“For the Law, having a shadow of good things to come and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices, which they offered year-by-year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect—for then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But, in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year—for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
Repetition and rote rituals can never make one right with God, regardless of how sincere the worshiper’s heart; only Jesus’ Blood can do that.
Even now we can picture the Old Testament worshippers as they brought their animals to the priests to be sacrificed as a “sin atonement.” Even now we can hear the bleating sheep. . . bellowing bulls. . .cooing turtledoves, etc., as the sharp knife is laid to their throats, their eyes wide with terror.
No doubt the penitent worshipper believed his obedience to the Law would usher in his forgiveness.
But, still within him there was that nagging sense of guilt—the “remembrance of sin,” that kept lurking in the recesses of his conscience. No amount of words from the priest, saying “You are forgiven,” could wash away that guilty stain.
So, year-after-year, they continued to offer the sacrifices for the various types of offerings. And, year-after-year they kept inwardly wishing there was something that would “create in them a clean heart and renew a right spirit within them” (Ps. 51:10).
But, all that changed when Jesus came on the scene as “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29, 36).
He knew the Law—which was intended to guide man in his right relationship with God and others (Ex. 20:1-17)—had become a stern “schoolmaster” instead (Gal. 3:23-24). Only those who looked beyond the tablets of stone and adherence to “do this and that” and “believed God” (like Abraham—Gen. 15:6; Gal. 3:6) could experience the right relationship that comes with simple, childlike faith.
Thus, when Jesus, God’s “only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16), willingly laid down His Life for us on the Cross, He demonstrated to what lengths His Father was willing to go to save us from our sins. And, in so doing He became our Substitute and by His Blood we are pardoned and set free. Glory!
Truly, when it comes to works or “guilt atonement,” it is impossible to find forgiveness.
It’s only through Christ’s inward Ministry in our lives that we find forgiveness and outward transformation. How wonderful it is when we don’t have to keep going back up to the altar every Sunday to find forgiveness, freedom and peace-of-mind. By agreeing with God that Jesus’ Death “paid it all,” we’re able to experience the joy of what it means to be “born again.” What a Savior! And, what a “great Salvation” (Heb. 2:3). Hallelujah!! Thank You, Lord.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 26, 2011