Great sinners need a great Savior. That is exactly what Christ is, for He is “able also to save them to the uttermost” (Heb. 7:25)! That is life-changing news for the “chief of sinners.” If Christ can save Paul, who was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurer of innocents, He can also save you, no matter how hell-worthy you may be. Ask Jesus Christ for the grace of repentance and faith that you may put all your trust in Him (cf. Acts 5:31).
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. — 1 TIMOTHY 1:15
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. — HEBREWS 9:26; CF. 1 JOHN 1:9; 3:5
In Christ’s first coming, He implemented a rescue plan conceived in the mind of God before the foundation of the world. He did not come to promote holiday cheer, boost end-of-year sales, or serve as the central figure in a nativity scene. He came to save sinners.
To save sinners, Christ had to put away what makes people sinners— namely, sin. At the dawn of man’s history, sin, like an unwelcome virus, infected mankind easily enough. But how could it be exterminated? God was already answering this question through the Old Testament sacrificial system. One of the main themes in the epistle to the Hebrews is the repetitious labors of Old Testament priests: “And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death” (Heb. 7:23). Morning and evening, priests placed burnt offerings for sin on an altar, the fire of which was never to go out (2 Chron. 13:11; Lev. 6:12).
Nonetheless, sins were not fully extinguished through this system (Heb. 10:4). Old Testament sacrifices were merely a shadow, or copy, of what was to come (Heb. 9:23); thus, the priesthood of Aaron could have sacrificed burnt offerings for a million years without putting away a single sin. The writer of Hebrews says the seed of Adam needed a better priesthood to put away sins—a priesthood “after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb. 7:17; cf. Ps. 110:4). Likewise, a better sacrifice offered in a better tabernacle was necessary. When a truly perfect sacrifice was offered in the tabernacle of heaven, sin would finally be put away.