I used that title because I’m a former 4th grade teacher who knows about GRABBING the attention of the reader. Unfortunately, because it’s gross, it may also have the ability to send any potential readers running for the hills! Since I was a little girl I’ve had a curious heart for a big God. I had exposures to Him in varying ways (summer camp, sleepovers that led to Sunday morning church, etc.), but I did not understand the true Gospel until I was a grown woman. With that understanding (that continues to grow regularly as I learn more about the Bible), came a connecting of the dots between the Old and New Testament. Jesus Christ, the son of God, is woven through the entire tapestry of the Bible in a truly amazing fashion. The title of this blog comes from Hebrews 9:12. It’s one I did not know until this past week’s sermon and it felt so powerful.
“With his own blood-not the blood of goats and calves-he entered the Most Holy Place once and for all time and secured our redemption forever.”
If you are new to the Christian faith or curious from afar, let me do my best to briefly explain the whole bloody animal bit. Back in the OT times, we had prophets throughout history that God would use as His mouthpiece for the people. The Creator God is SO big, perfect, powerful, etc. that a regular human couldn’t even look at Him because of His glory. Because of His perfection, our sin nature had to be atoned for (or cleansed) and back then, God allowed people to use an innocent lamb or calf as a sacrifice on their behalf. This served as a way to temporarily cover their sins. This does sound strange, but back then, it was a completely acceptable way to use symbolism to show substitution and cleansing. They had numerous, elaborate and very decorative ways to worship and honor God. One example of that was the creation of the Most Holy Place, the fanciest and most important section of the Tabernacle/Temple, that was symbolic for being “set apart” as God had to be because of the sin of mankind.
Now, the weirdly beautiful part about it is that throughout the Old Testament, there were prophecies (many VERY specific) that told of someone coming that would become a ONCE AND FOR ALL sacrifice to cover sin. So, throughout the OT, the people were living and recognizing their sin, seeing that it was impossible to be perfect and recognizing their need for atonement (cleansing) in order to come in contact with the Holy God. They hoped and waited, explaining this hope throughout generations, and then FINALLY, the prophecies come true with the arrival of Jesus Christ that we read about in the New Testament. This was the plan all along. God always intended to send His Son, who came as both fully God and fully Man, to die as the ULTIMATE sacrifice. Three days later, Jesus rose up from the dead, was seen by hundreds of people, and then went up to Heaven where He is now, sitting at the right hand of God. He’s there thinking of us and praying on our behalf.
I’ve been particularly emotional and sensitive to this Easter season and feeling especially grateful for all that Jesus Christ did for us. God is alive. When we repent (recognize our sin nature) and choose to trust and put our faith in Christ, we are FOREVER safe and can rest in Him. He’s preparing a place for us to spend eternity in Heaven, where there will be no more pain and heartache. He delights in us NO MATTER WHAT. He loves us so much that He planned all of this FOR US. That is news that my deep-down soul needs to hear on an everyday basis.
If you are curious, even a little bit, about a higher power of some sort, I encourage you to reach out and pray. You don’t have to speak in fancy words. You just start talking and asking Him about whatever you wonder, doubt, or need. He already knows you. He loves you. The Gospel is beautiful in a million ways, but it can also seem rough around the edges to some that look from afar; the bloody animals, the bloody death on a cross…it’s powerful. It’s intriguing. It’s curious. It has the potential to knock your socks off. Don’t shy away from taking a look. As my pastor said on Easter Sunday, this truth demands our response.
You are loved, dear reader. I thank God for the HOPE of Christ.