Saturday 22 January 2011

Bible Book:

"How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to servce the living God!" (v. 14)

Hebrews 9:2-14 Saturday 22 January 2011


The writer of the letter to the Hebrews has worked hard toencourage the readers that they can be confident of what JesusChrist has done for them through his birth, death, andresurrection.

The writer notes two points of similarity between the animalsacrifices and Jesus. Both the animal sacrifices and Jesus'sacrificial death are offered to God. This suggests that at theheart of our different understandings in different faiths of how toworship God, there is a universal understanding that God exists,that God is worthy of worship and that God can save us. The secondsimilarity is that Jesus and the animal sacrifices both aredescribed as eing "without blemish" thus we are reminded that weoffer to God the best we have. 

The writer also draws four points of contrast between the oldsystem of animal sacrifices and the self sacrificing of Jesus'death on the cross which leads to the redemption of the whole ofcreation:

  • Jesus Christ's sacrifice is offered through the eternal spiritrather than flesh. That which is offered has its place with God inthe heavens and cannot just be about human concerns.
  • Christ offers himself and thus is both priest and sacrifice.His sacrifice is therefore volitional (ie of his own will andintent); he chooses to die for us rather than him beingchosen.
  • The old animal sacrifices of the temple worship were aboutcreating physical purity for those who offered them whereas thedeath of Jesus brings about inner change which results intransformation of the whole person.
  • The death of Jesus brings those who trust in him into thepresence of the living God.



To Ponder

What is the best we have? How (if at all) do weoffer it to God?

What change in yourself have you known as aresult of faith in Christ? Or what change would you like tosee?

What do you think it might it be like toencounter the living God?

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