12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.
The writer of Hebrews has been discussing Christ’s atoning death in the light of the Old Testament sacrifices. In our verse, Christ is contrasted with the ministry of the Old Testament priests whom he mentioned in the previous verse. They offered sacrifices daily. They stood all the time while they ministered. They repeated their sacrifices in the morning and in the evening. Yet those sacrifices could not take away the sins of the people. In that verse, it was said concerning their ministry that “every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (v. 11).
But Christ, our High Priest, had offered one sacrifice. His sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins was so perfect that having ascended to heaven after His resurrection, He sat down on the right hand of God the Father. He does not continue to stand like the Old Testament priests who could not offer a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. He sat down to return no more for the purpose of offering another sacrifice for our sins. Moreover, the fact that Jesus Christ is now seated at the right hand of God proves that His sacrifice for our sins was perfectly pleasing and acceptable to God. Christ’s place on the right hand of God betokens the highest honour that He is endued with for offering the perfect sacrifice for His people’s redemption.
What a perfect Saviour we have in Jesus Christ our Lord! He “offered one sacrifice for sins”, and it was a perfect sacrifice. He, being sinless, was perfect as our High Priest and our sacrificial lamb. He needed to sacrifice only one sacrifice for all His people. So in His case, there is no perpetual standing by the altar to repeat His sacrifice for our sins. His precious blood shed on the cross for our sins was a perfect sacrifice. Not only are all His people cleansed by it, but they are also all fully and eternally cleansed! As Hebrews 9:12 declares, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Again, Hebrews 9:28 says, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” He will come again, not to offer sacrifice for sins, but to receive unto Himself all His people whom He has saved by His death on the cross.