Monday, April 11
Reader: “He entered the Most Holy Place once for all time”
Response: “and secured our redemption forever.”
Scripture: Hebrews 9:11-15
So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of animals—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.
Have you ever thought that Christianity was almost too fantastical to actually be true? Holy Week is a real world affirmation of God’s perfect plan to restore what is impossibly broken. Imagine if you didn’t believe communication with God was possible. There is an infinite separation between human beings and God. Getting in contact with God is not something that could ever occur, in fact so remote that the idea of such a thing ever happening doesn’t even exist. Then you find out that God in his infinite power and person has condescended to take on human form in the person of his Son and has come to earth to provide a path for people to actually commune with him!
This Son of God, Jesus, will act as a High Priest, a go-between for humans and God. Since he is in fact God, it is possible, but some things have to happen first. Enter Holy Week. While maintaining an earthly human element, this connection must also work in the heavenly realm. So while in the Tabernacle we had a shadow of this heavenly realm here on earth, it was nevertheless made with human hands. But shadows are phantom shapes of the real thing. We needed the real thing, something not made with human hands.
The same thing goes for the sacrifices. So with our human High Priest we did blood sacrifices over and over, again shadowing an ultimate sacrifice which would permanently solve the human separation from God problem. During this final week of Jesus’ life on earth, God in Christ completed his mission. God in human form shed his own blood, the very blood of God to bridge what for us was an impossibility. Without God intervening on our behalf, we have no chance, no hope, no chance of ever communing with God. We are doomed for eternal separation.
But we have a living God/Man High Priest who during this week finished his mission on earth and returned to heaven to intercede on our behalf. The people that were with him when all of this happened wrote about it so we’d all know what happened and what is possible for us. These next seven days are the climax of his time on our planet. It is a remarkable story about a remarkable human God/man, the Incarnate Jesus Christ, who continues to live and transform the lives of millions of people. Let’s help spread the news.
Music: “What Wondrous Love Is This?” Yuriy Kravets “Plain Mennonites” (PA.)
“What Wondrous Love Is This?” St. Olaf Concert Choir Gorgeous, exquisite!
Lord Jesus, we have no words in our language or any language to express our gratitude for what you willingly did on behalf of human beings to make it possible for us to ever be in the presence of our Father, our Creator. Thank you for redeeming us from being hopelessly eternally buried in our own sin. The agony you endured, the separation from the realm of heaven you chose escapes our comprehension. I’m overwhelmed and can barely begin to process what you have done. All we can say is we love you, I love you. Help me live in a way that honors you. This I pray through your great name Jesus. Amen. ―Daniel Sharp