19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus— 20 he has inaugurated for us a new and living way through the curtain (that is, through his flesh)— 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. — Hebrews 10:19-23
Confidence in Christ’s Sacrifice
by Will Peeples
As you reflect on this Christmas season, what is the focus of your introspection? Do you review the past year, identifying shortcomings and frustrating moments? Or do you look ahead to a new year, a fresh start to improve and make right certain things in the past months? Wherever you land on that spectrum, Hebrews 10 reminds us of the confidence we have in the forgiveness of our sins and our access to God because of Christ’s sacrifice.
Chapter 10 starts by explaining why animal sacrifices under the law are insufficient to remove sin—in fact, their regular observance served as a reminder of the presence of sin. While I don’t like to admit it, I struggle with (and am frustrated by) recurring sins in my life—anger, selfishness, pride. Were it not for the sin-conquering sacrifice provided by Christ, it would be easy for me to get bogged down in that sin, in its repeating cycle, incapable of living the life God intended for me. And as the author of Hebrews explains, no amount of payment other than Christ’s sacrifice could break that cycle of sin.
But these verses remind me that because of Christ’s sacrifice and His royal priesthood over our lives, we can live with assurance that our sin has been satisfied once and for all. Further, our cleansed hearts through Christ enable us to draw near to God, assured that we now participate in a new and permanent covenant because of Christ’s death and resurrection. As you look forward to 2019, hold fast to this promise as a source of confidence in your walk with God. Be reminded that Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient for you, no matter your past or future shortcomings. And know that we have unfettered, intimate access to the most-high God as we work to become more like Christ in our daily walk.
- As you look ahead to a new year, are you frustrated by a sin or shortcoming that you can’t get past? How does this passage’s reminder of Christ’s supremacy and the completeness of His sacrifice change your view of that sin in your life?
- How might the reminder of Christ’s satisfaction of our sin lead to greater assurance in your daily walk, and in turn to a closer and more regular relationship with Christ? What specific ways might you improve your sanctification process as you head into 2019?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.