Why are we always taught to continually ask for forgiveness?
If we have been forgiven once for all as Hebrews says, why ask for something we already have?
The writer of the book of Hebrews says this is like treating the blood of Christ like the blood of ‘bulls and goats.’
The Jews had to sacrifice bulls and goats for their sin over and over again.
Moses had to splash the blood all over the temple, the altar and all the people!
He took the blood of calves and sprinkled the scroll and all the people…in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood.
– Hebrews 9:19-21
Can you imagine? It must have been a bloody day.
But all this was pointing to Christ.
As Hebrews 9:22 says:
Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Every year the Hebrews had to make a new sacrifice to be forgiven. But those animal sacrifices couldn’t take away sin, the writer of Hebrews tells us. They were only a ‘reminder’ of sin.
But those sacrifices are an annual reminder for sin. Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin.
– Hebrews 10:3
It is impossible for the blood of animals to take away sin.
It was all pointing to Christ who took away our sin once for all.
We don’t have to sacrifice animals anymore because Jesus was the last, once for all sacrifice.
Through His sacrifice we have forgiveness of sins.
He will never sacrifice Himself again.
As God says in Isaiah:
From that cup, the globlet of my fury, you will never drink again.
– Isaiah 51:22
Christ’s one sacrifice was enough for all sin, for all people, for all time.
So, when we turn to God and beg for forgiveness in a way we’re behaving like the Jews of the O.T who needed to be forgiven again and again.
But we don’t need to be forgiven again and again.
Because we have been forgiven once for all.
As Hebrews says:
For Christ did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise he would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But, now, at the end of the ages, Christ has appeared once to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
– Hebrews 9:24-26
So, let’s stop asking for forgiveness. We have forgiveness already.
If we do it’s like saying Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough.
But it was enough!
It was once for all.
But what happens when we sin? I hear you cry. Surely we should ask God for forgiveness?!
What does John say in his first letter?
If we sin we have an advocate who goes to the Father for us – Jesus Christ – the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sin, and not only our sin, but for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1
Who goes to the Father?
Do we go?
No! Jesus goes to the Father for us and we are in Him – approved by God in Christ.
ps. want to know how free you are? Listen to my recording of Romans 6 on soundcloud!