Only Jesus Can Bring Forgiveness…
The sacrifices made in the temple were never enough to bring forgiveness:
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offer continually each year. Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer have had any consciousness of sins? …Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool. -Hebrews 10:1-2,11-13 NAB
The author of Hebrews boldly tells us that the rituals and sacrifices made in the temple were not enough to atone for the people’s sins and that only Jesus can bring the forgiveness we need.
The author’s rationale focuses on the need for the sacrifices to be continually made. If the people had to make new sacrifices each year, were they really receiving the atonement needed for their sins?
This, of course, challenged everything the Jewish people knew about their faith. They had been practicing these rituals since the times of Moses, and now they were finding out that it was never enough in the first place.
But, as the author tells us, the Law was a “shadow of the good things to come.” It was good but gave them a glimpse of something even greater: the sacrifice made by Christ that would bring forgiveness for our sins once and for all.
We may search the world for ways to atone for our sins, but in the end, only Jesus can bring forgiveness.