Hebrews 10:11-14, "Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."
Though I came across this passage in Hebrews earlier today, the significance of these words failed to reach me until later tonight. As a desk assistant, my job is to sit here at the desk and welcome people into the building. However, very few people come in from midnight to 3am on a Sunday evening. So, I was able to play my worship playlist out loud and take some time to let my thoughts flow.
As I listened to Chris Tomlin's rendition of "Jesus, Son of God," I was reminded of what I read in Hebrews. Towards the end of the song, Chris begins to sing,
"Be lifted higher
Than all You've overcome
Your name be louder
Than any other song
There is no power
That can come against Your love
The cross was enough
The cross was enough"
This phrase, "The cross was enough," brings me back to Hebrews. Too often, I try. Yes, you read that correctly. I try. I try to cover up my sins. I try to add on to the grace already given to me by doing different services or spending an extra hour in prayer. I act as if I can earn my own redemption. Then, I imagine how pathetic I must look. How could I possibly earn my way? Apart from Jesus, I am nothing. With Jesus, I am everything.
Looking at the opening passage from Hebrews, I see three words that reflect a job already completed. When Jesus offered to die one time for all of the past, present, and future sin of the world, it says that he sat down. I firmly believe that this is a crystal clear illustration of the final three words that Jesus uttered before taking his last breath. As he rendered himself powerless, Jesus said (John 19:30), "It is finished."
The words "he sat down" meant that there was nothing to be taken away or added to this sacrificial act. Jesus died once and for all. In the closing of the above passage, it reads, "For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." While the topic of being made perfect will be saved for another day, this verse reveals that this was a once and for all act.
Too often, I find areas of my life that I am trying too hard in. I try to earn God's favor. I try to earn the favor of other people. Even in writing my blogs, I must question whether or not I am writing to share what God has placed on my heart or sharing to gain status. It is something that I constantly battle.
This weekend, Matt Chandler of Village Church in Flower Mound shared his testimony of his bout with terminal brain cancer. He stared down the eyes of death for 18 months, yet God found favor in Matt and showed grace to him. When sharing on his experience, Matt summarized all of his emotions, thoughts, and feelings into one sentence: "The stripping away of the illusion of control leaves us completely powerless......and it is awesome." He shared (with a smile) that the most peace and assurance he has ever experienced occurred when he gave up control and rendered himself powerless, trusting in the power of God.
Jesus did this on the cross. In order to save the world, he became powerless. Lifeless. The only way that love could captivate and flood our hearts with grace was through the pure Savior taking on the scorn and shame of the world.
So, why do we constantly try to take on the role that Jesus already took on?
Timothy Keller puts it this way, "You can make it through the furnaces of your life because Jesus took the only furnace that can really burn you." I absolutely LOVE this quote. Why would we spend time worrying over the hardships and 'furnaces' of this world when Jesus already extinguished the only heat and flame that could burn us?
This is why we are reminded that we cannot add a single hour to our life by worrying (Matthew 6:27). God is not telling us to get over our anxieties and fears. He is simply telling us to win the day. We are to take all of our fears, doubts, and anxieties and lay them at the foot of the cross each day, rendering ourselves powerless and trusting in the One who is all-powerful.
Peace and prosperity were a part of God's design since the beginning of time. Before the Fall of Man, we know that work was done without toil, and childbearing was done without pain. God intended for us to experience this life through peace and prosperity. Yet, He also intended for us to be productive. Therefore, the answer to the Will of God is for us to not be lazy beings. God's absolute provision does not mean that we can be stagnant Christians. There is no such thing. A follower of Christ does not sit paralyzed. He follows the commands throughout the Bible that teach him to "take heart" (John 16:33) and "stand firm" (1 Corinthians 16:13).
With this revelation that the Lord unveiled to my own eyes now out in the open, I ask you to examine yourself. Search every area of your life and ask yourself, "Is the Word of God the driving force in my life?" How does your life compare to the Gospel? Are you trying to win the war or win the day?
Allow Jesus to reign victoriously over your life. He already won the war; now, it is your time to fight the battle. The Lord is by your side. Let us be active Christians pursuing God Almighty with love in our hearts and grace in our words, actions, and attitudes.
I pray for each of you to accept the words "he sat down." Fall to your knees, lay down your weapons, and experience the peace that God intended for you to enjoy. The cross was enough to conquer our sins...
Thank you Jesus, son of God, for victory. You alone have the power to wage war with sin and come out victorious. With that in mind, we thank you for dying on the cross and raising from the dead to save us of our sins. I ask that you would teach us to be more like you. Let you and your Word be our heart's sole desire. Wean us off of our own control and demonstrate to us what a life looks like that relies solely on you alone. Teach us that the Jesus took on the scorn and shame of our sins on the cross, and that through his resurrection, you have offered us new life. I pray that my life would reflect more of you and less of me.