Tuesday, 29 September 2015

ONCE and for ALL


Hebrews 9:24-26
24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.


The book of Hebrews casts Jesus as the culmination and perfection of all the high priests of Israel, those descendants of Aaron charged with the holy (meaning = to be set aside for special purpose) work of being intermediaries between God and the people of God. One of their main duties was to oversee the various sacrificial activity required by the law in order to keep the power of Sin in check and cover over the sins of the people.

While the priests of Israel worked continually to keep up the relationship between God and the people of God according to an annual calendar with appointed festivals and sacrifices, God chose to work in and through Jesus Christ once and for all.

ONCE and for all: In this we hear the eternal echo of Jesus' cry from the cross, "It is finished!"

once and FOR ALL: Here too we are assured of God's surprising and challenging grace. 
The actions of the one Most High Priest have achieved what all the faithful and flawed efforts of all his predeccesors could not - the establishment of right relations between God and all creatures great and small. 
This is good news, not in theory, but good news that is, "for you."


God has reached out across space and time to embrace ... you ... me ... us. 

This must always be celebrated and confessed.

All else in the walk of faith is response to that life-thriving Divine action. 
Does your response matter to God?
Why, of course, dear one! For you matter to God. 
So, respond freely in many and various ways. Do acts of mercy. Paint. Sing. Fast. Study. Worship. Pray. Give. Dance. Laugh. Cry.  Succeed and Fail.

Know that wherever you stray in this great freedom, you are never far from the heart of God. We are never outside the reaching embrace of Christ Jesus.


Thank you God, for hugging me and holding tight,  
bless me as I struggle less and cease to fight.  
Increase in me the mercies of your grace,
and cheer me on towards a goodly completion of the race. Amen.

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