11 Christ came as the high priest of the good things that are now here. He also went into a much better tent that wasn't made by humans and that doesn't belong to this world. 12Then Christ went once for all into the most holy place and freed us from sin forever. He did this by offering his own blood instead of the blood of goats and bulls.
13 According to the Law of Moses, those people who become unclean are not fit to worship God. Yet they will be considered clean, if they are sprinkled with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a sacrificed calf. 14But Christ was sinless, and he offered himself as an eternal and spiritual sacrifice to God. This is why his blood is much more powerful and makes our consciences clear. Now we can serve the living God and no longer do things that lead to death.
15Christ died to rescue those who had sinned and broken the old agreement. Now he brings his chosen ones a new agreement with its guarantee of God's eternal blessings! 16In fact, making an agreement of this kind is like writing a will. This is because the one who makes the will must die before it is of any use. 17In other words, a will doesn't go into effect as long as the one who made it is still alive.
18Blood was also used to put the first agreement into effect. 19 Moses told the people all the Law said they must do. Then he used red wool and a hyssop plant to sprinkle the people and the book of the Law with the blood of bulls and goats and with water. 20He told the people, “With this blood God makes his agreement with you.” 21 Moses also sprinkled blood on the tent and on everything else used in worship. 22 The Law says that almost everything must be sprinkled with blood, and no sins can be forgiven unless blood is offered.
Christ's Great Sacrifice
23These things are only copies of what is in heaven, and so they had to be made holy by these ceremonies. But the real things in heaven must be made holy by something better. 24This is why Christ did not go into a tent made by humans and was only a copy of the real one. Instead, he went into heaven and is now there with God to help us.
25Christ did not have to offer himself many times. He wasn't like a high priest who goes into the most holy place each year to offer the blood of an animal. 26If he had offered himself every year, he would have suffered many times since the creation of the world. But instead, near the end of time he offered himself once and for all, so he could be a sacrifice that does away with sin.
27We die only once, and then we are judged. 28 So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But when he comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for him.
I just had my morning shower. Nothing special about that – daily showers are the social norm. But they haven’t always been the norm. Step back a century and the weekly bath was the norm. Step back a thousand years and a bath was a semi-annual event. With this lack of personal hygiene is it any wonder that epidemics ran rampant, and diseases like smallpox and the bubonic plague killed millions in medieval Europe?
As a society we have embraced the concept and practice of personal hygiene. But what about spiritual hygiene? Have we embraced that as well? I fear the opposite is true. Are we routinely plunging into the deep end of a cesspool of sin? Do we mistakenly believe there are no consequences? A filthy spirit can be as deadly as bubonic plague. A host of mental, emotional and social problems are a direct result of poor spiritual hygiene.
Today’s reading is all about cleansing our hearts and our minds. The sprinkled blood of Christ is the shower we truly need. These words are our eternal hope: “ But Christ was sinless, and he offered himself as an eternal and spiritual sacrifice to God. That’s why his blood is much more powerful and makes our consciences clear. Now we can serve the living God and no longer do things that lead to death” (v 14).
I don’t know about you, but daily I need to bathe in Christ’s love and forgiveness. He cleans me up.
Lord Jesus, I am thankful for your precious blood. You clean me up. Help me appreciate your sacrifice and walk daily in spiritual health. Amen.