Monday thoughts after Easter…
Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday, or Easter as the world calls this “holiday”. This brings many different kinds of people from many walks of life, ways of thinking with a variety of expectations into places of worship. Our place of worship welcomed well over 1500 people and their children yesterday over six service times. Some parents with kids came for the first time with Easter baskets ready to go on a hunt for eggs and prizes (which we did not have). What we did have was holy, powerful worship for the One and Only who sacrificed Himself for all sins followed by an equally powerful God led message of hope in knowing Jesus. So, some were surprised but found more than candy and eggs, they found Jesus, our Hope forever!
Jesus, is the complete solution to life forever. Jesus “was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people”.
And not just on Easter or Christmas but for every day of our lives, Jesus is still the perfect sacrifice for our sins, our brokenness, our hopelessness and our imperfections. We cannot be good enough or strong enough to save ourselves from sin and self. It is so arrogant to think we could. Only Jesus, the One and Only, can save us and He did it once (paid the debt of sin on the cross) for all people who come to Him.
When we say “Yes Jesus, I believe in what You did for me and I now believe you can erase all my sins”, He does exactly that, wipes the slate of sin clean—to be remembered no more—so far removed from us that if we repent the same sin, Jesus won’t know what you are talking about! Yes! Our sins, not in part, but the whole, are forgiven completely. Jesus, the perfect sacrifice has perfected us, made us holy before God!
This commitment of YES to Jesus was made tearfully and joyfully by over a hundred people yesterday over six Easter worship services for our city! Jesus is the reason we came together! Jesus is the reason we meet together every week with His love in our hearts, helping people find and follow Jesus. We pour out our hearts to God boldly because of the Perfect Christ who saved us.
And that’s not all! As believers, young and old, we live for Him through out the week because of His Holy Spirit living in us, guiding us to better thoughts, more holy behaviors, transforming our attitudes and turning our words to encouragement for each other. Our Yes to Jesus changes everything about us and how we perceive the world.
Hebrews 10, The Message
The Sacrifice of Jesus
1-10 The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Since that old “law plan” wasn’t complete in itself, it couldn’t complete those who followed it. No matter how many sacrifices were offered year after year, they never added up to a complete solution. If they had, the worshipers would have gone blissfully on their way, no longer dragged down by their sins. But instead of removing awareness of sin, when those animal sacrifices were repeated over and over they actually heightened awareness and guilt. The plain fact is that bull and goat blood can’t get rid of sin. That is what is meant by this prophecy, put in the mouth of Christ:
You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year;
you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice.
It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar
that whet your appetite.
So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God,
the way it’s described in your Book.”
When he said, “You don’t want sacrifices and offerings,” he was referring to practices according to the old plan. When he added, “I’m here to do it your way,” he set aside the first in order to enact the new plan—God’s way—by which we are made fit for God by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.
11-18 Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. The Holy Spirit confirms this:
This new plan I’m making with Israel
isn’t going to be written on paper,
isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;
This time “I’m writing out the plan in them,
carving it on the lining of their hearts.”
I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.
Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them.
Don’t Throw It All Away
19-21 So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.
22-25 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
26-31 If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing” and “God will judge his people.” Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.
32-39 Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times! Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends. If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn’t touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back. So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion.
It won’t be long now, he’s on the way;
he’ll show up most any minute.
But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust;
if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy.
But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.
SO, FRIENDS—KEEP A FIRM GRIP ON THE PROMISES!
- Believers can walk boldly into the throne room of God and ask for anything because Jesus cleared the way to God by paying for our sin debts.
- Jesus got rid of all the barriers that separated us from God by forgiving us of all our sin!
- Jesus transforms all the ugly brokenness into beautiful wholeness.
- Jesus was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people.
- “By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.”
- Jesus keeps His Word. “I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.”
So, dear friends, believers in Jesus, “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.”
Jesus is coming back, you know…
I trust in you. I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. You have proved your faithfulness to me over and over again. You have saved me from myself and all my sins. I’m not perfect but I know I am perfectly forgiven by you! Continue to transform my thinking and my behavior to be more and more like you. Make me holy as only you can do. I know you will complete what you started in me—your good and holy work!
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen!