Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sacrifice and Salvation 11/29/2012

"So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."  Heb 9:28

In the times of the Old Testament, it was necessary for animal sacrifices involving much blood to be made for the inadvertent sins of the people.  It was a fairly complicated process that involved the high priest going into what was called the Holiest of Holies to render sacrifice to God.  He had to first do so for himself and his family and then for all of Israel.  This sacrifice of atonement as it was known, allowed the high priest to approach the very earthly presence of God (located in the Holiest of Holies) just once per year but it had to be done each year.  This was done not to forgive his sins and that of the people, but was done merely as a reminder of sins.  "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins."  Heb 10:3-4.

Beloved the sobering fact is that there was indeed a sacrifice that could take away sins and it was made by Jesus.  It is only through his perfect obedience to God, his perfect and sinless life and the perfect nature of his sacrifice that we have access to salvation.  His sacrifice ushered in a new covenant between God and man that did away with ritual offerings and provided the availability of a clear conscience for those who fear God as well as direct access to him through Jesus.  Whereas formerly, only the high priest could  approach the presence of God once a year and that with blood, we can all now approach God any time through the shedding of Christ's blood.

This act and this fact is nothing less than the very foundation of Christianity.  And since he has given us access, we can take confidence in knowing that when he returns, it will be not to suffer as he has already done, but to receive those who have received him.  Have you truly received Jesus?

Rejoicing in the Lord,


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