Our scripture this morning is ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭9:24-28.

“For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.”

Paul reminds his Hebrew audience how the system of sacrifice practiced under the old covenant relied on an ongoing cycle. Every year at Passover the high priest offered the blood of an animal to cleanse the sins of the people. He tells us that Jesus came to die for us once and for all, the New Covenant in His blood to sanctify us forever.

While the system of sacrifice may seem strange to us, it goes back to the very beginning. In Genesis 4 we hear of Cain and Abel bringing grain and a lamb to offer to God. Later in Exodus 12 we hear of the first Passover when the blood of a lamb over the door was a sign of protection over the children of Israel.

In this letter Paul explains that through Christ’s death and resurrection we have been freed of the curse of sin. By our acceptance of His loving sacrifice we are made right with God and called to share that joy with the world. God wants us to be part of the fulfillment of His plan, working under His love with other believers.

Gracious God, thank You for the gift of Your son who came to save us. Help us to live in sacrificial ways, giving to others the love we first received from You. Amen.

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