Advent: December 11, 2022

Hebrews 9:11-12 (ESV) But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

Hebrews 10:12-18 (ESV) But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Advent. Jesus, the Great High Priest, accomplishes eternal redemption because he is the One.

The writer of Hebrews goes to lengths to contrast the work of regular priests who have to do their daily work of offering the blood of animals as Hebrews 9:22 makes clear: “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”

But Jesus is no ordinary priest, and the blood he entered the heavenly sanctuary with and offered was not the blood of goats and calves. No. Jesus, God the Son, entered the presence of God the Father with his own divine/human blood and he offered it up for the sins of a people to be redeemed through the preached good news of his kingdom. Thus…securing eternal redemption. 

That’s moving, astounding, almost unimaginable. If I could paint, what I see in my mind’s eye when I read Hebrews 9-10, would be something I’d just sit and stare at until Jesus came back to get me, and that might be why he didn’t pass out painting skills to me. 

Jesus came for this absolutely astonishing crescendo of redemptive work, and these two chapters in the New Testament are one of many reasons why we can rest confidently in the completion of our salvation without any fear of it being removed. It has never been based on my effort, help, perfection, or lack thereof, and mostly lack thereof. 

Your security and mine is based on the perfect High Priest’s merit and atonement alone, and somehow he invites us to receive his perfection by faith. 

Don’t doubt it. Don’t try to ration it. Drink deeply from that infinite spring of living water and enjoy Christmas. 

Advent. Jesus came to cover eternally the sins of those who would come after him by faith. 

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