"...so that we may serve the living God!"
But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! -Hebrews 9:11-14
Jesus is the true and better sacrifice. This is a concept I've shared a few times in my two years at Cascade CRC, but this passage summarizes it so well. Everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus. He fulfills all the hopes and expectations hinted at by the prophets, priests, and kings.
In this passage, we see that heaven is the true and perfect temple and that Jesus is the true and better sacrifice. It is his blood in his alone that purchases our entrance into a relationship with God.
I’ve never met an American Christian who brings goats and bulls to God. We have different offerings that we use to try to buy His love. Instead of goats, we bring our gifts, instead of bulls, we stay busy. We look to our virtues and faithfulness as if these can impress Him. Unfortunately, none of this can satisfy God’s wrath or make us clean. The old saying is true, "The only thing we contribute to our salvation is the sin that makes it necessary."
Jesus changes everything. Because of Him, God sees us as unblemished and with a clean conscience. That is something that years of therapy and hundreds of self-help books can’t accomplish. We live in a culture where people are depressed, lonely, and striving for something different. At the root of it all, I think they want to be accepted and to feel clean.
These are all free gifts given to us in Christ. That’s why the Gospel is good news!
We are close to Thanksgiving. GRACE is one of the things I’m incredibly grateful for! We are clean, seen as unblemished, and can serve the Living God!
God's Love - David Bennett
Over the past few weeks at Cascade CRC we've talked about human sexuality, our LGBT+ neighbors, and divorce. This sermon by David Bennett talks about many of those issues from a very different perspective.
David Bennett is a gay man committed to living a God-honoring and celibate life. The author of "A War of Loves" , David went from an atheist and LGBT+ activist to a follower of Jesus who still serves as an apostle to the LGBT community.
You can watch this sermon here:
Jesus, Marriage, and the Law
Last Sunday, despite the power outage, we pushed forward with the sermon on Divorce and Remarriage from Matthew 5:30-31.
The next day, the Bible Project released a podcast episode that covered much of what I had been reading in my preparation for that sermon. If you missed Sunday, still had questions, or are just curious how the Old Testament Law interacts with the teachings of Jesus, this is worth listening to.
Upcoming Daily Audio Bible Readings
November 9 Ezekiel 20:1-49, Hebrews 9:11-28, Psalm 107:1-43, Proverbs 27:11
November 10 Ezekiel 21:1-22:31, Hebrews 10:1-18, Psalm 108:1-13, Proverbs 27:12
November 11 Ezekiel 23:1-49, Hebrews 10:19-39, Psalm 109:1-31, Proverbs 27:13
November 12 Ezekiel 24:1-26:21, Hebrews 11:1-16, Psalm 110:1-7, Proverbs 27:14
November 13 Ezekiel 27:1-28:26, Hebrews 11:17-31, Psalm 111:1-10, Proverbs 27:15-16
November 14 Ezekiel 29:1-30:26, Hebrews 11:32-12:13, Psalm 112:1-10, Proverbs 27:17
November 15 Ezekiel 31:1-32:32, Hebrews 12:14-29, Psalm 113:1-114:8, Proverbs 27:18-20
November 16 Ezekiel 33:1-34:31, Hebrews 13:1-25, Psalm 115:1-18, Proverbs 27:21-22
November 17 Ezekiel 35:1-36:38, James 1:1-18, Psalm 116:1-19, Proverbs 27:23-27