Praise God! In today’s chapter, we’re reminded that we no longer have to depend on man and animals to pay for our sins. That didn’t really work anyway:
1b- The sacrifices under the old system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.
3b – 4 – Those yearly sacrifices reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
11 – Under the old covenant, the priest stands before the altar day after day, offering sacrifices that can never take away sins.
So, because of what Christ did and the new covenant, we’re encouraged to:
19b – boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.
22 – go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
24 – Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds
25 – And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
Now, verse 26 caused me to stop and ponder:
26 – Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins.
We’re again reminded when people deliberately reject Christ’s offer of salvation, they reject God’s most precious gift. They have rejected the only sacrifice that could have saved them. The way this is worded, however, gave me a chill – “if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth.” But, like David, Paul, Peter, and several other men of God we’re given to read about, we will always struggle with sin. Some suggest that this is not talking about that, but for anyone who turns away from Christ to another religion, or, having understood Christ’s atoning work, deliberately turns away from it (Mark 3:28). Others insist that there are plenty of scriptures to indicate that if a person who once accepted salvation but changes his attitude, deliberately chooses a life of rebellion, despising God’s laws, then his sin is unforgivable because he will not repent of it (John 15:2, Hebrews 6:4-8).
Lastly, we’re encouraged to, by faith, rest in what Christ has done and trust Him for what he will do in the present and in the future. Doing so will bring great reward (joy today and heavenly possesions in the future, of which the greatest is eternal life).
35 Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. 37 “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. 38 And a righteous person will live by faith. But I will have no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” 39 But we are not like those who turn their backs on God and seal their fate. We have faith that assures our salvation.
I like how the NIV says it better:
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
We are of those who believe and are saved!
Rest in Him today. Let him take away the pressures and difficulties. Just smile and look to Him and let everything else just go on about you. Tomorrow will take care of itself. We have so much to be thankful for in Christ. Don’t get bogged down in your “busyness” or even doing good to be so busy not to draw near to Him today. If you humble yourself and draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. What better way to spend the day?