Posts tagged ‘Sacrifice’

Our Kippur

Tonight at sunset, members of the Jewish community will celebrate the festival of Yom Kippur, also known as the Day (yom) of Atonement (kippur). This feast was ordained by God in Leviticus as the day in which the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of a lamb on the top of the Ark of the Covenant. This was the space between the golden cherubim and was called “the mercy seat.” (Leviticus 13 & 26)

While that is very interesting, what does it symbolize for us today? Glad you asked!

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:11-15 NASB)

In Christ, we now do not need to wait for a yearly day of atonement in order to be forgiven. Nor do we have a high priest who is continually offering he sacrifice of His blood to atone for our sins.

For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Hebrews 9:24-28 NASB)

This is a one time sacrifice that has been offered once-for-all and needs never to be repeated. As a sacrifice of infinite value, it cannot be added to.

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10-14 NASB)

That is why He can continually cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:9) and why we can enter into His presence boldly.

With that in mind, every day is part of the one eternal Day of Atonement for Christians. So we should rejoice in the salvation that has been purchased with the blood of the Lamb of God. Christ has fulfilled the feast, and as our high priest has completed the atonement once for all!

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Whosoever Meaneth All Y’all

Who did Jesus die for?
Seems like a fairly simple question, and many are surprised to find out that there is heated theological debate surrounding it. One the one side stand those who subscribe to Calvinist theology and claim that Jesus only died for the sins of the elect. The elect are those whom God has predestined for salvation out of the world, as opposed to the reprobate, whom He has chosen for destruction. This is known as the doctrine of “Limited Atonement.”
On the other side stand those who say that Christ died for all, but that the price that was paid is only efficacious for those who obey the Gospel offered by grace to those with faith.

How this question is answered is highly consequential, for it will affect your entire view of the nature of God. Does God only love and save a few, or is there a universal invitation offered in love but which only a few will accept and obey? Let’s see what the Bible says on the matter.

Who has Jesus invited to come to Him?

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (Titus 2:11 NKJV)
That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. (John 1:9 NKJV)
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, (Acts 17:30 NKJV)
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die. (John 12:32, 33 NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)

What can be seen from these verses is that the call to salvation has gone out to all men, not just to an elect few, and that the invitation is for whoever will believe and obey it. So then, it is reasonable to conclude that the blood that was shed was sufficient for the forgiveness of every sin ever committed.

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:2 NKJV)

Do you see the significance of that? The price has already been paid. All that is left is for us to accept that sacrifice through faith when we obey the Gospel. If someone goes to eternal punishment, how much more tragic it is that they will do so in spite of someone having paid their sin penalty for them!

The last words Jesus spoke before ascending to the Father, we’re a command to go into ALL the world and make disciples of all the nations. How? By baptizing them, and teaching them to do all things He had commanded them. (Matthew 28:18-20). It is certainly fitting, then, that the New Testament should end with a call to salvation as well. And it is a call to whosoever will (aka all y’all).

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely…
He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:17, 20 NKJV)

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Mission Accomplished

Some things in life are done on a regular or even a continual basis. And in our spiritual walk with God, there are disciplines that we cultivate that aid our spiritual growth. Our Father in heaven also has things which he is constantly repeating, like forgiveness, salvation, and guiding His children. What I want to take a look at now, though, are things that God has done in Christ that are accomplished events, and will never be repeated because they are permanent I their effect.

Christ has delivered the Gospel and founded His church.
“Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel compelled instead to write to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 1:3 NET)
This verse in the little letter of Jude deals a lethal blow to the teachings of those who claim that the Gospel has been lost and that we need a new revelation. There is no plan to reintroduce the Gospel after a time of complete apostasy and darkness. That is also why Jesus was able to say to Peter in Matthew 16:18 that, “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18 ESV)
Jesus also promised that he would be with us always, even to the end of the age just before His ascension in Matthew 28.
The Canon is closed, and the revelation of His will is complete. There is no need to give heed to those who claim new revelation.

But there is another thing that has been done once for all. Christ has shed His precious blood and eternally completed the sacrifice for our salvation.
The Holy Spirit put it this way through the Hebrew writer:

“And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:10-14 ESV)

The sacrifice that was made to secure our forgiveness was made once for all time, and it needs no repetition. In fact, to try and repeat it on a weekly or even daily basis is to cheapen the value of the original sacrifice! Nor is there a need to continually offer that sacrifice to God, for Jesus offered it and has already sat down. That’s generally how you know when someone has finished something. They return to their rightful place and sit down! Thus, when His mission was completed, Jesus was able to cry out “It is finished” as a confirmation that he had suffered enough and shed enough of His blood to fully accomplish that which He was sent to do. We dare not try to continue that sacrifice or repeat that sacrifice today.

In the future, there will be another work that will be accomplished once and for all. That will be the eternal judgment after death that will determine our eternal condition.

“And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.”(Matthew 25:46 ASV)

Yes, our condition will be one of eternal bliss or eternal destruction. There is no indication that either of these destinies will be temporary or changeable. Thankfully, we can decide that destination today. According to Romans 6, If you are buried with him in baptism, you will rise to walk in newness of life and be on the road to Heaven. What could possibly be big enough to keep you from doing that today?

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