Ezekiel 16:1-41; Hebrews 7:26-28; Psalms 106:1-2; Proverbs 23:6-8
NT: “For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do — first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all time when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son, who has been perfected forever.” (Hebrews 7:26-28 CSB)
Unlike the Levitical priests, Jesus Christ was holy (unmarred by sin and free from wickedness), innocent (without deceitfulness, fraud or guilt), and undefiled (pure and unsoiled by the world or a sin nature). Before the Levitical priests could approach the mercy seat to atone for the sins of the people, they first had to deal with their own sin. Sacrifices had to be made to temporarily atone for their sins first. Then the priests could offer sacrifices to temporarily atone for the sins of the people. The atonement was temporary, because the blood of bulls, goats, rams and lambs was not sufficient to fully pay for the sins of mankind. The animal sacrifices did not remove sin, they merely covered the sin for a time… then more sacrifices would have to be offered.
Because Jesus was holy, innocent and undefiled, He did not have to offer sacrifices for Himself, for He had no sin to cover up. Because Jesus was holy, innocent and undefiled, He could could offer His life as a completely sufficient sacrifice – not to just cover up sin, but to pay for it and remove it all together. When Jesus offered Himself as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sin, He did it once and for all time. No other sacrifices are required. By the offering of His life, He was then separated (departed) from the world of sinners and exalted above the heavens to sit as our Great High Priest and Mediator forever. When we place our faith in His life, death and resurrection, His sacrifice is applied to us, our sin is removed, and we are declared righteous in Christ.
Psalms: “Hallelujah! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever. Who can declare the Lord’s mighty acts or proclaim all the praise due him?” (Psalms 106:1-2 CSB)
Psalm 106 is primarily about the faithlessness of the nation of Israel. However, its purpose was not to condemn Israel, but to praise the Lord for His unceasing and unconditional faithfulness. Before the psalmist dove into the sordid details of Israel’s failings, he wanted to make sure that everyone knew that the Lord was faithful. His first word: Hallelujah! Which means to boast loudly and fanatically in the Lord. He then charged every reader to give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and His checed (zealous mercy, faithfulness, and covenantal love) that endures forever. How much more should that be said to us who have been recipients of Christ’s sacrificial love which removed our sin completely and His everlasting grace which continuously makes us holy. As the psalmist wrote, no one is capable of giving the Lord the praise that is due Him – but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. Despite our faithlessness, God has been faithful to save us to the uttermost. Hallelujah!
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You loved me so much that You offered Your life as the perfect, once and for all sacrifice that paid for and removed my sin and provided a way for me to be molded into Your perfect and holy image. Help me to not take that for granted, but to ever give You thanks and the praise that is due Your name. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.