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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.


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