Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 9:11-15

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.  For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.”  Hebrews 9:11-15

Not only is Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise of a mediator for our sins on our behalf, but He is also the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise of the perfect sacrifice for atonement for our sins.  In old testament times, the high priest would sacrifice an animal to atone for the sins of the people.  This was only a temporary solution to the problem.  People would keep on sinning and there was the need for more sacrifices to cover those sins.  However, when Jesus came to Earth, he was the perfect sacrifice because He lived a sinless life.  So not only was His sacrifice able to cover our sins, He was the perfect High Priest to offer the sacrifice because He didn’t need to atone for Himself before offering.

We are able to receive the promise of eternal life, of a restored relationship with God, because of Jesus and what He’s done for us.  It is a gift that is freely offered to us.  Let us rejoice and accept this gift and live our lives for Him, not because we have to but because we want to.

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 7:23-28

“The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.  Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.  He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.  For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.”  Hebrews 7:23-28

In Old Testament days, there was a need for priests to intercede for the people before God.  But because the priests were human just like the people, they had to get right and offer sacrifices for themselves before offering sacrifices for the people for atonement of sins.  But Jesus changed all that.  Because He lived a perfect life as a man, he didn’t ever have to make atonement for Himself.  He was that ultimate sacrifice once for all.  Also, he lives today and is constantly interceding on behalf of those who are followers of Jesus.

This week, let this be a reminder that Jesus is advocating for us, interceding for us.  Let us go before Him with all our troubles, with all our concerns, with all our fears and all our hopes.

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 4

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16

We all want someone to appreciate and understand what we are going through.  When we struggle with hard times, we want someone can relate to us.  In this passage in Hebrews, the writer is reminding us that Jesus understands.  When he lived on this Earth, he was tempted and tried.  He was mocked and ridiculed.  He was hurt by those he considered his friends.  He felt sorrow and grief.  He knows what we are going through.  Even better, because of the work He did on the cross to be the sacrifice to pay for our sins, we can come to him in confidence that we can receive grace and mercy.  We also can go to him with our needs, with our hurts and know that he will listen and he will care.  What do you need to take to Him today?  Do so and know that He loves you and knows what you’re going through.