Behold, I Have Come To Do Your Will
“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,
‘SACRIFICE AND OFFERING THOU HAST NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY THOU HAST PREPARED FOR ME; IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES FOR SIN THOU HAST TAKEN NO PLEASURE. “THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME
(IN THE ROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO THY WILL, O GOD.’ “
Hebrews 10:4-7 (NAS)
Our next Old Testament quote to be cited by the inspired writer of the letter to the Hebrews is found in chapter ten and is lifted from Psalm 40:6-8, a psalm of king David. Here’s the New American Standard translation of those verses: “Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired; My ears Thou hast opened; burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required. Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me; I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart.’ ” Just as in last week’s passage, the verbiage differs slightly between Old and New Testament passages since the writer is quoting from the Septuagint translation (Greek) of the Old Testament in his letter to the Hebrews.
Christ’s purpose in coming into the world
Way back in the beginning of the letter to the Hebrews, the writer was moved to pen this statement: “And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, ‘AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.’ ” (Heb. 1:6) Thus begins the theme and the purpose of the Father bringing the first-born, Jesus Christ, into the world. It was to establish Jesus’ superiority over all things concerning the Old Covenant, thus establishing the superiority of the New Covenant, which was inaugurated by His blood.
Now here in our text for today, the writer portrays the Son speaking and declaring His purpose in coming into the world-to fulfill the design of the eternal plan of God by executing His part as revealed in the Scriptures to the glory and good pleasure (C. f. Isa. 53:10, Col. 1:19) of the Father.
Sacrifices and offerings weren’t God’s desire
The Old Testament contains similar utterances from other inspired spokesmen of God who communicated the same principle as we find in Psalm 40:6-8. Sacrifices and offerings were not what the LORD God desired or took pleasure in to offset an earthly minded people who would succumb to the power of sin. There was no real power there to take away mans’ sins and redeem him.
In a previous installment (Aug. 8, 2010), we spoke of the fact that writer of Hebrews had already established that the animal and grain offerings were insufficient to really pay for the peoples’ sins. Redemption wasn’t accomplished in those sacrifices or any other “perishable thing.” The prophet Micah asked rhetorically, “With what shall I come to the LORD and bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves? Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my first-born for my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” (Micah 6:6-7) The obvious answer (and the context to follow in Micah chapter six makes it clear) is no, the LORD does not take delight, nor is it His ultimate desire, to have these. The apostle Peter really drives home the point when the Spirit impelled Him to pen, “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you..” (1 Pet. 1:18-20) Inherent in this statement brethren, that may have escaped your notice, is the fact that you were redeemed with the imperishable sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ.
A body prepared according to prophecy
The fact that the Messiah was to come in the flesh was well documented throughout the Old Testament scriptures beginning with Genesis 3:15. Jesus’ ears had to be opened, so to speak, to know just who He was. It started with the words of His parents and when old enough to read, was reinforced by the word of God. By the time He was readied to start His earthly ministry as the prophesied Messiah, He knew full well who He was in the flesh according to prophecy and exactly for what His body had been prepared. To the Father then He acknowledged…
Behold, I have come to do your will
Jesus knew God was His Father. He knew and understood who He was as the Father’s beloved Son. And as we’ve mentioned, He knew His purpose and was therefore willing to offer it as the sacrifice that would once for all time take away sins (Heb. 10:11) and sanctify those who are participants in the New Covenant in full assurance of faith have had their hearts sprinkled by His imperishable blood.
Before Jesus laid down His body prepared for us, He had been preparing for that day by offering His body daily in service to His Father. Like the slave under the law who would have their ear pierced by an awl signifying they desired to serve their entire life to their master willingly, so Jesus, knowing what the word of God said concerning Him, desired to serve His Master (the Father) by offering up His body in order to execute the Father’s will.
How about us, His church? If our ears have been opened by the word to know who we are in Christ according to prophecy, then it only stands to reason that we too should offer our bodies as living sacrifices in service to the will of the Father (Rom. 12:1-2). Amen?