Skip to main content

Jesus bypassed the system - Hebrews 9:1-14

In our reading from the narrative lectionary this week, the author goes into detail about the old religious system. There was a great tent where the people worshiped God. Inside that tent was the holy area set aside for the priests work. Inside that, was the holy of holies, a tent that nobody entered. Almost nobody. Once a year a the high priest would make sacrifices for himself and then go in to the holy of holies to make an offering for all the nation. They did this each year, it was limited by time and power.

Jesus bypassed this system, entering into the real dwelling of God. And not with the blood of animals, but his own blood sweat and tears. It was not limited in time or power. It lasts forever with no more need for sacrifice and it is sufficient for all. Reconciliation was once and for all achieved.

The author asks us to consider how much more powerful this real and potent act was than generations of faulty animal sacrifice by faulty priests. Have you considered it? I mean really?God emptied Godself, became a human, and then suffered at our hands to appease our guilt and shame. It should slap us back into wakefulness, but it's often missed.

I am not a fan of penal substitution, so for me I view this as Jesus ending the sacrificial system, not by quenching God's need for blood, but by quenching ours. Jesus suffered because of us, to snap us out of our self depreciation, and to remind us that we are children of God and that we have God's love.


Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   " this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t

Looking Back?

"Remember Lot’s wife!  "   -  Luke 17:32 This is one of the shortest verses in the Bible.  Jesus was talking about the terrible circumstances that will be present when he comes back.  He was warning people that they would not see it coming.  People will be going about their business and then suddenly, without warning, chaos will take over.  People will need to flee, and he warns them not to go back for their possessions, for anything.  This is where he says "Remember Lot's wife!".  In desperation he pleads with them to remember the fate of this woman.  To his listeners it would bring to mind the story of Lot and his family fleeing the destruction of Sodom.  They too were warned not to go back for anything, not to even look back, but Lot's wife did look back.  And when she did, she turned into a pillar of salt.   Metaphorically speaking this is often what happens when we look back.  We get frozen in place and we cease moving forward.  I have a childhood frie