But now Christ has come as the high priest of the good things to come. He passed through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, and he entered once for all into the Most Holy Place not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and so he himself secured eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow sprinkled on those who are defiled consecrated them and provided ritual purity, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. – Hebrews 9:11-14
I love how the Lord always has a better way. All throughout the Bible we can see over and over again that when things looked the bleakest, God would always come through. Somehow, someway.
Old ways aren’t necessarily irrelevant. In this case, the old ways of the sacrificial system were a temporary, imperfect shadow that pointed ahead to Jesus. The old way is important to remember. Even in our own lives today, more often than not, new ways have opportunities to be better ways–if we don’t forget the old ways. The old and new work together.
The Old Covenant never removed sin, but simply covered it.
It was the voluntary “I lay down My life” blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ that changed everything.
Jesus was not only outwardly clean, but inwardly spotless, which made Him the perfect Priest and the full, final, and complete sacrifice to usher in the New Covenant. This was God’s plan from the very beginning.
This New Covenant was better than the Old because we no longer have limited access to God. Now, we have unlimited access. We no longer have a temporary solution; we have a permanent solution to our sin.
But there’s even more…
Jesus’ blood not only cleanses our conscience, but it continues to gives us the opportunity to serve the living God!
Think about these two points for a moment.
It was the blood of Jesus that could reach and purify our conscience. This was impossible for any other person or animal to accomplish.
If you’re anything like me, then you understand how guilt can be paralyzing. It can get us stuck. Mom guilt always has a way of sneaking in, it keeps knocking on my door especially in this pandemic we are all living through.
As a single mom with two young kids, becoming a work-from-home and mandated home-school mom overnight was a really big deal. Overwhelming to say the least. It’s like I went to bed looking into one of those mirrors that magnify every flaw, dissecting my performance each day. I fell short. We all fall short. None of us come close to loving God with every fiber of our being, or loving those closest to us, as we are commanded to do.
I’ve been guilty of believing the lie that if I do enough for God, He will forgive me or be more happy with me. Our minds must be sharpened and renewed daily or we fall into the trap of self. The only answer is the blood of Christ. When condemnation comes for you, where will you turn? Hebrews 9:14 gives us the answer: turn to the blood of Christ.
Our salvation and forgiveness have everything to do with the blood of Jesus. We have been forgiven by the grace of God and through the blood of Jesus Christ! Because of this we are free to serve Him.
Showing kindness, love, mercy, generosity, forgiveness, and encouragement are all tangible ways we can serve the Lord, daily, regardless of the season we are in. Christ’s blood wasn’t just shed to clear our conscience, but it allowed us the opportunity to serve Him. Serving with a guilty conscience just leads to dead works.
My prayer for me and for you is that we believe exactly what God says about Himself. That we believe exactly what God says about His Son. That we believe exactly what God has said concerning the solution to our problem of sin. May we trust and serve Jesus with a clear conscience and with our whole heart.
What an honor it is to partner with Christ and be part of a bigger story than we could ever imagine. This kind of living and freedom is worth pursuing and fighting for.