“Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” Hebrews 10:11-12 NLT
Imagine that your local gym offers free, all-access passes for a lifetime membership at the gym. That would be a fitness lover’s dream! There are no restrictions; you get access to all the facilities and never have to renew your subscriptions because it lasts your whole life.
What if you realized that some people still tried to pay for what had been freely given? What if your friend collected the all-access pass, but still insisted on paying for the membership even though the card was still valid? Sounds ridiculous, right?
This is what it looks like when people think they can pay for their sins. It is true that sin will not go unpunished, but it is also true that God has made forgiveness of sin freely available in Christ Jesus! (Romans 6:23) All who believe in Him are redeemed by His blood, and receive forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7).
In the Old Testament, God showed the Israelites that the atonement for sin would require the shedding of blood. So, He gave them the law, which required the high priest to enter the temple year after year to offer sacrifices for himself and for the Israelites (Hebrews 10:11).
That practice of sacrificing animals yearly was only to show the Israelites what Christ would do. Those sacrifices could never take away their sins or make them righteous. (Hebrews 10:1) But guess what? Unlike the Old Testament practice, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross actually brought forgiveness of sins for all time and for all who believe!
You may ask, how come all the sacrifices for the animals put together had no effect, but the death of one man did? Well, this was not just any man. He was God, clothed in flesh. (John 1:14) He came to live among men and ultimately died for our sins. His blood was overpayment!
See, the animals were just a symbol. Christ is the real deal! And this is the Gospel: that God has accepted the sacrifice of Jesus as the propitiation for sin, that everyone who believes is justified, and there is no need for any other sacrifice (Hebrews 10:18).
As believers, this is our life. By believing in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we receive an all-access pass to forgiveness, eternal life, and freedom from sin and death. That’s something to rejoice about! You are a citizen of heaven, in this life and in the age to come.
Bible Reading Plan: Deuteronomy 13-14