25/3/07 BCP Lent 5
Heb 9:11 But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
John 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? 49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honor my Father, and ye do dishonor me.
50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. 51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. 52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? 54 Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
Illustrate bringing mud onto clean carpet, spoils it. Needs to be cleaned. Often again & again.
Jesus was spotless, perfect, without sin. This is the theme of our readings. He :-
In contrast to Jesus we are like a muddy carpet.
The reason why Jesus came and lived a perfect life was to show us how to live. It was also to put us right with God through his death for us on the cross.
Today's epistle mentions three benefits which this brings.
He obtained redemption for us.
The words "redemption" means to "buy back". Jesus, the perfect one, paid the price for our imperfections on the cross.
This leads to two things...
1] "The promise of eternal inheritance"
Those who are united with Jesus have something waiting for them beyond death. Something better than this life. Perfect resurrection bodies. Peace with God and other believers forever. Wonderful, heavenly worship.
2] "purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
Jesus death and resurrection brings us freedom from guilt. Not to do what we like, but to do what God likes.
Be thankful to God for sending Jesus.
Be inspired and challenged by His life.
Be sure that we have been redeemed by him.
Be free to serve God and follow his ways.