And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sin. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God
As modern American Christians, I don’t think we take grace very seriously. We are products of an entitlement culture, which assures us that we “deserve a break today.” But even though “grace” means getting what we don’t deserve, this attitude of self-assured worthiness has crept into our Christian life.
To understand the enormous grace we have in Christ, it is helpful to look back at before He came. We are told that the high priest, corrupted by his sin, could only enter into God’s presence, the Most Holy Place, once a year, and only if he came bearing a sacrifice for his own sins first. This was to show how separate God insists on being from sinners. As sinners- rebels, traitors- we have no rights before Him, no claim of entitlement. We forfeited that privilege long ago, and are forever barred from fellowship with Him.
But then something happened. A new high priest appeared, a Great High Priest, who offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice on our behalf. When He died, the curtain separating the people from the Most Holy Place was torn, and now through Him we have gained access into the place where no sinner was allowed to stand- the presence of God. So let us come, boldly trusting not in our own merit but in the merit of Jesus Christ, and let us approach the holy throne with confidence, because for those who trust in Christ it is no longer a throne of judgment but of grace.
Holy Lord, I know that as a sinner, I have no right to stand before You, no right to pray, no right to be heard. But I come trusting in the work of Your Son on my behalf, and because He has taken my guilt and my punishment, I come boldly. Though I was a rebel and traitor, You have chosen me as Your child, and I am amazed at Your grace. Thank you, Father, for Your undeserved kindness poured out on me!
“They key to endurance in the cause of self-sacrificing love is not heroic willpower, but deep, unshakeable confidence that the joy we have tasted in fellowship with Christ will not disappoint us in death. Sacrifices in the path of love were sustained in the New Testament not by willpower, but by joyful hope.” ~John Piper
This post is written by Brendan Beale, author of Cross Connections