Thursday 29 October 2015

Bible Book:

Hebrews 10:1-10 Thursday 29 October 2015

Psalm: Psalm 119:1-16


When Charles Darwin published 'The Origin ofSpecies' in 1859, human understanding of the evolution of life onearth and the interconnectedness of all living creatures changedforever. There can be no going back.

The author of the Letter to the Hebrews believedthat the self-offering of Jesus on the cross at Calvary, involuntary obedience to God's will that we should confront sin andevil only with humility and love, marked a decisive step change inthe relations between God and humanity. While remaining thoroughly'earthed' in local cultures and everyday concerns, at the spiritualand moral centres of our inner beings we may now enjoy open accessto the presence and love of God. We may be guided and helped tohave in our hearts values and purposes which please God -worshipping God and serving God by dedicated attention to ourneighbour.

Our author scores their point by using metaphorswhich mean little or nothing to us. In the Jewish world, thedecisive change effected by Jesus was marked by liberation from thesystem of animal sacrifices laid out in the law and practised inthe Jerusalem temple. As many commentators in the Old Testament haddeclared, the sacrificial system in itself could not delivercommunion between sinful humanity and the holy God. Innerpurification of conscience and a new heart and spirit within wereneeded (eg Psalm 51:10). In Psalm40:6-8 (cited in verses 6-7) the author saw the clue he needed.It is God's intention to dispense with animal sacrifice and bringpeople into fellowship with God by providing someone (a 'body') whowould do God's will completely.

Christians made the link with Jesus. Through him,we all have a potential new status with God, as God's children. Wemake that real through a decision to align ourselves with Jesus infaith.

To Ponder

  • Reflect on what is happening when we confess our sins inChurch. Are we seeking to recover our status as God's children? Or,confident about our status as God's children, are we seeking God'sforgiveness for the inevitable shortcomings, failures andstupidities of everyday living and God's encouragement for ourcontinuing journey of faith?
  • The old hymn says, "Trustand obey, for there's no other way". Is this, in yourexperience, a sufficient summary of Christian discipleship? If not,how would you change it?

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