Do you like feeling clean?
Way back in the days of the Old Testament, doing things wrong meant a complicated system to sort it all out. People believed that doing the wrong things and hanging out with the wrong people would make them dirty. It’s a bit like smoking – everyone can tell a smoker a mile off because of the smell, or even if you’ve been hanging around with people smoking or back before the days when smoking in a public place was banned, just going to the pub or a cafe where others were smoking. The smell can be around for days afterwards – it just lingers. Smoking is not a good thing! But it was like that smell that didn’t go away. So they would go through elaborate rituals to get it sorted out.
There was a special place for forgiveness – the Tabernacle and then later on a Temple. In there was a space called the Holy of Holies where there was a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant. This place was where God dwelled on earth with his people. The only person to go in was the High Priest and he only went in once per year. This passage says he went in “with blood” which means a sacrifice was made and he would take the blood of that to offer to God for the sins of the people – and even for the sins that had been committed in ignorance.
The thing was that this wasn’t enough to make people clean by itself. It was merely a symbol of what was to come. The blood had now power in itself, only in what it was trying to say. But instead, Jesus came. He came not with the blood of a goat or a calf or a lamb, but by giving his own blood so that we can be set free, and made clean, once and for all. Jesus sets us free from sin and failure and all our brokenness through the sacrifice he made on our behalf.
Lord God, thank you for Jesus and all he has done for us. Help us to know you more and live in the light of our freedom today. Amen.
How can you praise God today for all he has done for us?