to the Hebrews is a definitive statement on the supremacy of Christ. Written to Jewish believers, the author painstakingly walks through the types and shadows of the past prophets, priests, law, sacrifice and temple and then boldly and surpassingly demonstrates that Christ fulfills and infinitely exceeds them all. And embedded within that, is another refrain. A more subtle, yet equally powerful refrain – a refrain for those He came to save: “once for all.”


Poignantly, the phrase “once for all” is only used six times in the New Testament writings and four of these are in Hebrews in regard to Christ’s ministry on our behalf. So if you ever doubted or have forgotten God’s great love for you and the length He went to forgive, cleanse and adopt you, be reminded again today of  the “once for all” refrain of Hebrews:


“He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.” Hebrews 7:27


“he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12


“for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Hebrews 9:26


“And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:10


Thus, we sing with timeless truth: “Once for all, the greatest sacrifice was made. Once for all – His perfect love for us displayed. The Lamb was slain for all my sin and shame. Once for all – Amen!”  


We see in the verses of this song an outline of a perfect Savior coming to perfectly save His people, once for all.


In order for Jesus to be an acceptable substitute for us and satisfy the holiness and wrath of God, He must be fully man and fully God. The incarnation of the eternally existent Son made forgiveness of sins possible: [verse 1] “The Son of God gave up His throne. The Lord of all walked among us. He knew no sin, yet turned Himself in, On the mount of crucifixion.”


The author of Hebrews talks about the Son’s incarnation (deity in flesh) here: “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.’” Hebrews 10:5-7


As Hebrews states, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (9:22). For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (10:4), thus [verse 2] lays out the price for sin – the very lifeblood of Jesus [verse 2]: “Sentenced to die; the man Jesus Christ. The righteous King was forsaken. The price of sin, was laid upon Him, on the mount of crucifixion.”

 But without Sunday, and the resurrection, Paul states, “… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor. 15:17). Thus, verse 3, shines the light of our certain hope of the resurrection into the darkness of the tomb and our past life of sin, “Three days had passed since the Lord breathed His last. Our only hope lay in darkness. Then the earth gave way; the stone rolled away – He’s alive, He has won, He is risen!”

 And so we rejoice and are immovable in this reality: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:54c-57)

 And so today, dear brother and sister, we can say with Jesus, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The accuser has been silenced, sin, death and Satan have been defeated, the veil separating God and man has been torn, and you have been adopted, washed, sealed and redeemed! And so we sing:

 “It is finished; It’s finished. Our God has made a way. And it’s accomplished; King Jesus, has risen from the grave. It is finished; it’s finished – the veil’s been torn away. Come ye sinners; unworthy, Come one, come all and say: Once for all, the greatest sacrifice was made. Once for all – His perfect love for us displayed. The Lamb was slain for all my sin and shame. Once for all – Amen!”