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A new and living Way

I'VE BEEN reading Hebrews for my morning devotions these past few weeks. It's hard to miss the imagery of the Old Testament sacrifices, the necessity of the Levitical priesthood, the gore of the slaughtered lambs, and the flowing of gradually coagulating blood spilled year after year to atone for the sins of the people—ceremonies that highlighted the holiness of God, who cannot and will not let evil go unpunished.

God demonstrated His hatred for sin and His love for sinners when He made a new and living way. This way wasn't a list of things-to-do or things-not-to-do. Nobody gets saved by obeying the Ten Commandments because nobody, even the most noble human saint, can. In the New Testament God reveals that This way is a person. He is Jesus, God's only Son, who would replace the imperfect animal sacrifice with Himself. He would be crucified on a tree for sins He did not commit. He would die for the very people who hanged and despised Him. By so doing Jesus would satisfy the wrath of God against sin and ultimately render the Old Testament sacrifices obsolete and unnecessary.

Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the way of the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Hebrews 9:19-22 (New American Standard Bible)
This Jesus would forever sit at the right hand of God, the Great High Priest who would be our advocate, defending us against Satan's accusations, telling God, "Do not condemn this person; I have died for him, I know him, and he is my own."

As a result, we Christians have the confidence to come before the throne of God. It is a confidence not borne out of the fact that we have done good—hasn't the Bible made it clear that our good works are like filthy rags before God?—but it is one that rests on Jesus, who has purchased our salvation for us. By God's grace alone our sins are forgiven, our consciences sprinkled clean by the precious blood of Jesus. Like the character Christian in John Bunyan's classic, The Pilgrim's Progress, the load of sin is taken off our shoulders. We are forgiven! We feel weightless!

Listen to Weightless, a beautiful, moving song by Christa Wells. You can download it for free, too (HT: Challies.com).

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