How many things would you change if you had the power to change repetitive tasks into “one and done” tasks?
Sometimes we try. We buy a new vehicle so that we don’t have to keep taking our car into the repair shop, incurring bill after bill. Eventually, the new car grows old and we find ourselves taking that one to the repair shop, too.
Or we take out our live lawn and replace it with artificial turf. Nevertheless, even though it appears relatively natural and we don’t have to mow anymore, it’s just not quite the same.
For other things, it doesn’t even pay to try. So we simply accept the necessity of repetition. We brush our teeth several times a day. We unload and reload the dishwasher. We sweep, we mop, we dust, we vacuum. We refill the gas tank. We top up the oil. And then we do it all over again.
And again. And again.
That’s exactly how Old Testament sacrifices used to work. Daily, sacrifice after sacrifice would be brought to the temple to atone for sins committed and offer thanks God for blessings received. The priests would slaughter the animals, prepare the grain, flour and oil offerings, and repeatedly offer them up on the altar.
Again, and again, and again.
Then came Jesus. As the author of the book of Hebrews states, his work was far superior to the work of the Old Testament priests. Jesus was the great High Priest who at Golgotha made one offering that covered the ransom for all sins, once for all. Jesus offered himself on the cross as the perfect Lamb of God, providing his own sinless life as the perfect sacrifice for sins, once for all.
Ponder it for a moment. And believe it for a lifetime.
Your sins have been paid for. All of them. No matter how serious. No matter how often repeated. Jesus has met your need. Forgiveness — full and free — is yours. Guilt and shame vanish before the blood of Christ, replaced by pardon and peace.
Jesus. One and done.
“Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. (Hebrews 7:26-28, NIV).
Jesus, thank you for paying the price to forgive my sins. I am truly sorry for the wrongs I have committed against you and others. I have not loved you above all things. I have not loved my neighbor as myself. I have repeatedly sinned against you. Please forgive me and give me pardon and peace. Change my heart so that I willingly obey your will.
Our Bible reading for Friday, November 6, is Ezekiel 10:1 – 12:28, Hebrews 7:11-28 and Psalm 119:169-176.
Header image based on "Artificial Grass Lawn" by Perfect Grass, CC By 2.0