December 17

Hebrews 10:7-10

“And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” vs. 10

The writer of Hebrews recognized that the whole sacrificial system as laid out in the law had been invented by humans. Their intentions had been good; they had wanted to provide a way for people to receive forgiveness of sins. The guilt of sin had been debilitating and the periodic offerings had provided at least some measure of relief. In fact, if the temple had not been destroyed the rituals would have probably continued without interruption. But with the temple gone, eyes had been opened to the folly of the past. Disciples now saw that the crucifixion had been a once-for-all love offering that brought holiness for all people for all time. Now there are some who believe that this teaching too is a human invention, a way for early disciples to make sense of Jesus’ death on a cross. And there is probably some truth in that understanding. After all, humans are the authors of all religious ideas and theologies. But Jesus wasn’t a human invention, and his death is well attested. And when we begin to see him as the incarnation of God’s love, the Christ comes alive in our hearts–and we are cleansed from the ugly stains of sin and guilt. And the grace of that deep truth brings us daily joy and profound peace.

Thought for the Day: Why is forgiveness necessary for peace in our hearts?

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