In the book of Hebrews, Paul not only focuses on the theological understanding of Christ’s sacrifice, he also explains some of its practical implications.
At several places he shows what happens if someone ignores this sacrifice.
In the book of Hebrews, Paul demonstrates how magnificent God’s salvation is, how God has revealed Himself, and what He has done and is doing for the believers. However, there is at least one main problematic issue that Paul had to address. It is the danger that Christ’s sacrifice could gradually be taken for granted. He describes such a danger as “drifting away” from the goal (Heb. 2:1). The imagery behind Paul’s words is that of a ship that is veering off course and does not reach the port of destination. The main task is to stay on course.
Some of those who reject God do so deliberately, which means that their life after receiving the gospel is virtually the same as it was before they received it. Those people do not, in fact, have any efficacious sacrifice for their sins (Heb. 10:26-31). However, it seems that not many believers would forthrightly reject Christ’s sacrifice or even think about such a thing. Still, Paul sounds a warning. The real danger of disregard and neglect is that it is often a subtle and very gradual process. The transition can be unnoticeable. Slowly the work of Christ is not appreciated enough, similar to Esau’s failure to appreciate his birthright anymore (Heb. 12:15-17). Christ’s sacrifice should never become so familiar that we regard it as commonplace.
Paul does not want to make his readers fearful; nevertheless, he needs to show them the consequences of veering away from God. He does not want such as thing to happen. On the positive side, he encourages them vividly to “hold fast” all the good things of salvation (Heb. 3:6, 14; 10:23) and to fix their eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2).
What about yourself? Have you simply become “used to” the amazing truth about the Cross? Why is this such a terrible thing to do? How can we protect ourselves from the danger that Paul warns about here?