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.

Comments

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.   "...in 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

The Return Threshold

  As we come near the end of our weekly series on the Hero's Journey, today we will cover "The Return Threshold".  In this stage, the Hero has succeeded in their quest and now they are coming back to their old world.  Joseph Campbell calls this the "ordinary world".   The return to the ordinary world usually includes some type of challenge.  Sometimes an enemy must be challenged, but sometimes the enemy is the ordinary world itself.  As we have followed the hero's journey we have seen the hero change, what was once important is no longer important.  While the hero has changed, the ordinary world has not.  The ordinary world holds values that the returning hero has abandoned for something greater.  This can cause tension as the hero tries to return as a changed person. In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we see the Hobbits finally return to their home in the Shire.  Unfortunately in their absence Saruman and his orcs have taken over the Shire and must be defeat

Master of Two Worlds

  This week we come to the second to last stage of the Hero's Journey.  Campbell called this stage "The Master of Two Worlds".  In this stage, the hero tries to integrate what they learned and gained on their journey with their old "ordinary" world.   Albert Einstein once said, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."  This explains the challenge the hero must face in this stage.  All that they learned and gained must be fully mastered and the test of this mastery is being able to use it in the ordinary world.  They must simplify it so that the uninitiated can benefit from it, just as Einstein encouraged the mastery of complex ideas into simple explanations.   In the Star Wars Trilogy, this stage happens off-screen after the film is over, but before the new movie begins.  We learn in the newest trilogy that Luke created a school for Jedi, taking the wisdom he gained from his journey and sharing it with others.  In