Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hebrews 9:1-14

Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.

I have always found it very interesting and satisfying to read how Christ fulfilled the promises of the Old Testament. Todays reading is Paul reminding the Hebrews of this fact. He describes in detail the Jewish Temple tradition. He describes it with love and respect as it reflects the relationship between God and his chosen people. This includes the significance of sacrifice and the need to purify ourselves in the presence of God. He states clearly that ----“The Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary is not yet open as long as the outer tent is still standing”. He also says this is symbolic for “his” age. The offering of material sacrifice cannot make us worthy enough.

He introduces the wonderful image of Christ as the “high priest” entering the Holy of Holies and offering himself as a single and final act of sacrifice for me and you. This so we don’t need to do it individually but can atone for our sins through a life lived in Jesus. Our faith and a Jesus centered life style is all that is required from us. Jesus has done the rest.

Wow! What a powerful image he presents. We are reminded that in the Jewish tradition of blood sacrifice to sanctify for the purification of our bodies, this provided only momentary purification and required it to be repeated over and over. Paul reminds us that Christ’s sacrifice is for all time and continues to be alive in our spiritual link with the living God. Our continuing sacrifice is our faith and our good works. Thanks you Lord for this the greatest of all gifts.

John Dickie

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