Have you ever stopped to wonder what Jesus would have done with His life, had he not been crucified? Have you ever thought about what Jesus wanted to be when He grew up? If He wanted a wife and children? Often times, when we discuss who Jesus is and what He did for us, we tend to think of Him more in the sense that He was God, but how many of us forget that He was fully, 100% human, too? I’m sure he had zits when He was in His teens…right?
So, this Son of Man, became the fulfillment of God’s promises. He laid His life down in complete submission to God for God’s purposes. Yes, He had an earthly family, Mary and Joseph, maybe some brothers and sisters, too. But He kept an eternal perspective as well. He always knew the purpose for His life. If He did have things He wanted to do or dreams or desires, He laid them aside for the purpose God had for His time on earth.
Wednesday Night, we read an excerpt from Hebrews 9:1-10, talking about how the gifts and sacrifices were not enough to cleanse an evil conscience because in the first covenant, they were merely “regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation”. Here is the rest of that section of scripture, Hebrews 9:11-14.
“But when Christ appeared as a hight priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?…(26) but now once at the consummation of the ages, He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”
Jesus submitted Himself to God, offered Himself without blemish to God. Jesus is the full, unconditional fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham for a nation so numerous as the sand. He set aside His own life to be the once for all offering for sin. Though He was tempted in every way and truly understands our every struggle with sin, He kept Himself blameless… a pure, spotless lamb. He prepared Himself for the sacrifice. In so doing, He has become our High Priest forever. Even more, He understands our struggles and temptations, and is able to help us honor Him.
After hearing about the New Covenant from Wednesday night and reading this blog, what is your part in this covenant? If you’ll remember, Jesus is the mediator and fulfillment of the New Covenant. In another example, remember the Abrahamic covenant? Abraham fell into a deep sleep while “a smoking pot and flaming torch” passed through the sacrifice, one of the earliest pictures of the trinity and God’s ability to make the covenant, provide the sacrifice, and fulfill the covenant Himself through Jesus. But if Jesus fulfilled the covenant, are you part of the covenant? Of course! We walk through Jesus’ broken body and blood to enter into the covenant… “No one comes to the Father except THROUGH me.” So what do I do now?
What was one of the first things Jesus said to His first disciple? “Come, follow me!” And what did the disciple do? He dropped EVERYTHING to go with Jesus. He left his family, his job, his hometown… all for following Jesus. What does it look like to follow Jesus today? What are we supposed to do now that, by the blood of Christ, we have entered into God’s promise?
Same answer. Simple to say, immensely difficult to do. Follow Jesus. Just as Jesus laid down His life, we ought to lay down the rights to ours. Sometimes, as is the case for many Christians throughout history and even today around the world, we lay down and surrender our last breath and final heartbeat. Jesus Himself asked his followers to pick up their cross daily. We must share in His death so that He may live in us.
What does it look like to die while we are still alive? What do you think it means to follow Jesus?
To be continued on Wednesday…