“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God . . . For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:13-14, KJV 1900)
One of Newton’s laws of motion is that “For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. It explains why a baseball will fly off the end of a bat. Similarly, every human act has some corresponding influence on someone or something. There are divine acts that have significant eternal influence on the lives of people. the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is an act like no other that has ever been performed throughout all eternity.
Jesus’s sacrifice of Himself in the flesh is the one single divine act that has eternal effectiveness. Through the infinitely perfect sacrifice of Jesus done once and never needing to be repeated, multitudes of people have had their lives miraculously transformed for all eternity.
Here the author of Hebrews gives three eternal changes that have occurred as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice. First, His one sacrifice dealt with the problem of man’s sin forever. So perfect was Jesus sacrifice on the cross, that it never needed to be repeated. Many who are led astray today have this idea that somehow, they need to add their own sacrificial works to merit salvation. Yet, in doing so, they, by this attitude or theology, make the sacrifice of Jesus less than perfect and complete. Jesus sacrificed Himself once for all. Nothing will top it and nothing else is necessary.
Second, the sacrifice of Jesus was complete as He sat down at the right hand of God in the holiest place. Being seated is a position that indicates the work is complete. The perfect sacrifice of Jesus qualified Him to sit down in the holiest place. The high priest under the law could never do this, but only could enter the holiest place in the earthly Tabernacle once a year, and then only for that service on the Day of Atonement. Jesus is now seated in the holiest place in heaven where He now mediates the New Covenant for us. We have access to God in Him. He continuously intercedes for us and serves as our advocate.
Third, because of this one act of sacrifice, Jesus has perfected for all eternity those who are the elect, those who are being sanctified. We are today positionally set apart from sin and dedicated to the purposes and glory of God. We have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ and are now acceptable before God because of the holiness of Christ and His righteousness that has been imputed to us by faith.
The sacrifice of Jesus was the epoch event of all history. It was the plan of God established in eternity. The entire Old Testament looked forward to it and the New Testament reflects upon it. We are blessed to have been joined with Christ in His sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection. His sacrifice is once for all and we, who have believed, have been joined once for all in His sacrifice.