Monday, March 22, 2010

Lent 5 Weekly Meditation

Greetings in the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Today we will look at yesterday's Epistle, Hebrews 9:11-15, and in particular verses 13-14, which read, "For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God."

The book of Hebrews can be one of the harder books for us to read today, because the whole thrust of the book is that Christ Jesus is better than the Old Testament, that He fulfills the promises of the Old Testament (with the implication that a good Hebrew ought to move from observing the Old Testament to following Christ). Here in these verses we see that movement again - sure, the sacrifices of the Old Testament were good - but in Christ we have something much, much better.

But there is a wonderful movement here - Christ not only purifies our flesh (gives us forgiveness), but He purifies the conscience so that we might with Christ's own strength turn away from sin and temptation (I love how it's called "dead works" here - works of death and pain) and rather serve, rather show love to God.

These are the two poles, the two impacts upon the Christian life. We are Justified by Christ (that is, forgiven), we are Sanctified by Christ (that is, given to holy living). Christ Jesus does both of these in your life - He not only forgives you, but He strengthens you for your life of service.

It is not just that Christ Jesus wipes your slate clean and leaves you to fend for yourself. Rather this - think of yourself as an artist's canvas. To start, we are smudged and dirty with sin. Jesus wipes you clean of your sin, and then He begins to paint a brilliant masterpiece in your life - and when there are failings, when there are sins, He wipes those away and then continues crafting His work of love and beauty in you. He makes you to serve God.

This week, delight and rejoice in the ways in which God makes you to serve Him this week, the opportunities that He gives and the strength which He provides.

Blessings in Christ Jesus,

Pastor Brown

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