In these last few verses, the didactic part of his letter, the writer summarizes his thoughts and concludes that the daily sacrifices are inconsistent with the priesthood of Christ.18 He reintroduces selected verses from Jeremiah 31:31-34 to stress the significance of the new covenant and the complete remission of sin.
More implicitly than explicitly, the author teaches that all three persons of the Trinity are involved in the work of atonement. At the right hand of God the Father, the Son takes his seat upon completion of his sacrificial work on earth. The Holy Spirit testifies to the establishing of the new covenant that God has made with people whose sins have been forgiven through the bodily sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Jesus teaches his disciples the Lord’s Prayer, to which he adds the comment: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matt. 6:14-15). The author of Hebrews, guided by the words of Jeremiah’s prophecy, teaches that God forgives and forgets man’s “sins and lawless acts.” The counterpart of this doctrine is that we must not only forgive our fellow man who sins against us. After we have forgiven him we must forget the wrong he has committed. We, too, must live by the principle that forgiven sin is forgotten sin.
Of the well-known triad faith, hope, and love, hope seems to be neglected. Writers of the New Testament, however, do not neglect it, for they mention it as many times as faith and love. The Christian in his spiritual life appears to stress the virtues of faith and love, but he says little about hope.
Yet hope guides the believer, for it provides him freedom from the fear of death. He keeps his eyes on Jesus, who has conquered the power of death. He knows that in Jesus he has salvation, righteousness, eternal life, and the assurance of resurrection from the dead. That hope will be realized when Jesus returns.
18 John Calvin, Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949), p. 230.
Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 15: New Testament commentary : Exposition of Hebrews. Accompanying biblical text is author’s translation. New Testament Commentary (284). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.