July 8, 2021
Scripture: For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:24
Observation: Several themes are threading through the letter to the Hebrews. Above is one of them: our ultimate reality is not here on earth but in the spiritual realm of heaven. While the high priest would enter into the Holy of Holies once every year to offer a sacrifice for the sins of God’s people (Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement), as the author of Hebrews notes, this annual ceremony would have no end date as long as imperfect humans (mere images of God) administered the sacrifice (verses 25-26). Only Christ could put an end to these exhausting, facsimile ceremonies for the atonement of sins—not by entering into the manmade Holy of Holies, but by entering into the eternal source of holiness: the Kingdom of Heaven. And he now appears in the presence of the Father on our behalf. In other words, by offering himself as the completed and perfected sacrifice for the sins of the world, he not only has saved us from the penalty of sin but from its power because he intercedes on our behalf.
Takeaway: Stay grounded in the world around us (carrying on with our Gospel mission) but focused on the Kingdom of Heaven and its king, Jesus Christ, who intercedes for us in the presence of the Father. Meanwhile, since we have such a great Intercessor, let’s avail the power of prayer that bridges earth to heaven.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for the gift of your Son, our Savior, who has bridged the gap between heaven and earth. Please help us to be earthly grounded and heavenly minded as we journey toward eternity, availing the power of prayer. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling