Thursday, October 13, 2011
To Be Bought Back, Forever.
"But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God." -- Hebrews 9:11-14
I wish I had time to do an intensive study on this passage, as it is one of my favorites at the moment. But alas, the internet shuts down shortly here at the good ol' Bible School.
This portion of Scripture was displayed on the screen at a Vespers service I attended on Sunday night, and the words "eternal redemption" caught my attention. First, let me describe the situation for you:
As most of you know, in the Old Testament days, priests would offer an animal sacrifice for the atonement of the sins of the people. The high priest (there was only one until his death) would enter the holy place and burn incense. This was a big deal, and it could only be done by a priest. (Take a look at what happened to King Uzziah when he tried to get smart! (2 Chronicles 26) The blood of "goats and bulls" was used as a symbol of the need for sacrifice, but ultimately the blood of such animals meant nothing. It was by looking forward to the Cross that the men and women received forgiveness.
Fast forward a few hundred years, and we find Christ on a tree. It was this act of sacrifice that provides atonement for sins: past, present, and FUTURE. It is here and here alone that we find forgiveness.
Now onto the two words that I wanted to stress. The Greek words that are used here are "aionios" (eternal--agelong, everlasting) and "lutrosis" (redemption-- liberation, deliverance, the ransom price).
Does this mean anything to you? Are you grasping what this is really saying? In the OT times, the word "lutrosis" would be used to the ransom used for an imprisonment or debt. When this word is used for us, it describes the imprisonment to sin and debt to the Law that we have on our record. However, Christ has paid the ransom-- He has redeemed us! There's nothing we can do, nothing we have to do! And "aionios", meaning forever, signifies that once we have been bought, that price does not need to be paid again. We are eternally (something our mind cannot understand-- shall we say forever?) His. He has bought us out of our imprisonment and debt, and He longs for us to live with Him in that freedom.
What an encouragement to my soul tonight. As I think of the sin in my life, sometimes it's easy to think that I need to be redeemed again, to own up for my own sin somehow. However, that price was paid in full at the Cross. All I have to do is rest in the assurance that I was forgiven there, on that tree, over 2000 years ago. It was there that the veil was torn between the Holy Places and Holy of Holies. It was there that my Savior's blood was shed, much better than that of goats and bulls. It was there that I was forgiven. And it's here, now, that I stand righteous (the declaration of holiness, not something that I can earn).
I pray this is your testimony as well!