August 3, 2020
Hebrews 9:24-28
For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.  Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.  Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.  Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
New International Version (NIV)
At Camp Tallowood we taught through the Bible in seven year cycles so that each student would get a taste of each part of scripture.  I remember our great leaders building a tabernacle one year.  My part was to play the role of high priest.  Our leaders knew in exact detail the attire and the actions of the high priest.  Some of our students remember a rather remarkable parting and dissolution of a storm one night on the mountain.  A storm rose threatening our gathering , but mysteriously the clouds split and rained on either side of us but not on us.  The students still talk about it.

The writer of Hebrews understood the Old Testament sacrificial system well.  The high priest entered the Most Holy Place once a year with blood to make a sacrifice for the people.  This symbolic system offered a picture of God’s perfect plan in Christ.  Christ would enter the Most Holy Place as the high priest through the sacrifice of his own life to make atonement, to bring us back into relationship with the Father.  Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant. 

Once and for all, Christ has offered us a new and living way into the presence of God.  Just as each of us will die one time and then face the judgment, (this does not say that the exact time of our death is determined as some surmise by saying, “it was their time”), Jesus died only one time, once and for all to take away our sins.  So when Jesus returns, it will not be to make sacrifices on a symbolic altar.  That work is accomplished and completed in his perfect sacrifice.  When Jesus returns, he will come not to bear sin but to bring salvation for those who are waiting for him.

Are we?  Are we waiting for him?  Can we pray with John in the book of Revelation, “Come quickly Lord Jesus”?  When Jesus returns he will split the skies.  We who see it will talk about it.  Forever.  Wait for him.  He will come once and for all.  Right on time.

Pray with me:         
Father, we thank you for Jesus’ fulfillment of the Old Testament law.  All of the requirements of Leviticus are fulfilled in Jesus.  Give us a longing not for the shadow but the reality of relationship with you.  Let us set our minds on things above as we await Christ’s return.  We wait for you God.  You are our only hope.   Come quickly, Lord Jesus.  Amen. 
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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