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March 27 – Cross purposes: Sacrifice

“He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal inheritance.” – Hebrews 9:12

Scripture reading: Hebrews 9:1-14

Remember that after Adam and Eve had sinned, God killed animals and made garments of skin to clothe them? That was the first sacrifice. The animals died in the place of Adam and Eve. This substitution was seen in the elaborate system of offerings the Lord instituted in the Old Testament. The premise was that the guilty Israelites deserved death. The killing of an animal in the place of the guilty human was a picture of the work of Christ, the work by which God and His people could live in fellowship.

So, Christ comes as the Lamb of God. He sheds His blood on the cross. And then He goes into the Most Holy Place, the real one, not the one on earth, but the one in heaven. He enters the actual presence of God, with His own blood, offering Himself without blemish to God (Hebrews 9:14). And by that work He secures an eternal redemption for His people (Hebrews 9:12). Christ’s giving up of Himself pleases His Father. It is ‘a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God’ (Ephesians 5:2).

In the Old Testament ritual the guilty person would place his hands on the animal and confess his sin, a symbolic transferring of guilt from the sinner to the animal. This is what we ought to do. We ought to place our hands on the head of our Lord Jesus, confessing our sins, so that we might know the purifying blessing of His sacrifice on Golgotha. Then serve Him sacrificially because He is worthy.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God that we would be as delighted with Christ’s sacrifice for sin as He Himself is. Ask the Lord to give us grace so that we might be imitators of the Lord Jesus and give ourselves sacrificially to Him and to others.

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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