Before Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah, God appeared to Him in person. The scriptures speak of God speaking to him, but in Genesis chapter 18, He appears to Him. Is this Jesus? He is not described as “The Angel of the Lord” but it is clearly the Lord. In the chapter before this, God speaks to Abraham of the covenant, that He would have a son when Abraham is 100 years old. God tells him that the covenant is not through Ishmael, the child born through their own efforts by the bondwoman, Hagar, but would be through the child born of God, by a miracle, through Sarah, who is well beyond her years of childbirth. Continue reading “Jesus reaffirms Covenant with Abraham”
I am going through a great study in Hebrews right now and I realize there are so many words of encouragement to believers that we can have confidence and hope. God always keeps His promises. Jesus is our Savior, but He is much more. Jesus, the Son of God, perfect in every way because He IS God, gave His life for us. With His blood sacrifice, we now have access to the Father. He is the Priest-King, who is our Intercessor and Redeemer, who offered Himself as a sacrifice, the prefect blood offering once for all. It is the perfect sacrifice because He is perfect, no flaw, no sin, and He lives forever, giving eternal salvation to those who believe.
The book of Hebrews is written to the Jews of the early Christian church. Many were true believers and some were seeking. But the Jews from outside the church (and perhaps some from within) were trying to turn them from faith in Jesus Christ or draw them back to the Law. The writer explains how the Law had been fulfilled by Christ and that there is a new, much better covenant that God had given all of us through His Son. This covenant was promised through Abraham and all things throughout the Old Testament point to Jesus Christ. The Law showed us our sin and the need for blood sacrifice, and the New covenant shows us God’s mercy and grace, that through Jesus, our sins are forgiven once and for all. We are saved by faith in Him and our salvation is based on what Christ did for us, not on ourselves. Thanks God for that, because all of us fall short! I encourage you to read through the entire book of Hebrews to fully understand the reason for the law, the blood, the sacrifice and how Jesus fulfilled all of it and became our High Priest to be our sin offering. It also reminds us of His promise of eternal salvation and to encourage us to not lose hope, but to have boldness and confidence, trusting in Jesus Christ our Lord, living for Him, serving Him and others. Continue reading “Encouragement from Hebrews”
The author of Hebrews writes to them reminding them that there is no longer a need for blood sacrifice for their sins each year. Jesus is our High Priest, to Jews and Gentiles alike, who offered Himself, who is perfect, who is sinless, who is without spot or blemish, as a sacrifice once for all. Those of us who believe, who follow Jesus Christ have been given a promise, that of eternal inheritance in the kingdom. Salvation through our Lord, Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Thank God for the richness of His mercy, whose love endures forever.
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another — He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.