“And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” vss. 27-28
Many early Christians were steeped in the imagery of the sacrificial system and used that language to describe what had happened in Jesus. As the Christ he had suffered and died as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity and had been raised to dwell with God. Soon, those Christians believed, he would appear a second time and make their salvation complete… then they too would experience the fullness of God’s presence. We’re familiar with these images…they’ve become a part of our common faith language. They describe what is known as a linear view of time…there is a beginning and an end to life. Other religions have adopted what might be called a circular or spiral view of existence. We are born and reborn in a cycle that goes on until we finally figure out the secret of divine liberation. Some find that idea of reincarnation comforting…there’s always a second chance, even for the worst of sinners. Followers of Jesus have traditionally rejected such notions. Instead we’ve clung to the good news of redemption…we don’t need second chances. Our salvation does not come from figuring out secrets…it comes by grace through faith. We’re born, we die, and then comes new life…and it’s all a gift.
Thought for the Day: Why is reincarnation such an appealing idea?