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Once A Year

Once A Year

11 July 2011

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 11-14; Hebrews 9

Scripture:

But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. (Hebrews 9:7 NLT)

This part of the Hebrews letter compares and contrasts the Old Contract God established for the nation of Israel through Moses with the New Contract God established through Jesus Christ for all who will believe, receive, and respond.

Under the Old Contract, the Jewish high priest went into the Holiest Place only once a year, on Pay-up Day – the Day of Atonement, and offered the blood of an innocent sacrifice lamb to pay for his sins and the sins of the people. The sins of the people accumulated for an entire year, until the high priest offered the Atonement Sacrifice.

When Jesus went into the real Holiest Place and offered his own innocent blood one-time for all-time for all sins, it’s all done. No more waiting all year for the one Pay-up Day so that an innocent sacrifice can pay for the accumulated sins of guilty people.

The key thought for me today is “once a year.” If my sins accumulate for a year, a month, a week, or a day, it’s entirely because I allow them to accumulate. At the moment I acknowledge my sin – my sins – and turn from them, I can receive immediate cleansing, forgiveness, a fully fresh start. If I allow my sins to put distance between God and me – we know sin separates – it’s simply because I don’t choose to “…walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” (Hebrews 4:16 MSG)

Sin doesn’t have to accumulate any more. I don’t have to wait for a “once a year” event to be forgiven. Unless I am too proud or self-righteous to acknowledge my sins, or unless I prefer to continue in my sins, my sins don’t have to accumulate at all. It’s up to me to simply respond and receive what Jesus provided – one-time for all time. No more accumulated sins! His provision! My choice! Amazing Grace!

Prayer:

Father, Thank you for loving me so much that you made a way so that my sins don’t have to accumulate. I gladly and gratefully receive what you so graciously have given. May others hear this great good news from me and see its good fruit in me. Thanks.

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