Monday, March 03, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Hebrews 9:11-17
11: But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12: and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13: For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14: how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15: For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16: For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17: For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.
I would have been better to have read this before going through communion yesterday, for this is a good reminder of what Jesus did for us. He's not just the high priest who blots out our sins, he was the sacrifice as well. So often, communion becomes chewing down a tasteless wafer and slorping down a small glass of grape juice. That crackery thing is designed to remind us that Jesus took our sins to the cross with Him, feeling our sin as the nails pinned him to the wood; we often lean towards the Gnostic and forget that Jesus actually had a body that bled and felt pain. That liquefied fruit of the vine we drink isn't just some brand-name juice, but the blood that washes away our sin. Elsewhere in Hebrews, the writer riffs on Jesus being high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. He isn't going to stop being high priest and his sacrificial blood won't run out.

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