by Pastor Lee Hemen
February 19, 2008
God had promised “When I make you clean from all your sins, I will let you live in your cities again and let you rebuild the ruins.” (v. 33) and here He tells Israel that “I will once again let the Israelites ask me for help, and I will let them increase in numbers like a flock of sheep.” (GNB) God would again hear the Israelite’s prayers. Why? Because they had been cleansed from their sins. By what means? Only by Him. He is the only means by which we are cleansed. Would it be permanent in this case? No. Hebrews 9:22 reminds us that “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Each time sin occurred, a sacrifice had to be made in order to cleanse the sinner from his sin. The process would continue until the person sinned no more. Was this possible? No. What a horrible thing to know! That if you sinned you would have to sacrifice again and again and again, or until you died.
Paul would have good news for all mankind! He wrote “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:6-11)
There it is. What the sacrifice could never do, what we sinful men would continually have to do, Jesus did completely with His death, burial, and resurrection. In fact, “Unlike the other high priests, he [Jesus] does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” (Hebrews 7:27)
“He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:12)
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit!” (1Peter 3:18)
Praise the Lord that we do not have to sacrifice anymore for our sins, that in fact our contrite prayer of confession brings us back to Him immediately: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)
As we yield to God in prayer, through the shed blood of Jesus, our plea is heard and our prayers are answered! Thank You Jesus!
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety. This devotional will follow Morning by Morning by C H Spurgeon. You may use it however you desire.