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March 16 – Christ our priest (I) 

“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. . . . And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.” – Hebrews 10:4, 10

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:13-21

The Old Testament gives an elaborate ritual, symbolizing the need for the shedding of blood for the remission of sins. Already in the Garden, after Adam and Eve’s sin, God killed animals to clothe them with skins.

The necessity of death and blood for forgiveness was pictured in the sacrificial system. On the annual Day of Atonement, recorded in Leviticus 16, the High Priest would kill a bull as a sin offering for himself and his house. Then he would kill the goat of the sin offering for the people. The blood of the bull and goat would be sprinkled on the mercy seat in the Holy Place. Then he would lay his hands on the head of another goat and confess the sins of the people of Israel. That goat would be sent into the wilderness.

All this symbolized the Lamb of God Who would come to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Christ is the lamb without blemish and His blood is precious (1 Peter 1:19). But Christ is not only the sacrifice. He is also the priest who offers up Himself, not for His own sins (He had none), but for the sins of His people (Hebrews 7:27).

This our Lord Jesus did for us on the cross of Golgotha. He bore our sins on the tree (1 Peter 1:24) as the substitute for sinners. He bore the punishment sin deserved, eternal death, so that all who believe in Him might be forgiven and have eternal life.

Suggestions for prayer

Praise God for His indescribable gift. Give thanks that the Lord Jesus was willing to be our substitute and take the curse we deserved so that we might have His blessing. Pray for the ministers of the gospel as they proclaim the words of life tomorrow.

Rev. John van Eyk began his ministry in Cambridge, Ontario as a Church Planter and Minister of the Riverside Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. After 13 years there, he served almost 10 years in the Tain/Fearn congregation of the Associated Presbyterian Churches in the Scottish Highlands. John has served as Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2017. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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