The High Priest and the Forgiven
The High Priest
The Blood of Christ
The Living Bread
The Dwelling Place of God
Living Confidently as the Forgiven
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7
All of our children liked to pretend play. They would have figurines representing all kinds of characters. There would be different buildings like a school, farm, airport, playground…You could find means of transportation – bicycles, cars, motorcycles, Barbie convertibles…(I wonder if I will ever miss stepping on little pieces and people and Legos scattered on the floor?) As I would listen to these pretend conversations, there was almost always a common scenario…Someone was in need of help, and someone came to the rescue. Barbie was in danger and Ken came to save her. Rescue Heroes did their share of rescuing. The children were playing on the playground when an escaped lion entered the scene. Mom and Dad to the rescue. But it really sunk in when I have recently eavesdropped on Jesse’s plot that included his Lego firemen and police officers, which brought to mind Brady’s Rescue Hero entourage. Here’s where my mind brings in the analogy…Without people to save, what would the Rescue Heroes do? There are two sides to this story line. The Rescue Hero, and those that need rescued.
We can go about our way, and grasp the description of Jesus, our High Priest, but do we forget the objects of His saving? We – you and me – are the ones who need forgiven. This may sound bad to say, but when the Israelites had the High Priest represent them year after year at the Day of Atonement, I imagine that during that time, they were reminded and prompted to consider their status; to examine their lives and to identify how they fell short. Don’t get me wrong, the once and for all sacrifice Jesus made for us was so freeing, but I wonder how often we, those under this amazing new covenant, consider our status, examine our lives or identify our sins. You see, Jesus paid it all – once and for all. But we are still challenged to be convicted and to come before Him with a repentive heart.
We are those that need saved and forgiven. Just because we live on this side of Jesus doesn’t give us the freedom to live as we want, sin whenever we want, taking on the “Jesus will forgive us anyway” attitude. His forgiveness is true, real and available, but we need to be able to recognize and repent of those things called sins. Since the day of the bite of the forbidden apple, we have fallen into temptation to purse things that will distance us from God. You can find lists of examples throughout Scriptures – anger, lust, sexual immorality, pride, jealousy, gossip, greed, course joking, filthy language, lies, rage…the list goes on.
Not because I think we should dwell in our hopeless human status, but because of the freedom of grace, I invite us into a period of considering our current status, examining our current lifestyle, and identifying where we are falling short. Jesus is our Lord. He is the one who made forgiveness possible. He invites us into His sacred light.
Go ahead, position yourself in His light. Allow the things that are hiding in the dark to be exposed. His light is not a scalding, scorching light that harms you, but a loving, warm light that brings out those ways of darkness. As His light makes these ways visible, you will not be left alone, or vulnerable, He is there with an embrace as we recognize the sin, and repent. We are the forgiven. Don’t avoid it any longer. There is so much freedom in confessing and experiencing forgiveness. I would even wonder if you might find one or more trusted friends to verbalize this experience to. Maybe share with them your testimony of the way Jesus met you in His light, driving out the darkness that kept you from God. There is great celebration as we experience being the forgiven.
How do we walk as the forgiven, as those who are free from sin and guilt and shame? After a while do we lose sight of the power of His forgiveness? What is our Day of Atonement when we examine our lives? Do we do this daily? Weekly? Monthly? Yearly? Or not even that often? Let’s start today. Ask God to shine His light on a sin in your life. What are you hiding in the darkness? Honor Him, your High Priest, who has entered the Heavenly Holy of Holies, on behalf of you, bringing your sins before God Himself, and returning alive to proclaim that YOU ARE FORGIVEN. Seek his forgiveness and celebrate the truth that you are forgiven. Ask Him for His strength to walk away from that sin and stay in step with Him.