READING: Jeremiah 48-49, Hebrews 7
“He did this once for all when He offered Himself.”
I’ve been in places where people still sacrifice animals to their false gods. It’s not uncommon to find “salespersons” in the area, seeking to provide the sacrifices people need. What has often caught my attention, though, are the blood stains on the ground or in the basin – some stains that are fairly new, and some that have been worn away by time and weather. Even if there were no animal on the sacrificial altar there at the time, the blood stains reminded me that sacrifices continue today. That’s what happens when you try to work your way back to God—you must keep trying, because you cannot get there on the basis of your works.
I’ve also been in Jerusalem, near the place where some scholars believe Jesus was crucified. Regardless of where His crucifixion took place, this we know: the Son of God died in our place, was buried, and He is not there anymore. No further sacrifice is needed: “He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do—first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all when He offered Himself” (Heb. 7:27). Where the high priests of Jesus’ day had to offer sacrifices continually for their own sins and for the sins of others, Jesus our High Priest was quite different. Not only did He not need to sacrifice for His own sins (He was himself without sin [Heb. 4:15]); but His death was once and for all for the people of the world. The baby born in Bethlehem was, would be, and is today, “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens” (Heb. 7:26). The sinless One paid the price for sinners.
This truth is simple, but profound: the Christian life is a life of sacrifice, but we don’t have to offer sacrifices. That price has already been paid.
- Thank God for the death of Jesus today.
- Pray for those who still sacrifice animals to try to appease their gods.
PRAYER: “Jesus, thank You for being the sacrifice for my sin. I love You.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Jeremiah 50, Hebrews 8