Indeed, according to the Law ... sins are forgiven only if blood is poured out. ... Christ also was offered in sacrifice once to take away the sins of many. [Hebrews 9:22,28 GNT]
In a spiritual sense, I find these to be odd verses. They surface a few questions:
- Were the death of sacrificed animals required for God to forgive sin?
- Was it necessary for Jesus to die in order for God to forgive?
- Did Jesus die because of our sinful actions or to forgive those same sins?
I suggest that the sacrifices that God requires are living ones. Paul says as much in his letter to the Romans. In a very real sense Jesus birth and ministry were such a sacrifices. His death on the cross was a living sacrifice. Dead sacrifices cost us very little while living ones cost us much.
Afresh dear Lord, I offer myself to your service.
... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Hebrews.