Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Comforts from the Cross - Day 11

Perfected for All Time

For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. -Hebrews 10:14

"I have to admit that it's pretty difficult for me to read words such as 'perfected for all time' and have the faith to apply them to myself." If I stopped and took a look at my day or even the last hour or so, I could share with you some not-so-perfect moments.

Let's take a short look at the Hebrews, the people who this book was being written to.  They were more than familiar with the Jewish temples system, their customs, and laws.  I am sure they thought of sacrifices often, since it was required that certain sacrifices atone for certain sins.  The Hebrews also knew that sacrifices were just a temporary covering for sin, it did not remove it.  They realized that God's standard was perfection and sacrifice was the only way to atone for their failures.  Can you imagine the early believers reading Hebrews 10:14 and wondering how that would be possible?  The lived and died according to a religious system, and then came these words, "And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ has offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat sat down at the right hand of God... For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified." (Hebrews 10:11-12, 14)

For the Hebrews, these verses meant freedom from the rigorous religious laws and infinite acceptance before a Holy God.  Are theses verses as important today as they were then? Yes, but we may have a harder time accepting this truth.  The Old Testament and early New Testament believers seemed to be a little better at recognizing and confessing sin.  They had to offer a sacrifice for the forgiveness of it.  Sacrifices don't really mean much today.  I clump all my sins of today together and don't really think about how I would need to atone for them, or do I?  Maybe, I think that I can do something better tomorrow to make up for my failures of today.

The truth for the early believers is still the same truth today and one that must be said over and over until my faith and life are reflective of it.  "Jesus Christ offered one sacrifice for sin and in doing so He absolutely perfected that who are (still) being changed or sanctified."  I find great comfort in the fact that Jesus knows that I will fail each day, yet, He chose to perfect me for all time.  I like how Elyse ends the day with these words, "When we spend our days in the endless pursuit of self-improvement, we are in essence, devaluing the blood of Jesus Christ, the perfect man who is also God."

My challenge and thought for today is a simple reminder for my own life - stop making excuses for sin and trust in the blood of the Savior that has perfected for all time those being sanctified! I rejoice in that the cross was the greatest price that could have ever been paid and because of the Savior's work, I find value and worth in the cross alone. 

Today, I heard an old hymn... one of the verses has ran over and over in my head...
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

His blood availed in that it perfected for all time those being sanctified!

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