Throughout the New Testament, the apostles and church leaders warn Christians to not be led away by other strange and varied teachings. Here the writer of Hebrews encourages to be strengthened by grace, and not by foods. As Jews converted to Christianity, they faced social and cultural pressure to conform to Jewish laws and customs. This was particularly noticeable when it came to refraining from certain types of foods. To eat of these foods from ‘unclean’ or dirty animals would seem gross to those who born and raised in Jewish custom. People who ate these foods were looked down on.
In this passage of scripture we see another aspect of the beauty of the new covenant. Animals were brought as sin offerings under Jewish law. The blood would be taken into the holy places as a sacrifice for sin, but the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp, they were not allowed to be eaten, unlike other sacrifices, where part of the animal was given to the priests to eat. We are not covered by the blood of animals, but by the blood of Jesus Christ. Not only this, but as those that are born again, we partake of the body of Christ, that was broken for us. He carried the cross out of Jerusalem to Calvary, and was crucified in reproach.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to go with Jesus and bear the reproach that he bore outside the city. We are not to be dissuaded by the reproach of the earthly world, society or culture. We are not to be swayed by popular opinions, what they find moral and acceptable or to conform to their beliefs to avoid reproach, or to avoid being looked down on. Jesus bore all shame on the cross. He was tortured and killed as criminal, bearing the reproach of the entire world, all of the shame that comes from sin was born by the holy son of God. Today, may any remnant of shame be removed, and may you boldly walk and proclaim the holiness and righteousness of God to the world.