Friday, December 30, 2011

"One Sacrifice! No More Sacrifice!"

(Thanks to my dear friend and brother Hugh for inspiration on this one).

"This man (the Lord Jesus Christ) offered one sacrifice for sins forever..."

And because He did...

"There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" (Hebrews 10:12; 26).

"It is finished!" declared the Lord Jesus of His atoning work on the cross of Calvary (John 19:30). Having died so completely and efficaciously for our sins, and having fully borne the wrath of God for our sakes, "One sacrifice!" and "No more sacrifice!" are the exultant cries of the born again believer. The Son who so pleased His Heavenly Father in life also perfectly satisfied Him in death, the death that redeems all who come to God through the person, work and merits of the risen Lord Jesus.

Few truths of the New Testament more establish our feet on the path of righteousness. Indeed, believers do not live for salvation, but from salvation. Redemption in Christ so justifies us that God "will not impute sin" to us (Romans 4:6). He deals with us as loving Father rather than punitive judge, chastening us in love, but never passing sentence and retribution on those deemed as forever acquitted through Christ. "God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven you... He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 4:32; 1:6).

The increasing knowledge of "so great salvation" stokes the hearth of the believer's heart whereupon burns the very love of the Lord Jesus Himself (Romans 5:5). Rather than serving God from merely sense of servile fear, the remembrance of "One sacrifice!" and "There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins!" causes genuine and holy devotion to flame up within the very depths of our being, thus resulting in "the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name" (Hebrews 13:15). Thereby we trust and obey God with the one motivation that satisfies both Him and ourselves, namely, the remembrance of His love and our desire to respond in kind (I Corinthians 13).

Believers live self sacrificial lives as the fruit of the Holy Spirit's working in us. "To do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Hebrews 13:16). We also present our bodies as "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God" (Romans 12:1). Never, however, do view the need for any sacrifice for sin other than our Lord's "one sacrifice for sins forever." The work is done. The sacrifice was made. The gift is given. And the saving grace of the Lord Jesus is the sole basis of our eternal redemption, and the assurance that in this moment we may "come boldly to the throne of grace" - so long as we come by way of "One sacrifice!" and "There remaineth no more sacrifice!"

"Now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."
(Hebrews 9:26).

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