When Will it All Be Done?
by Elaine Pierce
Is the laundry ever "done" at your house? How about the dishes? The yard work? Taking out the trash? Those tasks will never be finished, will they? (And if you have teenagers at your house, will there ever be a clean bedroom?)
These repetitive tasks can seem boring and dull, but if they aren't done, we face the consequences: no clean plates for dinner, overflowing trash cans, unsightly yards, no clean underwear for heaven's sake!
What on earth does this have to do with Hebrews 10, you might be asking? The author of Hebrews paints a picture of the faithful Jewish priest, day after day performing his religious duties, offering sacrifices. (v. 11) But to what end? Do these temple sacrifices actually achieve a closer relationship with God? Do they get our card to heaven punched? No. Just as faithful church attendance, or daily Bible study, or devout prayer do NOT guarantee our salvation. The writer makes that clear:
"It can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship." (v. 1)
"Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you [God] did not desire, or were you pleased with them (although the law required them to be made)." (v. 8)
My friends, you know that Jesus became the sacrifice that would put an end to all of our offerings, well intended as they are. Because we cannot on our own, with all the good works and lavish sacrifices, achieve perfection. We will always come back to sin. Thanks be to God that Jesus stands in our place!
"We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (v. 10)
As you worship today, you will take part in very familiar "routines." You will pray, you will sing, you will hear the word, you will take communion. None of these things will guarantee your salvation, but we do them with joyful hearts, knowing that God is pleased and that we grow closer to him and closer to that day when we will join all the saints in heavenly, never ending worship and praise.
We may never see the end of the laundry pile, but we know with certainty that Jesus has forgiven our sins and longs for a deeper relationship with us. Take that step today towards him. Welcome to worship!
Dear Lord, I cannot on my own achieve perfection. You paid the price through your death on the cross. As I worship today, help me worship in spirit and in truth, and give you all the praise and all the glory. Amen.