Once And For All
Well, I'm back. Going to try this blogging thing again. I see it's been over three years since my last post. Wow...life gets in the way...and a lot has happened since then. Maybe I will share at some point.
Today...and many days in the future I assume...I just want to share a thought or two about my personal devotions. As always, there will other random ravings along the way.
Each day I endeavor to read multiple chapters in the Word of God, following the Life Journal reading plan. I have found it to be the most helpful in keeping me on track with my daily reading, although for periods of time, I sometimes feel like the train has run me over and I've gotten off track - I assume I'm not the only one. The important thing is to get back up and keep on going.
Anyhow, the verses that jumped out at me today were from Hebrews 10:1, 10.
"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves."
"And by that will we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
I am so grateful that Jesus' sacrifice was a 'once for all' deal. This was the 'good thing' that was coming which the law pointed to. The writer to Hebrews here reminds us that those day after day sacrifices did not have the ability or the power to perfect us—if they had then those who worshiped that way would have stopped making them because they would no longer have felt the guilt for their sins. Instead, those constant sacrifices were simply a reminder of sins, because it was impossible for the blood of animals to take the sin away.
But thank God, Jesus came and changed all that! His sacrifice of Himself on Calvary was a one shot deal and if was for everyone - once for all! And His sacrifice opened up for us a new and living way into God's presence where we can draw near to God because of what Jesus has done for us.
Our issue is (myself included) that we struggle with our worthiness. We often don't feel worthy to come into His presence for various reasons - usually related to our shortcomings and our failures. Here is the powerful thing I am reminded of today - though we remember our sins and our guilt, God does NOT! The writer here in Heb. 10:16-17 quotes the words of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 31:33-34).
"This is the covenant I will make with them after that time says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." Then he adds, "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."
Those past sins, according to God, they are gone! He has chosen not to remember them. The forgiveness we receive because of of the shed blood of Jesus on the cross is what makes us worthy to enter the Most Holy Place. Once we have appropriated that forgiveness, those sins, according to God at least, are gone. It is us who need to understand and embrace that and not allow the weight of those past sins to condemn us and make us feel unworthy.
I hope that is helpful to somebody today.
"Lord, thank you for sending your Son Jesus to be our perfect, once and for all sacrifice. Thank you for forgiving us and making us worthy to enter into your presence through a new and living way. Help us always to live in the power of that forgiveness and in the reality of worthiness." Amen.