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When Jesus Sat Down

by on June 29, 2017

There were quite a few from Berean Bible Church who traveled to the holy land in May. There, they were able to see a lot of Old Testament sites, monuments, and memorials. These many stops are testaments to the work of God in that land. Unfortunately, all good trips must come to an end.

As we all get settled back into work and summer routines, let’s continue to contemplate the powerful ways that God continues to use the Old Testament today. In the days of Israel, God used priests to perform sacrifices in the Temple. These sacrifices were intended to keep the people clean from their sins, to demonstrate their sincere repentance, and to worship the God of all creation. Every Jew who followed the law of Moses would bring these sacrifices and the priests would stand at their positions and perform their duties, sacrificing what was brought according to what the law prescribed.

Everyone who visited Jerusalem last month got to see where the Temple stood and learn how it acted as the cultural and religious center for the Jews. The Temple WAS and IS STILL an influential part of the nation of Israel.

But let’s move on to the here and now. Today, we can learn a lot from the Law of Moses. The Book of Hebrews is an incredibly profound treatment of the Old Covenant/Law of Moses and how it applies to us today.

Jesus Christ is the grand subject of Hebrews. Over and over again, the author of Hebrews demonstrates that Jesus is SUPERIOR to the Old Covenant Law in every aspect! Here, let’s look at what the author of Hebrews says about Jesus as the priest of a greater system than that of the Jews.

Jesus Is Way Better_0

Read Hebrews 10:11-14

“every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

Imagine being a Jew who is accustomed to offering sacrifices. You would go to the Temple and see the priests who stand there all day long taking the sacrifices of the people. Their work never ends, which is why they are always standing.

Now imagine being this same Jew and reading the above passage. Previously, you would be following the argument of the author of Hebrews. He had just written that there is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22) but that the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin (Heb. 10:4).

So, you are left wondering, “if the blood of bulls and goats don’t take away my sin, but if it must be blood, then whose blood is it?” The author of Hebrews knows.

Jesus Christ’s blood.

Jesus Christ’s blood takes away sins.

But the author of Hebrews does not leave us there. As a Jew, we would think that Christ would need to continuously offer his own blood to pay for our sins. Every time we sin, He would need to sacrifice Himself all over again in order to cover it. But the author of Hebrews once again proves that Jesus’ blood is SUPERIOR to the blood of the animal sacrifices.

His blood is SUPERIOR because it covers sin ONCE and FOR ALL!

…once for all…

There is no more constant work to be done. The priests at the Temple needed to STAND while performing their duties because the work of covering peoples’ sin was continuous. But Jesus SAT DOWN after offering his sacrifice, because His duty was completed forever. He does not need stand anymore, as if His work of sacrifice still needs to be done. The author of Hebrews says, “Christ offered FOR ALL TIME a SINGLE sacrifice for sins” (v. 12) and that through this single sacrifice “he has perfected FOR ALL TIME those who are being sanctified” (v. 14).

So, if we have trusted in Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice for sin, all our sins have been covered, even future sins. Jesus is SUPERIOR to the old priests.

If Jesus has paid for all our sins, why do we strive to do what is right?

Motive. A proper motive is key. From this scripture, we know that doing right things in order to make ourselves “right with God” is a wrong motive. Ask yourself if you are doing good things to make God proud of you. Ask yourself if you are doing good things to make Him forgive you for the evil thoughts, actions, and desires, for the selfishness, for the complacency in your life.

Ask yourself.

 

No, really. Ask yourself.

 

I know I often fall into this trap of believing that I can somehow impress God with my good behavior and service. I too often think that if I just do more good things, serve more at church, then maybe God will forget the things I have a guilty conscience for. And maybe as a result, I can finally be freed from the guilt and regret I always carry around with me.

As Christ-followers, one of God’s deepest desires is that we understand¬†it is finished. We no longer need to strive to impress God with our service, make Him proud to be called our Father, or force Him to forgive us. That is no longer our motive for doing good, because He already forgave us. The theologian David W. Chapman writes…

“believers look to Christ and not to themselves for a cleansed conscience, full forgiveness of sins, and total flawlessness in the future.”

As the routine of summer kicks in, let’s keep this truth at the forefront of our minds as we serve those around us and seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Together, let’s have a different motive for serving the Lord…

 

 

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