Once for All Forgiveness - Part B
1 John 2:12
A chair was a forbidden piece of furniture inside the Jewish tabernacle and later in the temple. Why? Imagine for a moment that you’re an average citizen of Israel. You enter the temple on the Day of Atonement and are greeted by a priest lounging in a La-Z-Boy. What would this communicate to you? He must have nothing left to do! To avoid this false impression, God didn’t allow such a scene to take place. He forbade Levitical priests to sit down on the job, so that the image of unfinished business would be imprinted on their consciences.
Hebrews contrasts the constant standing and ongoing religious performances of Old priests with our seated High Priest, who will never again offer another sacrifice for sins:
“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest [Jesus] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” - Hebrews 10:11–12
“After [Jesus] had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” - Hebrews 1:3
Grasping this truth can revolutionize our understanding of how pure and clean we are before God. We’re invited to recognize our High Priest as seated at the right hand of the Father, with nothing left to do about our sins. The work is completed, and we’re now forgiven for all time.
Our past, present, and future sins were dealt with simultaneously through the cross. God didn’t discriminate with regard to time of occurrence. All of our sins were in the future when Jesus died. He looked down the entire timeline of human existence and took away all sins. Whether the sins occurred two thousand years before or after the cross made no difference. When Jesus finished wiping out all record of our sins, he took a seat. And he has been relaxing at God’s right hand ever since.
What position are you in with regard to your sins? Are you standing up, running around, and trying to make up for them? Attempting to get forgiven, to get cleansed? Or are you seated with Jesus Christ in a relaxed position? Do you realize that your Savior has taken them away once and for all?
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