October 21

Hebrews 7:23-25

“Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” vs. 25

After the death and resurrection of Jesus his followers continued to go regularly to the temple and make full use of the sacrificial system. After all they were faithful Jews and this is what they were accustomed to do. But after the temple was destroyed in 70 AD they were flummoxed–they needed some sort of ritual that could give them assurance of forgiveness. Gradually, as more and more gentiles became part of the church, the regular practice of Holy Communion filled that void, but some of the Jewish Christians needed more. One of them, the writer of Hebrews, began to understand Jesus as a High Priest, one who for all time had acted on their behalf by the sacrifice of his own life on the cross. For most of us his interpretation is difficult to understand and probably unnecessary. But we do understand the importance of knowing that Jesus is never going to go away. He will be present forever, and in him we always hear words of grace and forgiveness–and that’s important! That’s why participation in Holy Communion continues to be important for the health of our souls. We’re never as perfect as we may appear to be–sin is a constant stalker–and we need as many assurances as we can possibly get that we are loved and forgiven.

Thought for the Day: Why did the sacrificial system work so well?

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